We Work Because He Works

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically today’s passage begins with the thirty-first verse of the fifth chapter and continues through to the fourteenth verse of the sixth chapter. “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and. Ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father Himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:31-47). “After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberius. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath give barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (John 6:1-14). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the continuation of that which was previously written in the fifth chapter. The fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John begins with an account of Jesus returning to the city of Jerusalem at the time of one of the Jewish feasts. Scripture doesn’t reveal which of the feasts was actually taking place there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem when Jesus returned to the city—only that Jesus returned to the city. This would now be the second time within this New Testament gospel narrative in which the Lord Jesus would indeed return unto the city of Jerusalem for in the second chapter you will recall that He entered into the city of Jerusalem and would even enter into the Temple. It would be in the second chapter of this gospel narrative we find and read Jesus creating and fashioning a small scourge of cords which He would use to drive out those who bought and sold within the Temple. What’s more is that it would be here in the midst of the city of Jerusalem Jesus would not only drive out those who bought and sold in the Temple but would also overturn the tables of money. In addition to this Jesus would drive out all the merchandise which was present within the Temple of the living God thus creating at atmosphere free of commerce and merchandise in the sight and presence of the living God. It would be during one of the feasts celebrated by the Jewish people that this cleansing of the Temple would indeed take place and it would in fact be something that would so anger and infuriate the Jews that they would not only ask of Him what sign He gave them to perform such actions but would also seek to destroy Him. Consider if you will Jesus’ first trip to the city of Jerusalem and how He would enter into the Temple and cleanse it by overturning the tables of money, driving out the moneychangers and casting out those who bought and sold: “After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and divers, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scrounge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:12-17). “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:18-25). If you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that Jesus went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brethren and His disciples. At the time of the Jewish feast of the Passover Jesus would journey unto the city of Jerusalem and would come unto the Temple. It would be there in the midst of the court of the Temple Jesus would see and observe all the commerce and merchandise which would take place in the midst of it. As a direct result of this and the zeal which was present within the heart and soul of the Lord Jesus He would fashion a scourge of cords and would immediately proceed to overturning the tables of money and pouring out all the money therein. Moreover Jesus would cast out those who bought and sold and would drive out the money changers in addition to instructing them to take those things which were sold out of His Father’s house. It would be here in the midst of the city of Jerusalem the Lord Jesus would instruct those present in the midst of the Temple to take these things out of His Father’s house and not to make that house a house of merchandise. Oh how incredibly unique and interesting this is when you truly take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to Jesus’ first trip unto the city of Jerusalem—at least as it was written and recorded within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John. This would indeed be Jesus’ first time in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and it would be here where He would not only cleanse the Temple by overturning the tables of money and driving out the money changes and those who bought and sold but also performing miracles among them in their midst. A little known reality which is present in this passage of Scripture is how many believed in his name when they saw the miracles which he did. As you read the words present in this passage of Scripture you will find that in the midst of the city of Jerusalem Jesus didn’t merely cleanse the Temple of its commerce and merchandise but He would also perform many miracles among them in their midst. I would dare say that there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem Jesus would cleanse the Temple and would also offer cleansing to those who needed it. Oh the apostle John doesn’t reveal the miracles which Jesus did during those days in which He would spend in the midst of the city of Jerusalem—only that Jesus did miracles among them in their midst. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when considering the words which are present in this passage of Scripture for during this first visit to the city of Jerusalem Jesus would not only cleanse the Temple but He would also perform miracles among the Jews in their midst. During this feast of the Jews which was the Passover—and during the feast day—many believed on His name when they saw the miracles which He had performed among them in their midst. It would be here during this first visit unto the city of Jerusalem we find the convergence of cleansing and miracles—both of which are so incredibly vital within our hearts, within our lives and even within our churches today. In all reality that which we find in this particular passage of Scripture—the convergence of cleansing and miracles which would undoubtedly include physical healing and cleansing—appears to be directly aligned with that which we find in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles. It is