Jesus’ Deity in His Works

“Jesus answered and was saying to them, ‘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. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel’” (John 5:19–20).

For a mere man to claim to be God was, to the Jews, outrageous blasphemy. Therefore if they had misunderstood Him, Jesus surely would have immediately and vehemently denied making such a claim. But instead, He became even more forceful and emphatic. In the strongest possible terms, the Lord assured His hearers that what He said to them was true.

He further defended His healing on the Sabbath by tying His activities directly to those of the Father. “The Son can do nothing of Himself,” Jesus declared, “unless it is something He sees the Father doing.” He always acted in perfect harmony with and subordination to the Father’s will. Thus His works paralleled those of the Father in both their nature and extent: “for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” Christ’s statement is a clear declaration of His own divinity.

Jesus continued by declaring that the Father would show Him still greater works. His healing of the crippled man had amazed the crowds. But in obedience to the Father, Jesus predicted that He would perform even more spectacular deeds—deeds that would make His listeners marvel.

Ask Yourself
Is there any application of this principle for us—observing what the Father is doing, and then participating in those very things “in like manner”? How could this become more than a theory, shielded from human error? What would be some of the expected results from this kind of lifestyle and ministry approach?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610