The authorities accused Jesus of being a “rule breaker.” They were right.
While Jesus perfectly fulfills God’s laws, sometimes He breaks the rules we have set up that limit God in our life.
Through Christ, we see that God’s love extends beyond the law. Are you prepared to follow Jesus into a life that goes beyond what the law requires? Are you willing to let Him break your rules?
- Jesus breaks the laws of this world, this culture, and how we think.
- There is something wrong with your rules if it keeps Jesus from doing Jesus things.
- Jesus is the law fulfiller… Could it be we don’t understand God’s law?
- The fulfillment of God’s law looks like Jesus!
- Jesus invites us to Live beyond the Law.
- We are the rule breakers
rule breaker Jesus
Who is this Rule Breaker?
Sermon notes by Marshal Blessing
Who is this 5 – Rule Breaker
**Bumper Video –
Welcome. My name is Marshal Blessing. I’m the Care Pastor of Redemption Church; sometimes I show up unexpectedly. But that’s okay because I’m excited to preach to you today about Jesus.
We are in the 5th week of our “Who is this?” series.
Jesus is famously mistaken. He is often not recognized, he is typically looked past, and when He does show up in our field of vision we are usually surprised and left asking… “Who is this?”
One of the most surprising things Jesus does, is that at times he seems to break the rules.
Rules affect our lives every day. Throughout our lives we are surrounded by rules: Wait two hours after you eat before you go swimming. Don’t wear white after Labor Day. Always leave a note! Don’t text and drive.
We don’t talk about Fight Club. Employees must wash their hands before returning to work.
*You can’t baptize people in a swimming pool.
Some rules are very important. Some rules are beneficial. How many of you know: rules are important to God?
And yet, at times people accused Jesus of being a rule breaker. So today I want to ask Who is this Rule Breaker?
This is an important question asked by people in Scripture. Jesus is God come to earth in human form; He told people that He came from God. The commandments and the rule in the Old Testament also came from God. So, if someone could find an area where Jesus didn’t keep the commands of God, it could discredit His claim to be God. Does that make sense?
The Pharisees mostly didn’t believe Jesus was God, and they wanted to discredit Him. So they labeled Jesus a Rule Breaker… To be fair, Jesus did violate their understanding of God’s commands… They were trying to do what they thought God had instructed them to do. They tried to make others do what they thought God had instructed… They were trying to do what God said, but they had misunderstood. So when Jesus shows up and does something else, He looks like a rule breaker.
And sometimes we have opinions and understandings that Jesus breaks… How many of you completely understand the mind of God? Me neither. Sometimes we misunderstand. In order for Jesus to work in our life He sometimes has to break some of the written or unwritten rules that we’ve come to accept..
We have to decide if we want to hold on to our previous understanding or receive Jesus…
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
We are going to look at a “Who is this?” story in which people ask “Who is this rule breaker?”
John 5:2-9 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie – the blind, the lame the paralyzed – and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Ok so Jesus broke a rule in this story. Do you see it? Let’s look at it.
John 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
What is the correct response to this question? YES a thousand times yes! If you have been weak, sick, or injured for 38 years and Jesus walks up to you and says “Do you want to get well?” the answer is YES! If anyone walked up and asked us that we would say yes… we might be skeptical but we would obviously want to be well.
The man’s response.. John 5:7 I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.
This invalid man thought the way he was going to be healed was for someone to push him into the water. He was trying to explain the rule to Jesus… “See Jesus… when the angel comes to trouble the water the 1st person in gets healed… so if you want to help me get well you will help me into the water.”
He had been waiting 38 years to make it into that pool… but at this moment he had Jesus Christ standing in front of him and Jesus heals him…
John 5:8-9 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
Jesus breaks the rule that was in this man’s mind. The rule that said “I have to be fast enough to get into this pool first to receive my healing…” “That pool is going to heal me…”
Could it be that you have a rule in your mind that is limiting God in your life?