in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles we find the living and eternal God speaking unto Solomon by a dream after his prayer of dedication and consecration of the Temple which was present in the midst of the Temple. In fact it’s quite interesting to see the connection between the finishing of the Temple, the dedication and consecration of the Temple, Solomon’s prayer before the living God, and the Lord’s response to Solomon during the night by a dream. Oh with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles beginning to read with the fifth chapter: “Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father was dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:1). “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (For all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the alter, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets) It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick; and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth fo ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:11-14). “Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever. And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart: notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name. The LORD therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, that he made with the children of Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:1-11). “…Now my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. Now therefore arise, O LORD God into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant” (2 Chronicles 6:40-42). “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3). “Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house, he prosperously effected. And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:11-14). It’s in this passage of Scripture where the LORD God emphatically promises and proclaims unto Solomon that if His people which were called by His name would humble themselves, and pray, and seek his face and turn from their wicked ways then would He hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land. Oh we must needs recognize and understand that which is found in this passage of Scripture for within it we find the LORD responding to humility, we find the Lord responding to prayer, we find the Lord responding to repentance, and we find the LORD responding to the seeking of His face with hearing from heaven. It would be in that hearing from heaven that He would not only forgive sins but would also heal the land. This is something that warrants strong consideration for when we think about the LORD’s hearing from heaven we must recognize and understand that forgiveness of sins is the primary focus for the nation and the people and the healing of the land is secondary and a byproduct. We as the people of God must needs recognize that we have indeed been called to humble ourselves, to pray, to seek His face and to turn from our wicked ways and that in response to this the living God can and will hear from heaven. Directly connected to the LORD God’s hearing from heaven will not only come forgiveness of sins but also the healing of the land. This is something we dare not ignore nor neglect for what we find in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is a powerful demonstration and picture—not only of the cleansing of the Temple but also of the miracles which the Lord Jesus would indeed perform in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It is in the second chapter where we find the cleansing of the Temple that the house of the Father might be a house of prayer unto all nations as well as where we will find many believing on the the Lord Jesus because of the miracles which He would indeed perform among them. During Jesus’ first visit unto the city of Jerusalem He would indeed enter into the Temple and cleanse it of the commerce and merchandise which was sold in it. It would be there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem Jesus would enter into the Temple and would drive out the money changers, would drive out those who bought and sold and would overturn the tables of money. In addition to this Jesus would pour the moneychangers’ money and would command those who sold doves to take those things out hence and make not His Father’s house a house of merchandise. Oh we must needs recognize and understand that which is found in this passage of Scripture for this would not only be the time when Jesus would cleanse the Temple and would perform many miracles among them but it would also be the first recorded time within the gospel when Jesus would reference God as His Father. It’s important for us to recognize that when we come to the fifth chapter of this same gospel that wasn’t the first time Jesus would refer to God as His Father. It is in the second chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative we find and read of Jesus commanding those who sold doves to take those things hence and not to make His Father’s house a house of merchandise. Oh please pay close attention to this for there is something truly astonishing and powerful about Jesus’ first allusion to God as His Father. It would be in the contest of cleansing the Temple Jesus would indeed reference God as His Father for it would be Jesus who would speak of the Temple as His Father’s house—and not only as His Father’s house but also that His Father’s house ought to be a house of prayer. Please pay careful and close attention to this for it highlights and underscores something else which would take place in the midst of Jesus’ first journey unto the city of Jerusalem—namely His speaking of the Temple as being the house of God and that the Temple was the house of God who was His Father. If you want to truly understand the words and language which are presented in the fifth d chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John I find it absolutely necessary that we not only understand the context of God as the Father of the eternal and only begotten Son Jesus but also how that revelation was manifested within Scripture. In order to truly understand this revelation of Jesus who was born of a virgin and how the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob would indeed be His Father we must begin back