“The son can do nothing of his own accord”
In our readings in John’s Gospel we start to encounter the many statements of Jesus about how he looks to the Father for guidance; that he does nothing out of his own initiative. His response in the time of his temptation in the wilderness demonstrated this. Three times he said, “It is written”. His Father’s inspiration of the Old Testament writers was his inspiration and resultant guidance. What an example to us – and the more we read and meditate and digest the scriptures the more our inner strength develops. The words of Jesus are a prime part of that inner strength for he said, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (6:63).
We read today in Chapter 5, “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 does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing” (verses 19,20). We know the Father loves all those who commit their lives to believing in and following the Son and in making him their Lord. For this reason we specially note Jesus’ words in verse 24, “Truly, truly I say unto you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but is passed from death into life”.
This means he does not experience the judgement of condemnation. This is made plain in verses 28,29, “… an hour is coming when all in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgement”.
Jesus then goes on to make the point, “I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (verse 30). This again makes it clear that Jesus was a separate being from his Father and had a separate will, distinct from God’s. The man made doctrine of the Trinity of later centuries confused all this; theologians try to ‘escape’ from this confusion by declaring it a ‘mystery’ – but it is a man-made mystery.
Finally we noted Jesus’ words to his critics, “I know you do not have the love of God within you” (verse 42). We can talk of the love of God, but to truly love God means to have a prayerful relationship with him that transforms our lives. Daily Bible reading and meditation is an essential foundation for achieving this.