What Does John 5:19 Mean?

Therefore 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.

John 5:19(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

John's gospel was written in order that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living, invisible, immortal God, and that by believing in Him we may have life in His name.

But in order to carry out the will of His Father, the eternal Son of God had to humble Himself and be born into the human race as a perfect Man. He had to lay aside His heavenly glory and be clothed in a human body of flesh and blood.. for a season. He had to be born into His own creation and identify with us, in every possible way.. and He had to willingly sacrifice His life, and shed His own blood, so that His propitiatory death and glorious resurrection would satisfy God's wrath against sin, and be sufficient to pay the full price for the sin of the whole world - and that by believing on His name we might have life eternal.

Throughout the gospel we discover many places that Jesus claims equality with the Father.. for He is the Word made flesh. He is God incarnate, Who as the eternal Word of God.. came to live amongst us as the perfect Son of Man.

He is the Lord of the Sabbath Who has power to forgive sins. He is the Lord of Creation who has authority over the forces of nature. He authenticated His claims to deity through His mighty miracles, which were prophesised in the Scriptures, and He claimed eternal, equality with the God of Israel; the Lord of Hosts - with His declaration: before Abraham was I AM.

There are many, however, who like to suggest that Jesus did not lay claims to deity, because He proclaimed: Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do NOTHING of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing. There are those that suggest that He is here declaring His inferiority to the Father, which contradicts so many passages in the Bible, where Christ refers to Himself by the holy name of God - “I AM'

Christ is not suggesting that He is inferior to the Father, or has less importance than the Lord God.. for He is fully God as well as being fully man. However, the life He lived was to reflect the will of the Father.. and the Father's will was reflected in all Christ said and did. He said nothing that was against the Father's will and He did nothing that was in preference to it.

His comment here does not suggest inferiority or inability.. but an intimacy with the will of His heavenly Father, a delight in carrying out His perfect will and an intimate communion between Them, that cannot be broken.

It demonstrated a life that is in full and total harmony with the will of the almighty God Himself.. for the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing. To do something other than His Father's will would have been a shocking impossible.. for the Son of God loves the Father and the Father loves the Son with a love that is unfathomable and eternal - and so whatever the Father does.. are the things the Son also does, in like manner.

Jesus came to earth to fulfil, to the letter, the Father's perfect will. He listened to His Father's voice and was directed in all things to do His Father's pleasure. Nothing that Christ did in His life was independent or in opposition to the will of God.. for Christ lived His life as God determined that all humanity should live - in perfect harmony with the will of the almighty God, to His praise and glory.

May we follow this perfect example of a man.. that lived His life under the direction of the Spirit of God. May our lives become a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable in the sight of God - only saying and doing those things that are pleasing in His sight - to His honour and glory.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful example of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who laid aside His heavenly glory to be made in the likeness of sinful flesh so that in carrying out Your will, He paid the price for the sin of the world, and demonstrated the way that all Your sons and daughters should live - in humble obedience to Your will.. only saying and doing those things that we hear from You. Help me to live my life to Your praise and glory in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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