in the beginning within the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew as well as the beloved physician Luke. What’s more is we must also consider the narrative of the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan River when the heavens were opened and a voice spoke from heaven concerning Him. We must also consider the emphatic declaration which John the Baptist would make concerning Jesus which the apostle John recorded in the first and opening chapter of this gospel. Not only this but we must also consider that which Andrew, Philip and Nathanael declared and proclaimed about Jesus which is recorded for us in the first chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John. As if this weren’t enough it is also necessary for us to consider Simon Peter’s confession and profession concerning Jesus in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi as it was written in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew as well as the voice which would speak from heaven as it was written by the same author in the very next chapter. This would also warrant the second confession and profession which was made by Simon called Peter was it was written and recorded in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. With all of this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privileges. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: For he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the LORD by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the LORD had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS” (Matthew 1:18-25). “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. HE shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Hightgest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said mary unto the angel, how shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:26-38). “Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey: and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy fathers and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, how is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increase in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:41-52). “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John for bad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice form heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mathew 3:13-17). “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore and I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (John 1:29-34). “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is being interpreted, the Christ. ;And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone” (John 1:35-42). “The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael’s coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man” (John 1:43-51). “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that you art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ” (Matthew 16:13-20). “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias; who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen” (Luke 9:28-36). “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve” (John 6:66-71). There is a great need to pay close attention to the words which are found within these passages of Scripture for beginning with the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary in the town of Nazareth the revelation of Jesus as the Son of the Highest would be brought forth into the earth. It would be unto Mary that the revelation of the child born unto her would be the Son of the Highest would indeed be manifested and brought forth into the earth for the very first time. Twelve years later after the child was born and was now the age of twelve we find them finding Him in the Temple sitting with the teachers and the doctors of the Law asking them questions and answering their questions. It would be here in this context mary and Joseph would find the young Jesus and would ask Him why He had behaved thus for they had been diligently and eagerly searching for Him. It would be in response to this the young Jesus would ask them why they searched for Him and whether or not they knew and understood that he must needs be about His Father’s business. This would indeed be the second manifestation of the revelation of Jesus as the Son of the Highest and that God was indeed His Father—this despite the fact that those who were present perhaps had absolutely no idea or understanding who He was referring to as His Father. Eighteen years later we find Jesus coming unto John the Baptist at the Jordan River desiring of him to be baptized and after John had baptized Him He came forth out of the waters and a supernatural encounter would take place. There at the Jordan River the heavens were opened before and unto Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the bodily form of a dove and the voice of the living God spoke from heaven and proclaimed that this was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. It would be what took place here that would be the foundation for the proclamation John the Baptist would make after baptizing Jesus and after seeing Him in person for He would not only refer to Him as the Lamb of God but would also refer to Him as the Son of God. If you continue reading within the Scriptures you will find two distinct accounts where Simon called Peter would indeed proclaim and declare that Jesus was the Son of the living God. It would be in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi Simon Peter would declare that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of the living God. Not only this but Simon Peter would also make another declaration concerning Jesus that He was indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God when Jesus asked the twelve if they too would turn and walk back no more with Him. All of this is in addition to that which Nathanael would proclaim concerning Jesus after Jesus spoke of seeing him under the fig tree as Nathanael would declare Jesus as being the Son of God and the King of Israel. