..A Magazine for all Christians · Nº 40 · July - August 2006
Tasters from the King's Table
To see and hear the Father
"Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself save whatever he sees the Father doing: for whatever things he does, these things also the Son does in like manner... I cannot do anything of myself; as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my will, but the will of him that has sent me." (John 5:19,30).
In these two verses we have two keys to the ministry of our Lord. The Son could do nothing by himself, but only what He saw the Father doing; and he could not judge anything, but only according to what He heard from the Father. To see and to hear the Father were the two keys to His ministry. He then acted according to what He saw the Father doing, and judged according to what the Father judged.
In both verses the Lord reiterates an idea that is astonishing, considering who He was who said it: "I can do nothing by myself". The One who was most able to do the work of God, said he wasn't able to do it. What a sublime example!
The context in which this was said helps us to understand the meaning of His words even more. The Jews had accused the Lord because He had healed the paralytic on the Sabbath. Then the Lord tells them: "My Father works up to now, and I am also working". That is to say, the Lord had healed that man because the Father had decided it. The Son only did what the Father had done before.
To do and to judge as the Father does also supposes, of course, that we wait for the Father to act and to judge. The Lord waited 30 years before beginning His work. And in those 30 years he had a lot to give away. Not only that: there was a lot of need round about Him that could have motivated, and even justified, His premature action. In this context, the words stated here are laden with greater significance. The Son of God didn't move for personal reasons: neither because he had a lot to give away, nor because there was great necessity around Him.
The only correct motivation was the Father's will. If the Father acts, it must be done; if the Father judges, it is necessary to judge. The time and the circumstances are only secondary elements, subordinate to that other one which is of a higher quality.
How geat the need we have of waiting for the Father, to do and to say what he does and says!