Jesus has just completed a stunning miracle. A man had been disabled for 38 years, unable to walk. Jesus healed him. The religious elites are furious. You can’t work on the Sabbath, including healing someone.
I need to be careful. Do I consider my religious rules more important that the results of the power of God? Jesus is about to set us all straight. Jesus is clear. Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus has a straightforward answer to the elites. “My Father is working so I will work.” Jesus claims that God is His Father and that He is equal to God. That did it. They decided to kill Him.
So Jesus explained himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing. | John 5:19-20 (The Message Bible)
Here are some key ideas to consider:
- Instead of denying their accusation, He endorsed it! If today a man made this kind of a claim, we would conclude that he was joking or mentally disturbed. Jesus was certainly not insane, and there is every evidence that He was deadly serious when He spoke these words. Either He is what He claims to be, or He is a liar; and if He is a liar, how do you explain all the good He has done in the lives of needy people? Nobody wants to trust a liar; Jesus’ disciples were willing to die for Him.
- Jesus claimed to be one with His Father in His works. If healing a man on the Sabbath was a sin, then the Father was to blame! Jesus did nothing “of Himself” but only that which the Father was doing. The Father and the Son worked together, doing the same deeds in the same way. “I and the Father are One” He says.
- When our Master came to earth as man, He submitted Himself to the Father in everything. “Lo, I come to do Your will, O God” (Heb. 10:9). He veiled His glory and laid aside the independent exercise of His divine attributes. In the wilderness, Satan tempted Him to use His divine powers for Himself; but He refused to act independently. He was totally dependent on the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit of God.
- Not only did the Father show the Son His works and enable Him to do them, but the Father also shared His love. The first three Gospels open with the Father calling Jesus “My beloved Son,” and John echoed this statement in John 3:35: “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hands.” We usually think of the Father’s love for the lost world, as in John 3:16; but we must also remember the Father’s love for His dear Son.
Because the Father loves the Son, the Father shows Him His works. The blind religious leaders could not see what Jesus was doing, because they did not know the Father or the Son. In fact, even greater works were in the Father’s plan, works that would cause them to marvel. Perhaps He had in mind the healing of Lazarus; for in John 5:21, He mentioned the raising of the dead. “And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom he wants.”