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this for when you come to the gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew, John. Mark and the physician Luke you will find them each writing of the encounter which Peter, James and John had atop the mountain when Jesus was transfigured before them in their sight. It would be there atop the mountain where Sa bright cloud would overshadow them and a voice would speak from the midst of the cloud and would proclaim that this was His beloved Son. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly astonishing and powerful about the progression of the revelation of Jesus as the Son of the living God—from the declaration of the angel Gabriel, to Jesus’ words at the age of twelve, to the words of John the Baptist, to the words of Nathanael, to the words of Simon Peter, and even to the words of the living and eternal God. It would be in the second chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative we find Jesus referring to the Temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem as His Father’s house thus directly linking and connecting Himself God—and not only to God but also that God was indeed His Father. This is something which warrants strong consideration for it brings us face to face with a powerful revelation found within this gospel account written by the apostle John concerning the revelation of the Lord Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. In fact the reality of Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God would indeed be written and expressed in the first chapter in even greater measure before the witness and testimony which was recorded of John the Baptist and the words he spoke. If you begin reading with and from the sixth verse you will find the apostle John emphatically writing concerning the revelation of the eternal and only begotten Son and how John the Baptist was a man sent from God as a witness to bear witness of the lIght that all men through Him might believe. It is in this first and opening chapter where we find additional support for the revelation of the Lord Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God beginning with the sixth verse of the chapter. I am absolutely convinced we must needs consider these words for they call and draw our attention to the incredible and beautiful truth surrounding the revelation of Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God who did indeed become flesh and dwell among us. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning with the sixth verse and continuing through to the eighteenth verse: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:6-18). Here in this passage of Scripture we find the revelation of Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God continuing for it is here where it is written how no man has seen God at any time save the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father who hath declared Him. How absolutely beautiful and wonderful these words truly are for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the revelation of the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God and how Jesus was [and still is] the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God. What a truly wonderful and captivating truth this is when you consider the revelation of the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God and how He did indeed come in the form of human flesh that he might dwell among us. It is this revelation of Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God which we must needs come to terms with and acknowledge within our hearts for it was a tremendous stumbling block for the Jews as we will see in the fifth chapter of this New Testament gospel. What’s more is that with this being said you will find in the third chapter of this gospel Jesus speaking with Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. It would be Nicodemus who would come unto Jesus by night and not only refer to Him as a teacher which came from God but also that God was with Him as evidenced by the miracles which He did [perhaps the miracles which were referenced in the final verses of the second chapter]. It would be Nicodemus who would indeed speak unto Jesus and acknowledge Him as a Teacher which came from God and that God was with Him and it would be unto this ruler of the Jews and Pharisees Jesus would once more speak of the revelation of God as His Father and of Himself as the Son. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the third chapter of this New Testament gospel beginning with the tenth verse: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, ad knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:10-21). It is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize and understand this revelation of Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God for when coming to the fifth chapter of this gospel we find it as being a stumbling block for the Jews. It is in the fifth chapter of this gospel where we find Jesus healing a man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years and dwelt and abode in one of the porches at the pool of Bethesda. Jesus would show up and ask this man a very pointed, personal and powerful question—namely whether or not he wanted to be made whole. In response to Jesus’ question this man would speak of his not having a man to help him down into the waters when they are stirred. Not only this but this man would also declare that when he was in fact making his way down to the waters another would step into the waters ahead of and before him and we would be forced to return unto his place within the five porches. Jesus would respond to this man’s words by commanding him to rise, to take up his bed and to walk. Immediately this man received strength in his physical body and arose from his place and would take up his mat whereupon he had been lying for years. This man would depart from the five porches and the pool of Bethesda and would walk through the streets of Jerusalem carrying his mat. It would be this evidence and witness of his healing that would anger and offend the Jews for they would rebuke him for carrying his mat on the sabbath day. The man who was healed answered them and spoke of the man which spoke unto him was the same one who declare unto him that he take up his bed and walk. The Jews would inquire as to who this man was who would command him