17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
Jesus Is Equal with God
18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
The Authority of the Son
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father[a] does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Witnesses to Jesus
30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
It's like a broken record, the way the Jews harangue Jesus about all the good things He is doing. And the chorus from this scratched song they are screaming about Jesus healing on the Sabbath is not sung with the words he healed; no, their chorus is a growly but on the Sabbath! This is no feel-good pop song.
(Never mind the paralyzed man now walking through your anger.)
[ctt template="9" link="OBH6d" via="no" ]It's a heckuva lot easier to follow rules than to open our hearts.[/ctt]
Whereas as most Jews would have withered under the heat coming from the Jewish leaders - history records this passage telling us things had progressed to the degree that they were even "seeking all the more to kill him" - Jesus, instead of backing down, ratchets up the tension by proclaiming He is equal to God.
Jesus always cuts right to the core, right to what's really going on.
Isn't that always the tension in which we find ourselves? We don't often think of ourselves as being angry toward Jesus like these leaders. We certainly don't want to hurt Him. But we sure struggle, often under the surface, with wanting to be Lord in particular areas of our lives - at least I do.
But as soon as Jesus makes this shocking announcement (an indictment), He gives us and the leaders a way out: humble service.
This man who was equal to God didn't do one thing without God's leading.
During this season of Lent, where are the places your frustration and anger, perhaps about not getting the respect you deserve, have caused you to miss the miracle walking through your outrage?
What would it look like for you to cultivate a posture of following God's lead as a humble servant as an ongoing way of living?
During this remaining season of Lent, what rhythms of life might you consider building into your daily habits that would help you sense God's leading more?
When will you start?
Image by Dominic Alves