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18 March 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading:  John 5.17-30

We do not know for certain, but it is likely that Jesus learned the trade of a carpenter from Joseph in his workshop at their home in Nazareth. It may be with this background in mind that Jesus now tells us that ‘The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing.’ Having taken the place of son/apprentice in the carpenter’s shop, Jesus now works with his Heavenly Father, mending, creating, making all things new.

There is also a wonderful timeless promise here. It is that there are always even greater works of God yet to be seen. ‘The Father raises the dead and gives them life, and the Son gives life to whomsoever he wishes.’ The same power as raised Jesus from the dead is at work in the world today, and is at work in us, through the Holy Spirit (Romans 8.11, Ephesians 1.20).

In all this work Jesus acknowledged his utter dependence on the Father. He says he can do nothing on his own, and that he has no purpose other than his Father’s will. He doesn’t have his own independent agenda. This is unlike so many of us, who have a long list of things we would like our Father in heaven to do for us.

We may well be astonished at what God has done already in Jesus – but in Christ God is always bringing new life where there has been death, and new hope when there has been despair.  In Christ we can look forward with joy and hope, as we pray with Him, ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’

 Today’s Gospel Reading:  John 5.17-30

But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is still working, and I also am working.’ For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.

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. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomsoever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son, so that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Anyone who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgement, but has passed from death to life.

‘Very truly, I tell you, the 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. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.