Jesus answered the Jews:
“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to 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.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.
“I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.”
Currently, I am with a project manager who urges us to call her by name or by any name we are comfortable with rather than affixing "Ma'am" or "Miss" to her first name. At first, it was weird and difficult to all of us addressing her that way. Mainly because it feels like we're already denying her of the respect she deserves. But she's the one encouraging us to do so. She even dated each of us for a deeper personal conversation.
To be comfortable. That's my project manager's reason. To eliminate the feeling of fear, shyness, awkwardness or any negative feelings that would affect or even inhibit us from expressing ourselves whenever we'll have conversation, personal or work-related matters. She wants us to feel comfortable talking to her just like how much we are comfortable talking with our close friends. The respect was still there, but truly, we're like talking to a boss and a friend all at the same time.
And personally, I comfortably call my project manager "'Nay".
People in Jesus times followed and adored God because of fear. They saw God as a powerful entity. A merciless "boss". A monster that is so fast in executing punishments to those who disobey Him and His commandments. Thus they followed and talked to Him gently, with the right and pleasing words, with fear in their heart, while shaking on their knees. In effect, they can't anymore tell God the content and the state of their heart. People who longed for forgiveness that time felt hopeless. They thought God hated them so much, and that He will not, in any means, forgive them. The relationship between man and God seems so distant and superficial. A relationship built more on fear, and not anymore on love.
In today's gospel, Jesus is urging us to call our God our Father, a loving Father. Jesus manifested it by addressing God his Father. Not because he wanted to be equal with God, but because he wants to demonstrate to us that God desires us to be His' children, and that He is pleased when we call Him our Father.
God wants us to be comfortable with Him. God wants us to be close to Him. So close that the need of embracing us will be easy for Him. God wants us to look upon Him as someone who is compassionate enough and is willing to listen and do everything for the good of His children. God wants to establish an intimate relationship with us. God wants us to treat Him just like how Jesus treated Him. God wants to be a loving Father to us.
He never wanted to be a boss to us. He wants us to accept Him as our Father.
From this day onward, when you pray and talk to Him, be His child. Don't hesitate calling Him "My Father".
Allow yourself to have an intimate relationship with Him.
Is At Work Until Now
Yet, we might ask:
If God desires to be a loving Father to us, then why does He allow trials and challenges to come our way? Why is it that everytime we commit sin, it seems that He's punishing us for something wrong we've done?
Just like our earthly father would discipline us to correct our character and attitude, so is our Father in heaven who loves us more and desires the best for us. (Hebrews 12:5-13)
Our Father in heaven is at work. Our Father is training us to crawl, to walk, to stumble, and to stand up. Just like our fathers when we're still babies who let us stumble, fall flat-faced to ground, and let us cry aloud so we could learn how to balance our self and walk. Our Father in heaven will allow trials and challenges to happen, for us to cry hard-brave, to learn, to grow, to be wise, and to be strong in dealing with life.
One thing is for sure, like an earthly father who is ready to dive and catch his child, so is our Heavenly Father ready to help us, lift us up, and embrace us when we fall.
Our Heavenly Father is still at work. Endure and trust our Father. If you find yourself imperfect, stumbling, falling, struggling amidst the storm, and hurting, don't lose your focus, collect yourself, and know for certain that God is not yet finished with us, and is still in progress working, molding and perfecting us.
Allow our Heavenly Father to mold and perfect us.
So I Am At Work
Have you ever experienced teaching a toddler, like for instance, your younger sibling, where no matter how passionate you teach him, he's just not learning? And this is because he's not interested to learn what you're teaching him. He doesn't care and he won't cooperate. Yet, patiently, you still teach him.
And sometimes we are like toddlers. We're not interested. We do not want to be taught. And we don't want to learn.
But our Heavenly Father is patiently teaching us as well.
He is untiringly and patiently teaching us things we need to learn no matter how hard it is for Him to deal with us.
Our Heavenly Father wants us to have interest on things He's teaching us. He wants us to cooperate with Him. If He disciplines us, it's just because He wants us to learn from our mistakes. If He sends trials and challenges, it's just because He wants us to learn some more.
Don't grow bitter because He disciplines you, but grow better instead.
Don't give up when you stumble and when trials come your way, but stand up strong and keep in mind that our Father in heaven is always ready to back us up and sustain us whatever we need along the way.
Everyday God is working in us. Teaching us. Training us. Molding us. Strengthening us. Nurturing us. Making us stronger. Wiser. Braver. And better each day. Like Jesus.
And He's calling us to cooperate - like what Jesus did.
Are you not excited that one day, our Heavenly Father will use you - to perform miracles, preaching and healing His people - like Jesus?
Allow yourself to cooperate with the works of our Heavenly Father in us and in the life of other people.
With a trusting heart, and in Jesus name, to You, My Father, I pray. Amen.