Young children like to imitate their parents. Whatever the parent does, children want to do it too. They can’t be equal to their parents, but oh how they try. In today’s reading, however, we see a Father and Son who are equal; God the Father and God the Son, Jesus.
After Jesus healed a man at the pool called Bethesda, located by The Sheep Gate, the Jews began persecuting Jesus because He healed, or did work, on the Sabbath. This was a major taboo in Jewish Law. Jesus, being the Creator of the Sabbath, answered them this way:
“My Father is still working, and I am working also.” (John 5:17)
Here Jesus clearly states His equality with God, infuriating the leaders who wanted to remain in control of the spotlight they held in the community. Jesus, always ready to lead us deeper into truth, did not leave it at this one statement. He continued to explain what being equal with God looked like for Him and what it meant for the people. Jesus, like the Father, was concerned about saving souls, not the leaders saving face.
The glimpse into the relationship between Father and Son is precious. We see the Son only doing what the Father tells Him. The Father loves the Son. The Father gives authority to the Son to give life and to judge.
When we establish a relationship with the Son, it should look similar to the Father-Son relationship shared between Jesus and the Father God. Before Jesus returned to the Father’s presence, He spoke of how we are to live and love others as we continue to reflect the relationship of love we have with God. We should do those things faithfully. Jesus pours out His love on us so we are able to offer the invitation of eternal life to others by sharing the gospel.
Sisters, we should daily evaluate our relationship with Jesus. How’s it looking? Are we helping others develop or maintain one with Him as well? We can never be equal to the Son, but we can reflect Him in our daily lives.
1) Read John 5 and answer these 3 questions in your journal.
- a) What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- b) What do these verses tell me about others and the world around me?
- c) What do these verses tell me about me and my heart?
2) Close your time by praying for these truths to take root in your heart and for the Holy Spirit to remind you and teach you more about these things today. Be sure to write out any questions you have as you read! If you’d like to send your questions to us, we’d love to study with you!
3) Memorize John 12:25-26
After this, a Jewish festival took place, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Aramaic, which has five colonnades. 3 Within these lay a large number of the disabled—blind, lame, and paralyzed.
5 One man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and realized he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the disabled man answered, “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.”
8 “Get up,” Jesus told him, “pick up your mat and walk.” 9 Instantly the man got well, picked up his mat, and started to walk.
Now that day was the Sabbath, 10 and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “This is the Sabbath. The law prohibits you from picking up your mat.”
11 He replied, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12 “Who is this man who told you, ‘Pick up your mat and walk’?” they asked. 13 But the man who was healed did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 After this, Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well. Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.” 15 The man went and reported to the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 Therefore, the Jews began persecuting Jesus because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.
17 Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.” 18 This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill him: Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.
19 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing, and he will show him greater works than these so that you will be amazed. 21 And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to whom he wants. 22 The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all people may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
24 “Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
25 “Truly I tell 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 just as the Father has life in himself, so also he has granted to the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has granted him the right to pass judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of condemnation.
30 “I can do nothing on my own. I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of him who sent me.
31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies about me, and I know that the testimony he gives about me is true. 33 You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34 I don’t receive human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 John was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
36 “But I have a greater testimony than John’s because of the works that the Father has given me to accomplish. These very works I am doing testify about me that the Father has sent me. 37 The Father who sent me has himself testified about me. You have not heard his voice at any time, and you haven’t seen his form. 38 You don’t have his word residing in you, because you don’t believe the one he sent. 39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about me. 40 But you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
41 “I do not accept glory from people, 42 but I know you—that you have no love for God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and yet you don’t accept me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe, since you accept glory from one another but don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 47 But if you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe my words?”
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!