"Doing the Father's Will"
Gracious Lord, I turn my thoughts to You and open myself to Your spirit. Speak, Lord, as I wait before You.
Read John 5:16-30
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“If I am to be Jesus’ disciple that means I am with him to learn from him how to be like him” (Dallas Willard). Jesus’ apprenticeship to his Father provides the model for our discipleship. As he related to his Father, so we are privileged to relate to him.
In these verses, and those set for tomorrow, Jesus identifies both the nature and the origin of his ministry. He describes himself as the Father’s Son. He is the Father’s trusted representative. He imitates on earth what he sees and hears the Father do or say in heaven. The other Gospels describe Jesus’ ministry from the outside. John reveals its inner dynamic. Jesus’ identity as God’s Son is not just a theological claim. It is a lived relationship that directs, motivates and energizes his ministry. His ministry is rooted in his Father’s love.
The Father’s Sabbath rest, on the seventh day of creation, did not mean that he had ceased all further activity. It was the initial work of creation that was complete and enjoyed on that first Sabbath. He still upholds his creation and continues to act in history. As the Father is working still, so then the Son continues his distinctive work. Their work is literally life-giving, both in Jesus’ immediate ministry and in the future. Jesus shows himself to be the Father’s Son by giving life, whether restoration to health, resurrection from the dead (Lazarus), or the gift of eternal life to those who believe in him. In the future his voice will raise the dead, and he will be entrusted with the final judgment. He represents the Father and the entire Father’s authority. To honor him is to honor the Father.
Rather than honor him, the Jewish leaders set themselves on a persistent policy of persecution and lethal pursuit, but their deadly misreading of Jesus is spiritually lethal for themselves. In misreading Jesus, they misread the Father. In rejecting Jesus, they are rejecting the Father. The spiritual leaders of Israel had set themselves against the God of Israel.
What is the truth contained in verse 24? If you were to explain in your own words what this verse means, what would you say?
Lord, I want be about Your work. May my relationship with You energize, direct, and motivate me in all I do.