By Robert Halsey Pine
“Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.’” (John 5:19-29 NRSV).
By a pool called Bethesda near the Sheep Gate at Jerusalem, Jesus had healed a man who had been ill for 38 years. He asked the man, “Do you want to be made well?” The disabled man said that he was unable to get to the pool for healing. Jesus then said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” The man was instantly healed, taking up his mat and walking. Because Jesus had done this on the Sabbath, the Jews wanted to persecute Him and kill Him. Among other things, Jesus said to the Jews who challenged Him, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.”
Jesus is always teaching us about our relationship with God His Father. He leads by His example. He calls himself the Son of Man, which is a way that He shows us that we are worthy to be in God’s presence. It is an encouragement to us that He is Man and God, and by calling Himself the Son of Man, He becomes our intercessor with God. In helping us make this Father-child connection with God through Him, the Son of God and the Son of Man, we become part of God’s eternal family.
A child looks to a parent to understand what to do with the life that it has blossomed in. This lasts for a while, but before long the child gets a mind of its own and begins to think of ways to manage its environment by itself. This is the control aspect of our lives that we have to work so hard as adults to get rid of. It blocks us from following the Lord’s lead in our lives. Christ Jesus helps us to become as children before God. Like a child looking for an example to follow, we should be in awe of Him and seek to do His will.
Jesus became our way of seeing and knowing the Father. It is through the example of His life and God’s Word that He shares with us that we can become the best of children. Jesus leads us in saying, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing.” We have been deeply touched because Jesus was so committed to helping us know and follow His Father that He gave His own life for us.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.