The Gospel of John: A Unified Whole.

“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” (John 5:19-21).

The writer of Hebrews begins his epistle with these significant words: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

The writer of Hebrews wanted his readers to understand that God the Father and God the Son are in unity with one another. The Son is the exact imprint of the Father. Or as Jesus explained it in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” This does not mean that they are identical individuals but one in essence. The Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit possess the fullness of the divine nature or divinity. Therefore, what the Son does is what the Father does, and vice versa.

This is what Jesus begins to teach the religious leaders of the Jews in John 5. He can heal on the Sabbath because He is the Lord of the Sabbath. What God the Father does is what God the Son does. There is no disharmony.

Jesus begins to explain this harmony between He and God the Father with the subject of raising the dead. God the Father raised the dead (Deuteronomy 32:39; I Kings 17:17-22). So too does God the Son (John 11). However, even though the raising of the dead back to physical life is significant, the raising of the spiritually dead to spiritual life is even more so. This too is a work of the Father, through the Son and by the Holy Spirit.

One commentator writes, “The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit act as a unified whole in everything that They do with respect to creation. This working is not like that of a committee that is trying to achieve a common goal but that assigns different responsibilities to each committee member. No, what the Father does is what the Son does is what the Spirit does. Note that we can distinguish the persons in each work; each person performs the one and same work, but He does so according to His own personal property. The Father does the work in a manner fitting to His being eternally unbegotten. The Son does the work in a manner fitting to His being begotten of the Father. The Spirit does the work in a manner fitting to His eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. But it is the same work. Another way of stating this is to say that every work of God is from the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Salvation, for example, comes to us from the Father through the mediation of the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

While this may be difficult to initially understand, we can be grateful to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit for our salvation. It is a work of all three members of the Trinity. Today, may we strive to live in harmony with all three members of the Godhead by being obedient to the Word of God.

Soli deo Gloria!

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