“Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel’” (John 5:19-20).
📷: Adapted from Siraphol
The above two verses are packed with meaning. The first begins with our Lord declaring that He can do nothing without the Father. When Jesus became human, He gave up His divine privileges. Philippians 2:7 (NIV) says that “He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” He emptied Himself. He was no longer omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. He relied completely upon His Father for wisdom, discernment, direction and power – just as the believer is reliant upon God today. Our minds go to John 15:5 in which the Lord explained how the believer can do nothing without Him: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” In short, our relationship with the Son mirrors the relationship the Son had with the Father while He walked this earth. He could do nothing without the Father and we can do nothing without the Son. Jesus set the pattern for us to follow. What is this pattern?
Jesus only did what He saw the Father do: “the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do” we read. Let us consider the original Greek of the verb translated as “sees” in this passage. Such is blepō and depending on the context in which it is used, the word can refer to your physical eyes seeing something or alternatively, your spirit perceiving something. For example, in Romans 7:23, the Apostle Paul spoke about sensing the law of sin and death within himself before He came to Christ: “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” That word translated “see” is blepō in the Greek. Here, it means perceiving with the heart rather than seeing with the eyes. And so, when Jesus spoke about “seeing” what the Father did, He was not speaking about gazing through a window into the heavenly throneroom. Rather, His heart and the heart of the Father were one. He sensed what the Father wanted and how He wanted such done. Then, He accomplished the task, hand-in-hand with the Father, the two working together. How glorious! Not merely the what but the how is important. Note how Jesus said: “the Son also does in like manner.” Such can also be translated: “the Son likewise does.” The idea is that the action of the Son and Father were always identical. Their actions were the same in quality, quantity and substance. This is how our Jesus laboured with the Father while on earth and this is how we should labour with the Son while we are on earth. What a challenge! Our hearts are to be so united with Him, our spiritual ears so attentive to His voice, that we do only what He wants done, the way He wants it done. And, we do not do it alone. He is doing it with us, His Spirit labouring in us and through us. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, this oneness becomes more and more natural. We sense what He wants. We can feel it, we know it. We run without doubt, we act without question. We want what He wants. We yearn for that for which He yearns. We are in sync with Him. We are in step with Him. People often ask me regarding In His Name, “How did you know the timing was right to do this or that?” My answer is simple: “I knew.” The timing wasn’t right until suddenly it was. I sensed it. I knew it.
Now, what I am about to share with you next is very special. Why did the Father work with the Son in this manner and consequently, why does the Son want to work with the believer in like manner? Love! “For the Father loves the Son” we read. Our Jesus yearns for complete oneness with us: oneness of heart, oneness of mind. When we called on His name for salvation and became His children, our spirits became one with His Spirit. Yet, He also desires our thoughts to be in sync with His and our desires to mimic His. This is true intimacy. This is what He wants. He wants all of us. Such intimacy, such living in step with Him, infuses our existence with true, eternal purpose. Do you crave purpose? Live in step with Him. He is purpose personified.
One last thing. “That you may marvel,” we read. While Jesus wants this unity with us because He loves us, He loves not only the believer but also those still dying in their sins. The splendid result of the overflow of love and oneness between you and God is a declaration to the world that Jesus saves! Glorifying God – in your manner, words and deeds – becomes a lifestyle. People are attracted to their Creator because of you. People want Him because of you. People marvel at Him in you and this marvelling pulls them into His arms. How fantastic!
And so, dear friend, let us mirror the pattern set by Jesus. He could do nothing without the Father. We can do nothing without Him. May our intimacy with Him increase and abound so that we can perceive what He wants deep within and act without question. In this way, we do only what we “see” Him do. The foundation of this co-labouring is His love towards us and those still bound by Satan. Its result? Precious people marvelling and being saved for all eternity. Hallelujah!