Tremendous Claim. Astounding Humility. Amazing Example.
With great care, Jesus has just healed the man at the pool of the Bethesda. Hearing this, the Jews begin persecuting Jesus for doing these things on the Sabbath.
Jesus responds by making a claim that will rock them to their core. He is the Son of God.
My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working. John 5:17
The Jews, already angry, are now incensed that Jesus would dare “call God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18).
So Jesus explains. And as He does, He exudes an unbelievable level of humility that sets an example for each one of us.
- Jesus does exactly what He sees His Father doing.
Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. John 5:19
There is nothing that Jesus did apart from that which His Father directed. Ultimately, the fact that Jesus went to the cross is because He was on mission with His Father. His Father had a plan – a great rescue plan to save the world. And Jesus was on mission with Him. In complete and utter obedience, He “bore our sins in His body on a cross so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds we are healed” (2 Peter 2:24).
Where are you on mission with your Father? Are you following what it is you see your Father doing?
- Jesus has great power, yet He shows unbelievable humility.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father …. John 5:21-22
Jesus is the all-knowing Son of God. He is God in flesh. At His name every knee will bow. Only in Him we find salvation.
While on earth, He healed many, He cast out demons, He raised the dead. He had great power. And from this place, Jesus CHOSE humility. He set aside His majesty for the purpose of redemption. He willingly gave up His rights for us.
… although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes—the entire nature of deity], He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]. After He was found in [terms of His] outward appearance as a man [for a divinely-appointed time], He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8, Amplified
Jesus had every right to anything He wanted: wealth, fame, prosperity, renown. And yet He laid it all aside to be obedient to His Father.
The messages from this culture, this world in which we live, our enemy, scream the exact opposite of the example that Jesus set for us. They tell us that we have a “right” to act a certain way. They whisper in our ears that forgiveness is letting the one who hurt us off the hook and that we must hold on to our hurts and resentments. They tell us that submission is weak. They convince us that anger and revenge are more powerful than love and kindness. They persuade us to “always look out for number one,” because if we don’t, who else will?
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves. Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility]. Philippians 2:3-5, Amplified
Following Jesus’ example, where in your life do you sense a call to humility and submission?
- Jesus’ obedience and submission are fueled by His intimacy with His Father.
Throughout Scripture, verse after verse tells us that Jesus took time to be alone with God. His intimate, continuous communion with His Father fueled everything that He did. Even in the garden before He faced a horrific death, He poured out His heart before His Father. Then, full of power, He followed His Father’s plan with perfect obedience and submission, which ultimately led to our salvation.
Jesus is always inviting us into deeper intimacy with Himself. And it is from this place that we are empowered to do the work that He has called us to do.
Let’s press hard into Jesus today as we seek to follow the example that He so beautifully displayed for us.
Anchored in Christ,