MY FATHER WORKETH
John 5:17 ¶ But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
The unity of the Trinity is a great mystery. The Apostle Paul writes to Timothy concerning the “mystery of godliness.” 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
For the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God manifest in the flesh, proclaimed both that, I and my Father are one. (John 10:30), and … for my Father is greater than I. (John 14:28) Therefore the human mind would ask, ‘Which is it?’ Of course, it is both! Speaking as the Eternal Son of God he could truthfully state that he was equal with the Father. But speaking as the Incarnate Son, the ‘servant’ of God who was in submission to God, he could state that the Father is greater.
Consider these statements from the pen of the Apostle John. First, how he speaks of the Trinity. 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Next consider how John speaks of the relationship within the Trinity. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
First we notice that he speaks of the Eternal Son as the Word. Then he affirms that the Word both was God, and was with God from the beginning. Then he instructs us that the Eternal Word was made flesh, and dwelt among the human race. For God becoming Incarnate did not change his nature. He continued to be very God! But becoming man, changed the manifestation of that nature! Therefore, in his nature, God never ceased being what he always was. But in his manifestation in flesh, he became that which he had never been.
And why did He determine to put on the robe of flesh and become visible? Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
He became flesh in order that he might be a sacrifice to destroy the works of Satan and deliver the peoples of God. And he rose from the dead in that same flesh in order that he might ascend to make intercession as their great High Priest. Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Now we come to our text to seek out just how the Father communicates with the Son. For the Lord Jesus instructs us in verse seventeen that it was also God the Father, who did the ‘work’ of healing the impotent man on the Jews Sabbath. That means that the oneness of the Father and Son, who had the fullness of the Holy Spirit, (John 3:34), provides instant inspiration from the Father to the Son for the work that he did in his earthly ministry.
Consider verses nineteen and twenty of our text. In them we read the Son can only do the works that he “seeth the Father do.” And then he states that the Father “sheweth him all things that himself doeth.”
Lets take the example that our Lord sets forth in verse twenty-one. There he speaks of the Father raising the dead and quickens, or enlivens them. Then he states that this is how the Son enlivens those whom he wills. Now we go to John chapter eleven to study the event of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Notice the Lord’s prayer to the Father. John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
There had to have been some inner, unspoken communion between the Father and Son, by the Holy Spirit in order for the Lord to pray that the Father had already heard his prayer. For there is no prayer listed in this scripture before this one. Therefore he states, thou hearest me always. And then he instructs just why he is then audibly speaking forth this prayer. He states that it is for the sake of those standing by him!
This is that which the true believer is to do. He is to pray without ceasing. (1 Thess 5:17). That is his thoughts are to always be in an awareness of God. 2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
For the only previous sound that we can find that the Lord makes at that cave is that groan listed in verse 38. And THAT was the ‘prayer’ which the Son communicated to the Father. For we read in John 11:38, Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. And we read that the Spirit’s communication of our soul’s to the Father is by groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Therefore as the Lord has stated in John 5:21, it was the Father raising the dead, even so it was also the Son doing so! Again – I and the Father are one!
Even our Lord’s speech, as ours should be, was governed by his union with the Father! John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Therefore when we read of his final words on the cross, we can find another passage where in the Spirit guided those words. John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
And then we can find this set forth in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, expressing also the lightning swiftness of the thoughts of the Father into the heart and mouth of the Son. Revelation 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
For immediately after the lightning flash of thought comes the resulting accomplishment of the earth’s quake. Matthew 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Consider these verses which also show the swiftness of God’s inspiration to the soul: Ezekiel 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.
Psalm 147:15 He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
This communication within the Trinity provides also the source of faith! We know that the Lord Jesus is the author of faith! Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; And we know that faith cometh by hearing! Therefore as the Son heard the promptings and inspirations of the Father by the Holy Spirit, he became the author of eternal faith! For Romans 10:17 states, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. John 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge:
The hearing of the Father’s voice by the Son is the source of faith! The Holy Spirit’s work in this provides the force of faith. And those believing as they hear the gospel is the course of faith! And this unbroken line of hearing by the Holy Spirit provides the victory which overcomes the world! 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
For God is love. 1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. And love is both the source and force of faith! Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
But before closing, let us not fail to observe that word “hitherto” in verse seventeen of our above listed text. It is the same Greek word translated “until now” in John 2:10. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance states that it is an “adverb of continuance.” So, just what is the Lord saying? He is saying that his Father may have rested the seventh day from creating. But he has never ceased from both preserving or governing his creation. Therefore the Father did work on that first sabbath, and on all thereafter!
For since the Father and the Son are one, the same may be said of both. And it is said of the Son, “by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17) That is, by him all things “stand together.” We were given a glimpse of this at the physical death of the Son of God. For at the cross it seemed that the world became unglued! Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
It is the person and presence of God which gives mankind ability of continuance! Acts 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
And this shall be perfected in the unity and oneness of the Trinity and all borned again believers throughout eternity! 1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. God being all in all, is God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, in their eternal and highest glory, made one along with the redeemed and glorified church throughout eternity.
John 17:20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Pastor Gene Breed
September 14, 2018