- God can only talk to me at church… That’s a rule in your mind… Jesus wants to break that rule
- I have to get my life cleaned up first, then I can talk to God, then I can go back to church. God only loves people who have their act together. He loves us while we are yet sinners… let Jesus break your rule
- God is great and all, but my job is what’s really going to solve my problem I need to focus on that… this relationship is what’s really going to solve my problem… this fill-in-the-blank is what’s really going to solve my problem… this bubbling pool is what’s really going to solve my problem… if a rule in your mind has placed something between you and God, you need to let Jesus break that rule
Jesus broke the invalid’s rule. Do you want to invite Jesus to break your rules today? The invalid sat there 38 years with his rules on how to get well…
Jesus broke another rule that day…
John 5:9-16 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders persecuted Him.
The Jewish leaders see the man walking with the mat… And instead of seeing a walking miracle that glorifies God and reveals His power… they see a broken rule…
John 5:10 … the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
They would prefer the man stay an invalid rather than violate one of their rules… That sounds harsh, but these rules were very important to them. In their mind these rules came from God, and violating God’s rules is what had caused the nation of Israel to live in exile for seventy years. The leaders were DEADLY serious about the rules.. so much so, that you could be killed publicly for violating the wrong one.
The healed man… (Don’t you love that He is no longer the invalid man… we now call Him the Healed Man!) The healed man sensed the seriousness of the RULES… and it would have really stunk to have waited 38 years to be healed and then immediately killed for working on the Sabbath… so he tells them..
John 5:11 “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
IT WASN’T ME… THERE WAS THIS OTHER GUY… HE TOLD ME TO DO IT… (That’s always a great defense…)
The Jewish Leaders ask… John 5:12 “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
There is something wrong with your rules if it keeps God’s glory from being seen…
There is something wrong with your rules if it keeps Jesus from doing Jesus things…
There is something wrong with your rules if you are running up and saying “Jesus you can’t do this… don’t you know the rules.”
rule breaker Jesus
Now this rule of keeping the Sabbath… Jesus kept this rule.
The interpretation of the Sabbath that the Pharisees held was far too extreme… It was incorrect.
We don’t have time to go further into it than this… If you would like to know more or have a question about it then feel free to text our anonymous Text Line 214 856 0550
The point here is that the Jewish Leaders had their own rules and believed they were God’s rules. Redemption Church let us be careful about rules… Let us never have our own rules and enforce them as God’s rules…
So when Jesus broke their rules they then started persecuting Him as one who was breaking God’s rules.
They were standing in front of Jesus who had just worked a miracle for the lame man. Jesus could have worked a miracle for them… but they were concerned about the rules.
Jesus breaks our rules
The laws of this world… this culture… how we think… Jesus breaks those rules.
Luke 6:27-31 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
We aren’t talking about breaking the rules as in holding up a liquor store … No Jesus breaks the rules of…
If someone hates you then you hate them back…
If someone has what you want then figure out how to take it from them…
Look out for number 1…
Life is about getting rich and having more than the next person…
Jesus breaks those rules. What if we as Christ followers would break the rules like Jesus?
Would you define a Christian as a Rule Breaker or a Rule Maker?
Far too often we are more like the Jewish Leaders than like Jesus…
Now let me be clear. It’s our rules Jesus breaks. When it comes to the laws of God Jesus is the Law fulfiller
Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
Jesus is the law fulfiller… but the Jewish Leaders didn’t see that… they where trying to keep the law but at the same time attack… They attacked Jesus, but He is the Law fulfiller.
Could it be we don’t understand God’s law…?
The fulfillment of God’s law doesn’t look like shouting, and accusing, and mocking, and attacking…
The fulfillment of God’s law looks like Luke 6. The fulfillment of God’s law is love. Love for God, and love for others people, even if they just took your stuff, even if they are picking up stones to stone you.
The fulfillment of God’s law looks like Jesus! And that is a radical truth.
Jesus invites us to Live beyond the Law
Often Jesus challenges us with… Here is what the law requires… live beyond it…
In Matthew 5 He tells his followers of a law beyond “thou shalt not commit murder.” He tells them if they have anger towards brothers and sisters they are in danger of the judgment of murder.
He also tells them of a law beyond adultery. He tells them if they have lust in their heart they have already committed adultery.
