Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
(Isaiah 49:8-15; John 5:17-30)
The title, “& Son,” in a business listing reassures clients. The owner obviously has a family which roots him in the community and suggests trustworthiness. If the son comes to do the job, the client perhaps thinks “like father, like son” and expects the true value for what she pays. A similar father-son relationship forms the heart of today’s gospel.
The Jews have criticized Jesus for healing on the Sabbath. He, in turn, tells them that he is permitted to heal on the Sabbath because God, his Father, heals on the Sabbath. This claim, of course, infuriates the Jews. They find the idea of Jesus being God blasphemous. But Jesus is not deterred. He goes on to say that like his Father he also raises the dead to new life. In fact, he claims that to be raised from the dead one has to believe the doctrine that he is teaching.
Jesus’ promise of resurrection from the dead should astound us. It is not merely the ongoing life of the soul when we die. Rather it is the retrieval of our bodies and their unification with our souls at the end of time. We cannot help but ask how this can happen. Certainly all adults have seen in their lifetimes things that they never before had dreamed. God, who also is beyond our imagining, has infinite power and can do much more marvelous things. Ours is to imitate God’s goodness, not His power. Doing so, we show belief in Jesus’ doctrine and can hope to be called from death to life.