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Devotional - week of April 22, 2007


OUR FATHER IS AT WORK

 

For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working."  John 5:16-17

 

 

Jesus had just healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 long years. Because Jesus did this merciful healing miracle on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted Him and wanted to kill Him.

 

Jesus responded that His Father was at work and He was at work also. The Gospel of John quotes Jesus over a dozen times saying that He only said what the Father told Him to say, or He only did what the Father told Him to do.

 

One significant lesson from this passage of Scripture is that the Father was showing the Jews that He Himself does merciful deeds on the Sabbath in spite of the unmerciful rules created by the Jews.

 

A second significant lesson from this passage is that the Father is always at work. Since the Father directed Jesus in all His actions, the extremely active life of Jesus is a testimony that the Father is always at work.

 

When a believer lives by grace, he lives within the will and guidance of God. As in the example of the busy life of Jesus, a believer will also be very active, fruitful and, without any initiation on his part. His will be a life of responding to the continuing activity of the Father.

 

The busy life of the believer who is walking in grace is not a life of ongoing exhaustion. It is living in the flesh that drives us to fatigue. Mark records an account of Jesus and His disciples who were in a boat when a great windstorm arose. Mark 4:38 says, “But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.”

 

When the disciples returned to Jesus after teaching and healing, He commanded them to rest. He said:

 

"Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.  Mark 6:31

 

Our lives, as God works through us, will be busy, fruitful and restful.