to take up his bed and walk, however, this man knew not who it was that healed him for Jesus had conveyed himself way given a multitude was in that place. The apostle John goes on to write that afterward Jesus found this man in the temple and declared unto him that he was made whole while also commanding him to go and sin no more lest a worse thing come unto him. The man would then depart and declare unto the Jews that it was Jesus which had made him whole. It is in this context of the words which this man who had been healed and restored declaring unto the Jews how it was Jesus who had made him whole we come to the sixteenth verse of this chapter and the rest of the encounter which would take place between Jesus and the Jews. Beginning with the sixteenth verse of this chapter we find the Jews persecuting Jesus and seeking to slay Him because He had done these things on the sabbath day. What makes this all the more astonishing and real when you take the time to consider it is when you read of Jesus’ response to the Jews’ desire and intention of slaying Him while also persecuting Him. Jesus would answer the Jews simply by declaring how His Father worked and how He also worked. Oh it would be these words that would so anger and outrage the Jews for not only would they persecute and seek to slay Him but now the apostle John goes on to write how the Jews sought all the more to kill him—not only because he had broken the sabbath (at least according to their own rules and traditions) but because He had also said that God was his Father thus making Himself equal with God. This is something which warrants strong consideration for if you read the four gospel narratives you will find the Jews continuing to ask and demand of Jesus a sign to prove and demonstrate the authority He walked in and that He had power to do those things which He would do. Not only this but here in this passage we find the Jews being outraged, incensed, angered and offended with the Lord Jesus because He had not only broken the sabbath but had also said that God was His Father thus making Himself equal with God. It would be this revelation of God as His Father that would so anger and outrage the Jews that they would indeed seek all the more to kill and put Him to death. The Jews did indeed persecute and seek to slay Jesus because he had broken the sabbath, however, they sought to put Him to death all the more when He had spoken of God as His Father which would have indeed made Him equal with God. Oh it’s important to recognize and understand that the Jews could not accept, nor believe, nor even receive Jesus as the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God which would be in direct alignment with the words written in the first chapter of this gospel concerning Jesus coming unto His own and His own receiving Him not. In all reality I find the words which are found in this passage of Scripture incredibly intriguing and captivating when you take the time to think about them for in response to the Jews’ persecution of Jesus He would deliberately and intentionally declare unto them how His Father worked and how He Himself also worked. The Jews could not handle this revelation from the Lord Jesus—this same Jesus who earlier had spoken in the Temple and commanded all those who bought and sold in the Temple to take those things hence from the Temple that they not make His Father’s house a house of merchandise. Oh if there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s this personal revelation of the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God and how God was indeed His Father. It would be in this passage and on this occasion Jesus would declare and proclaim unto them how His Father worked and how He Himself worked. When the Jews sought all the more to put Him to death and kill Him Jesus would go on to declare how the Son could do nothing of himself but He saw the Father do. Those things whatsoever the Father doeth would indeed be those things which the Son would do likewise and the same. Oh please pay close attention to this for within this passage we find a powerful principle that must needs be applied to our own lives. It is in this passage of Scripture Jesus would declare how His Father was working and it was because His Father was working that He Himself must needs work. What’s more is that Jesus would go on to declare that He being the Son could do nothing of Himself but only that which He saw the Father do. Jesus would go on to declare that whatsoever things the Father was working and doing in the earth it would be those things which the Son would Himself do. It would be these words that would not only reveal how the Father was indeed working in the earth but it was because the Father worked in the earth that we also work according to that which the Father was doing. Not only this but the revelation that is found here is that the Father was indeed and still is in fact working in the earth and we are invited to come alongside and partner together with Him in the work which He is doing. THE WORK OF THE FATHER AND THE PARTNERSHIP OF THE SON! THE WORK OF THE FATHER AND THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SON! THE WORK OF THE FATHER AND THE FULFILLMENT OF THE SON! I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be absolutely captivated with the language of the Son and the revelation of the Father. If you take the time to read the words found in this passage of Scripture you can and will find the revelation of the Father through the language and words of the Son as the Son would once more express and speak of the Father. In response to the Jews persecuting Jesus and seeking to slay Him Jesus would not only speak of the Father but would also speak of how the Father works and was working in the earth. It would be Jesus who would declare that His Father worked and that it was in direct response and relation to His Father working that He was working. Oh please don’t miss the incredible importance of what is found here in this passage of Scripture for what is presented here is a core principle which must be exercised within our own lives. That which Jesus expresses in and through these words is that the Father worked and was working and it was because the