John 5:17-30 NRSVue

17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the Sabbath but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.

19Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own but only what he sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. 21Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. 22The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and does not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

25“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, 27and he has given him authority to execute judgment because he is the Son of Man. 28Do not be astonished at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and will come out: those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

30“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

Some thoughts on this scripture

Jesus' conviction came from within and without. His Father, the one in heaven, surrounded him like the air he breathed. His Father's will, seen in sending him for the salvation of the world, was the priority of his life. It is hard to understand the relations of divinity and humanity; but we can enter in prayer into the willingness and hope to do and fulfil the will of God for his people. Prayer is giving time to the big wish - 'thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven'. Our time, silent or verbal, in prayer is our wish that his will be done, and the love of his reign be made visible on earth.

Jesus relationship to God was threatening to those who saw God differently. He spoke of God as a loving father with whom he related closely and confidently. I think of the human relationships that have helped me to understand what Jesus meant. I relax in the presence of God who loves me deeply.

Such was the unity of the Father and Jesus that the work of one is the work of the other. Jesus trusts me enough to call me into the same closeness. He reminds me that whatever I do I do with him and that what I do to others, I do to him.