March 27 – Godly Works
The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of these do you stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We stone you for no good work but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken), do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained. And many came to him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.
Jesus was again stirring up the crowd with the words of God’s truth, and this angered the people to the point of them gathering stones. They were ready to throw them, when they were stopped by Jesus’ word. Jesus asks which good work was He being stoned for. He has preached the Good News from the Father, performed miraculous healings and shown love and mercy to all that have true faith, so which good work were they going to stone Him for? Why do we want to “throw stones” at others who do God’s work? Instead of blessing them for their generosity, we judge and condemn them in a jealous rage. Do not look down upon or judge those who do good works. God guides each one of us to a different path and good work. We need to appreciate all the good that people do because we can not do the work of God alone.
After the Jews reply they want to stone Him for blasphemy and not the good works, Jesus presents them with a choice of their own. If they do not believe He is doing the good works of the Father, then don’t believe Him and what He says, but if He is doing the good works of the Father, they must also accept that the Father is in Him and He is in the Father. In other words, if they could not deny the divine, miraculous works that Jesus was performing, and if they were truly the works of God working through Jesus, they could not deny that it was the Father working through Christ. We recall the good works of John the Baptist, although he actually did not perform any miracles, the people believed he was sent by God. How is it then that it is so difficult for us to accept Jesus into our hearts when He was sent by God and did perform miracles? When Jesus and the Lord are accepted into our hearts, we cannot NOT do the good works that He calls us to do. We become more compassionate, merciful, loving and forgiving. Our hearts are changed, in that we no longer are self-seeking but seek to take care of God’s people. Accept Jesus and allow the work of the Father to flow through us. The Spirit drives us to do God’s work and good works will come from that devotion to Him. Finally, do not deny the good works of others where it is clear that it is God working through them.
Lent in Action:
Thank someone you’ve never thanked before for the godly work they do.
Jesus Christ, thank you for allowing me to do good works through You. Help me to always recognize the works of others as Your works when they are done out of devotion to You. Please use me as a way to do things that are pleasing to You and bring others to understand and know You. I ask this in You holy name. Amen.