Father worked that He Himself must also work. It was because the Father worked in the earth that Jesus Himself was sent into the earth to work alongside, with and as a manifestation and extension of the Father. If there is one thing we must needs understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that the Father was indeed working in the earth—something which is truly astonishing when you take the time to consider that until the time of John the Baptist and quite possibly even until the time of the angelic visitations of Gabriel there were four hundred years of silence which had ensued upon the earth. That silence had indeed been broken through the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist we find and read that in addition to the word which he would proclaim the Father would begin working in the earth. THE FATHER IS WORKING AGAIN! THE FATHER IS WORKING AGAIN! I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am gripped with the tremendous truth that Jesus declared of the Father that He was indeed working in the earth—not only that He was indeed working but that He had been working. There is a tremendous truth that is found within this passage of Scripture and how Jesus demonstrates the incredible and beautiful reality that His Father was indeed working in the earth and it was because His Father was working that He Himself needed to work in the earth. The Father was working in the earth and it would be that work of the Father which the Son would manifest and exercise in the earth. WE WORK BECAUSE HE WORKS! Oh if there is one thing this passage demonstrates and reveals unto us it’s that we work within the earth simply because we witness and observe the Father working in the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth of the work which the Father produces within the earth and how it is that work which we come alongside of that we might partner together with Him. What makes this all the more astonishing and intriguing when you take the time to thinka bout it is when you find that Jesus spoke unto the disciples in Samaria how He had meat which they knew not of. When the disciples inquired and were curious as to what meat Jesus had which they weren’t aware of He would declare that His meat was to do the will of Him who had sent Him and to finish His work. Oh pay very close attention to this for within these words we not only find mention of the will of the Father but we also find the work of the Father—both of which are intrinsically connected and linked to each other. We cannot, we dare not and must not make any attempt to separate the will of the Father from the work of the Father for the two are intrinsically linked and directly connected to each other. What’s more is that directly connected to this are the words which the prophet Isaiah prophesied and proclaimed during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah which is recorded in the fifty-fifth chapter of the prophetic book which bears his name. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this passage of Scripture beginning to read with and from the sixth verse: “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteousness man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not yhour thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing where to I sent it” (Isaiah 55:6-11). We must needs pay close attention to the words presented in this passage for within it we find the word of the LORD being proclaimed through Isaiah concerning the word which the living and eternal God being sent forth into the earth. It would be the prophet Isaiah who would proclaim that just as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven and does not return but waters the earth and makes it bring forth and bud so also would the word be which proceeded from the mouth of the LORD. Moreover the word of the LORD would also declare that His word would not return void but would accomplish that which He pleased and would prosper in the thing where to He sent it. There is a great need for us to recognize and pay close attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture—particularly and especially when considering the words in the fourth and fifth chapters of this gospel written by the apostle John—for in these two chapters we find the Lord Jesus declaring that His meat, His food, His nourishment, His sustenance was to do the will of the Father and to finish his work. What’s more is that in the wilderness it would be Jesus who would quote the Law unto the tempter and declare that man should not live by bread alone but by every word which proceeded out of the mouth of God. If there is one thing we need to recognize concerning the Lord Jesus it’s that He not only lived off and according to every word which was spoken by the living and eternal God but His meat and sustenance was to do the will of the One who sent Him and to finish His work. The living and eternal God had indeed sent forth the Son into the earth to accomplish and fulfill His will and to complete and finish the work whereunto He had been sent unto and among men. It would be in the fourth chapter Jesus would directly link and connect the will of the Father and the work of the Father and this is something which must needs be carefully considered within our own lives. It was the apostle Paul who emphatically admonished the saints of Rome to be transformed by the renewing of their minds that they might prove the good and acceptable will of the living God. It was also the apostle Paul who declared that God had given us everything pertaining to life and godliness. