October 8 (Daily reading: John 5, NIV) The Jews had a three-fold problem with Jesus. First, He had healed a man and then He had told the man to take up his pallet and walk. This had occurred on the Sabbath when both of these things were forbidden. The third problem arose when they confronted Jesus. He told them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (v. 17). By calling God His Father, He was making Himself equal to God. In fact, He was saying that His work and the Father’s work were identical. In other words, His healing the man on the Sabbath had been the work of God! Making such a claim infuriated them, and they “tried all the harder to kill Him” (v. 18).
It is profitable to us that Jesus had this discussion with the Jews because it reveals an important principle about how we can do God’s work. Jesus explained further what He meant: “The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does” (v. 19-20). His relationship with the Father was so intimate that He would always know what the Father was doing, and He could join Him!
Henry Blackaby described Jesus’s point of view: “The Father has always been working. Now He has Me working. I do nothing of my own initiative. I watch to see what the Father is doing, and I do the same thing. The Father loves Me and shows Me everything that He Himself is doing” (Experiencing God, page 65). We must maintain an intimate relationship with God which will allow Him to reveal to us all that He is doing. Then we can join Him in His work.
– Al Gary