Unless it is something He sees the Father doing.
John 5:1-23 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now in Jerusalem, by the Sheep Gate, there is a pool which in Hebrew is called Bethesda, having five porticoes. 3 In these porticoes lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, limping, or paralyzed. 5 Now a man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6 Jesus, upon seeing this man lying there and knowing that he had already been in that condition for a long time, said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk.
Now it was a Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is a Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” 11 But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Pick it up and walk’?” 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. 14 Afterward, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away, and informed the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on a Sabbath. 17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in the same way. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
In John 14:12-14 Jesus says: “Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” In today’s text He says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in the same way.” If we want to do the works that Jesus did, we need to see what the Father is doing. Jesus taught us to pray saying: Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Anything we do or pray that is contrary to the will of God is vain striving. Even what is good can hinder what is God, if it is not aligned with His will and His time.
How then do we know the will of God? How do we see what He is doing? His word instructs us what His will is, but to know His will, what He is doing for every circumstance and situation that comes before us, we need more than just to know what He said. We need to see what He is doing. We need to hear what He is saying. Isaiah 6:1-3 gives us a hint of how we are to see from God’s perspective: In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him, each having six wings: with two each covered his face, and with two each covered his feet, and with two each flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of armies. The whole earth is full of His glory.” The seraphim, who are continually in the presence of God, saw earth from the perspective of heaven. They saw that the earth was filled with the glory of God. When we look from an earthly perspective, we see the situations and circumstances of earth. We see chaos and confusion. We see tribulation. We see darkness rather than seeing the glory of God. The reason that heaven’s perspective is different than earth’s, is because when Jesus was on the cross, He said: “It is finished!” (John 19:30) Heaven sees through the lens of the finished work of the cross. Heaven sees people and all of creation as redeemed and restored through the cross according to God’s will.
How do we see from heavens view? In Psalm 37:4 the psalmist says: Delight
yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.Along with knowing His word, we need to also know Him. Only time spent in His presence will help us to know God. One of my favorite song lyrics is from Amazing Grace when it says: When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun. If ten thousand years are not enough to attain the full revelation of who God is; to know His glory, how can we think that we can know His will by spending ten minutes in His presence?
In today’s text Jesus says: “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” In Matthew 11:26-28 Jesus says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” If we will walk with Jesus and work with Him, we will see what the Father is doing. We will hear what the Father is saying and we will do the works that Jesus did. It will not be difficult. We will not strive, because Jesus Himself will do the work for us as we rest in Him.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, may I see what You are doing. May I do the works that You did. May I know You and Your will as I delight and rest in You. May I see from heavens perspective and may Your kingdom come and Your will be done, in and through my life. Amen.