"My Father Worketh Hitherto, and I Work."

(Revised notes of an address on John 5:14-30.)

How wonderful it is to think that the Son of the Father's bosom, Who alone knew its divine secrets, has become Man to tell out what God is, and to bring us into the knowledge of God and the purposes of His love. God's eternal thoughts were closed up in a scene into which man could not enter, so that they could not be spoken of by a Moses or by any of the prophets of old, but "The only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."

In chapter 3 of this Gospel, the Son of God not only speaks of "earthly things," the things concerning the kingdom of God, but also of "heavenly things," the things concerning eternal life (John 3:12). He was the expression of that eternal life, the life that was with the Father in eternity, and had come to make it known, and to die upon the cross, so that those who believed in Him might have life eternal.

In the next chapter, the Son speaks to the Samaritan woman about the worship of the Father, telling her that God did not seek the worship of Gerizim or Jerusalem, but the worship of those who should worship Him "in spirit and in truth." This worship for the Father could only be secured through the revelation of the Father in the Person of the Son, and in the power of the indwelling Spirit of God through Whom the divine life would be imparted to those who came to the Son.

Chapter 5 shows us, in the impotent man, the helplessness of man under law. Angelic ministry could give occasional relief to those who could avail themselves of it, but the Son of God came in grace to manifest a divine power that could make men superior to their circumstances. The Father had been working hitherto; now the Son was present in this world to bring to light what God had been doing, and to work in richest grace, and in sovereign love, in relation to the deep secrets that had lain hidden in the bosom of the Father.

If the Son was working, it was not independently of the Father, for He says in John 5:19, "The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." When the rest of God was broken by the entry of sin into this world, the Father commenced to work in view of another world into which sin would never enter. In unison with the Father, the Son had come to be a workman in this world, working as the loved One of the Father, "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these that ye may marvel."

Right down the ages the Son was the witness of all that the Father had wrought, and what the Son had just done in healing the impotent man was a work of the Father wrought by the Son. But there would be greater works than these that had already been manifested: the opening of the eyes of the man that was born blind was one of them, but resurrection and quickening are specially mentioned, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will" (John 5:21).

The resurrection of Lazarus was the earnest of what was to come, for the day will assuredly come when, at the bidding of the Son, "All that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil to the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28, 29). Meanwhile, the quickening voice of the Son of God is heard in the souls of men; those who hear His word, and believe in Him Who sent Him, have eternal life; and the dead, who hear His voice, receive divine life in their souls.

All judgment too has been committed to the Son, "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." The Son had come as Man into the world for the Father's glory, and the Father will take care of the honour of the One Who has glorified Him. Men have rejected the Son, and have put Him on a cross, but His glory and honour are secure in the Father's keeping. All men will yet be brought to the feet of the Son; those who have believed on Him gladly worship Him; those who have refused to honour Him in life will be compelled to bow before Him when He sits upon the judgment seat.

How great was the work of the Son of God in Manhood, yet He says, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). He was so thoroughly engaged with the Father's will that His works were in perfect unison with what the Father had been doing; and all His judgments were in the light of what the Father desired, Who had sent Him. What a wonderful contemplation this is for our hearts! We see the Son, a divine Person in Manhood, occupied only with the will of the Father, so that all His thoughts, works and judgments are in perfect consonance with that will.
R. Duncanson.