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the epistle written unto the Roman saints as well as the words which are found in the first chapter of the epistle written unto the Philippian saints: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:1-3). “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye are all partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:3-11). As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to return to the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John for within it we find Jesus speaking of His direct relationship to the Father. It is in the seventeenth verse of this chapter Jesus emphatically declares and proclaims that His Father works and that He Himself works—a reality that is in direct alignment with the declaration that His meat was to do the will of the One who had sent Him and to finish His work. Moreover Jesus would declare unto the Jews that the Son could do nothing of Himself but only what He saw the Father doing for whatever the Father was doing in the earth that also the Son was doing in the same manner. The question I can’t help but ask myself is whether or not there indeed two different works which were being done during those days which weren’t contrary to each other but were in fact in perfect union and harmony with each other. Jesus spoke of the Father working and the Father doing and performing in the earth and that He Himself as the Son does likewise. The question I can’t help but ask is whether or not the work which the Son was doing was the manifestation of the work the Father was doing for the Father was working through the Son or whether or not there was the work of the Father and the work of the Son being performed in the earth. I am inclined to declare that the Father was indeed working in the earth through, by and according to the Son. Jesus would emphatically declare and proclaim unto the Jews that His Father worked and therefore He Himself also worked. Jesus admitted that He could do nothing of Himself but what he saw the Father do for whatever things the Father did in the earth that also the Son did likewise. Not only this but the Lord Jesus also declared that the Father loved the Son and showed Him all things that Himself did. I find myself being absolutely captivated by the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the work of the Father and the work of the Son in the earth. The work of the Father and of the Son extended beyond merely healing and making whole a man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years. Jesus would go on to declare the work of the Father as raising up the dead and quickening them and how the Son would also do likewise. Jesus would indeed raise up a man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years and would command him to take up his mat and walk and yet there would be a greater work that would take place—oh not the work of raising men and women from mats, and rugs, and couches, and beds and the like but raising men and women from the dead. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would also go on to declare that the Father would show the Son greater works than what was already demonstrated and performed that they might marvel. The Son emphatically declared that the Father judges no man but had committed all judgment unto the Son that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father. Oh we must needs pay close attention to the words presented here in this passage for Jesus would eventually transition to that which struck at the very heart of the offense of the Jews—namely their inability to honor the Son. Had the Jews believed on the Son and had the Jews received the Son they would have honored Him as He had spoken of here. The words which the Lord Jesus spoke here serve as an indictment against the Jews for while they were indeed called to honor the Son they instead chose to reject and despise the Son. The Jews could not receive nor could they believe on the Son and as a direct result of this they would in fact be incapable and unable to honor Him. What’s more is Jesus would go on to declare that those who honored not the Son also did not honor the Father which had sent Him, thus adding to their grievance and their own offense. The Lord Jesus would go on to declare that those who hear His word and believe on Him that sent Him would have everlasting life and would not come into condemnation but was passed from death unto life. Jesus would go on to speak of resurrection, of eternal life, of everlasting life and of being raise from the dead as He would further declare that the hour was coming and then was when the dead would hear the voice of the Son of God and would hear and live. The Father had life within Himself and gave to the Son to have life in Himself and had given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of man. Jesus would go on even further to explain that the hour was coming when all those which are in the graves would hear His voice and shall come forth—those that have done good unto the resurrection of life and those which have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. Jesus further declared and explained that He could of His own self do nothing but as He heard He judged and His judgment was just because HE sought not His own will but the will of the Father which sent Him. Oh that we would recognize and pay attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we read of the will of the Father, we read of the work of the Father and we read of the witness. What’s more is that we also read of the works which the Son wrought and performed in the earth bore witness of Him in addition to the witness of John the Baptist and the witness of the eternal Father. Included in this passage of Scripture was a powerful declaration of that which bore witness concerning the eternal and only begotten Son of the Father—namely the witness of John the Baptist, the witness of the Father and the witness of the works which the eternal and only begotten Son wrought and performed Himself in the earth. We must needs recognize and acknowledge this within our own hearts and lives for the question we must needs ask is not only whether or not we are honoring the Son but also whether or not we have received the Son and do in fact believe on Him. Those who received to Him and as many as believed on His name were given power to become sons of God—those who were born not of the will of man, nor of the flesh, nor even of blood but of water and of the Spirit. These who were given power to become the sons of God are those who will hear the voice of the eternal and only begotten Son of the living God and be raised from death to life or transformed in that moment as they prepare themselves to experience everlasting life and spend eternity with the Father and the Son and the Spirit.

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