Only what he sees the Father doing ...

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. -John 5:19-20 NRSV

Isn't it interesting how Jesus responds to religious leaders who condemn him for healing on the Sabbath? He does not argue the fourth commandment, or some point of Mosaic Law, with them. In a sense, he sets himself above such dialog and asserts that his authority does not come from things written in the Law and the the Prophets but from heaven.

In this Jesus teaches us about our need to know, and be led by, the Holy Spirit. It is really not enough to know the scriptures with our heads. We must know the Word of God (i.e. Jesus) before we can understand the words of God. And in knowing Jesus we find a relationship based on his love fore us and his revelation of what he is doing to us.

Open our hearts Lord that we might believe and join you in all that you are doing around us.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.


  1. Blessings Bob; I think that when Jesus says He only does what He sees the Father do, He is illustrating very clearly the difference between living by the knowledge of God by the Spirit; as opposed to the knowledge of good and evil by the flesh.


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