Jesus goes beyond the law that says don’t steal, don’t bear false witness, don’t covet…
He says Love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus reveals to them a law that reaches beyond tablets of stone and reaches the heart of flesh.
If someone asks for your coat give it to them but don’t stop there… they could probably use your shirt also.
Jesus says if someone asks you to walk 1 mile with them… walk the 2nd mile.
If you are looking for a set of rules to follow, you’re out of luck, because Jesus breaks the rules wide open. Jesus’ rules are much more demanding. They call us not just to act, but to love.
And if you love Jesus and are trying to follow Him by obeying the rules, will you be ready for when He tries to take you beyond the rules?
I’m glad that Jesus doesn’t just live by the law. I’m glad He lives beyond the law. Grace is found beyond the law. Mercy is found beyond the law. We better be glad that Jesus has mercy on rule-breakers… because…
We are the rule breakers.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All of us are guilty. It doesn’t matter if you are a pastor or an atheist. You are a rule breaker, a sinner deserving death.
This is the rule that Jesus really breaks. According to the Law our sin deserves death, slam the book. The end. But Jesus died… so that we could be forgiven. The one perfect, sinless man died to save a world full of sinners. That doesn’t make sense according to the law, but God’s mercy, God’s grace, God’s extravagant love extends beyond the law …to us even while we are yet sinners. John puts it this way…
1 John 3:4-5 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 5 But you know that he appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin.
Amen. That’s what we’ve been talking about. Sin is lawlessness. Jesus was without sin. Jesus appeared to take away our sin. But then the very next verse gets heavy…
1 John 3:6 No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.
Does that verse give you a knot in your stomach? If not, read it again. “No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him.” But we love Jesus.? And yet we continue to sin.
We still sin. We are flawed. The fact that we still sin shows us that there are some areas of our life where we fail to see Him. We don’t know Him as Lord of that part of our life. In those moments when we sin, he’s there, but we don’t see Him.
Sometimes people look at God’s mercy and God’s grace as a license to sin. We know that no man is without sin, so why try? It doesn’t matter, God will forgive me.
That’s wrong. That’s not what it means to “live beyond the law.”When we behave that way; when we act like sin doesn’t matter we can’t see Jesus. We can’t see what he went through, how he suffered because of that sin. If we could see His broken body hanging on the cross we would never say “It doesn’t matter.”
As Christians we should strive to overcome the temptation to sin. Those are the moments where we don’t want to see Jesus. “Leave me alone Jesus. I’m doing this right now.” But those are the moments where we should long to see him, when we should be looking for Him. Those are the moments when we need to see Him.
2 Timothy 4:8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Do you long for his appearing? We should. But We are the rule breakers and so, it seems unnatural to desire to see the One whose rules we have broken, or are breaking. But we need to. He’s there whether we acknowledge Him or not. He’s aware of what we’ve done. He bore it on the cross.
We should long to see Him because it makes us better. We should long to see Him in moments when we are tempted. We should look to Him for strength to resist temptation. If there are areas of our life where we fall short, we should seek to know Him in those moments. We should seek to see Him because we love Him.
1 John 3:6 is a scary verse. The truth is, we haven’t seen Him. None of us fully know Him. We are rule breakers.
But with Jesus’ help we are trying to become better. And our hope is near…
1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
When He appears, we shall be like Him. Do you long for His appearance? When He appears, we shall be like Him. That’s when we will no longer be bound by sin.
That’s when we won’t need rules because we will finally be operating in His love. We shall be like Him. That’s how we were created to be; not like this. We shall be like him because we shall see Him as He is. We will finally see Him, not as a rule breaker, not as a harsh judge, but as a glorious savior with love beyond measure.
Do you long to see Him as He is? Do you want to know Him more deeply? That can start right now. As we look for him throughout our life, as we look for Him in moments where we’ve never seen Him before, as we get to know Him through His word, as we reach out to Him at all times. Do you long for his appearing?
He is present with us here. Right now you have the opportunity to talk to Him and get to know Him more. Whatever rules you have set up that say “You cannot talk to God”, “You cannot draw near to God” Jesus wants to break those rules right now. He is here for you. Come talk to God.
rule breaker Jesus