Luke 6:12 KJV “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
Jesus spent a lot of time praying to His Father. I’ve never spent all night praying to God but the importance of prayer cannot be overstated. It is really vital and is the life line of communion that we have with God. I don’t presume to know the power and beauty of prayer like Jesus had with our Father. I’ve tasted that beauty but I’m sure what I have experienced is nothing compared to what Jesus had.
I was adopted when I was a very young child, just a few months old. I have never met my real earthly father. I don’t have that reference point, something to associate that communication that a young boy or man has with his father. And even if I did, it wouldn’t be the same as the communication that Jesus had with His Father. Earth is our home but heaven was and is the home of Jesus. Jesus had a reference point that we can’t even comprehend.
When I read the scriptures I try to be mindful of what Jesus is communicating to us, about the origin of His understanding and the love that He had and has for our Father. That understanding that He has and the method in which He chose to communicate that understanding is really special. Jesus did not give us His own version, He restricted Himself from doing that. Instead Jesus deliberately choose to limit Himself to only communicate the words that He spoke as He received them directly from our Father. And it wasn’t just His words, it was also His actions, the things that Jesus actually did, like healing the sick and feeding the multitudes and other miracles that Jesus performed.
There’s an underlying reason why Jesus did this, the purpose behind the methodology that Jesus restricted Himself to is designed to show us something.
John 14:23-24 NIV reads: “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.“
John 14:28-31 NIV reads: “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.”
And there are many others verses, some of which are:
John 5:19 NIV “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 5:30 NIV “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
John 8:28 NIV “So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”
Basic Christian theology teaches that Jesus is both divine and human at the same time. In other words, Jesus has two natures: God and man. We find support for this in the verses that say that “the Word was God and was with God,” (John 1:1) and that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14). Also, Col. 2:9 says that in Jesus “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead and bodily form.” Therefore, Jesus is both divine and human in one person.
We also see from the Scriptures that even though Jesus was in the form of God, he emptied himself (Phil. 2:5-8), and in so doing was made for little while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9), and was also under the law (Gal. 4:4). That is why we would see him grow in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52) — because he was a man as well as divine, but the divine nature, so to speak, was cooperating with the limitations of humanity in order to fulfill the Law, and ultimately die for our sins. We, therefore, can draw conclusions from the above biblical references.
- Jesus was subject to the Father (John 5:30).
- Jesus did not come to do his own will, but the will of the Father (Luke 22:42).
- Jesus was not sent of his own initiative but of the initiative of the Father (John 8:28).
- Under the law, if Jesus was obligated to fulfill that law, this included worshiping God (John 17).
Having laid this foundation, we can then see why Jesus would say that he could do nothing of his own initiative. It was not that he did not have a will or a desire to do things. The issue is that Jesus had come to do the will of the father and he was completely in subjection to the Father. Therefore, in that complete subjection, he could do nothing on his own initiative.
This does not mean that Jesus is not divine. It means that Jesus, having two natures, and one of them being human, subjected himself voluntarily to the law, as a man, and operated completely under the requirements of a man.
Can you imagine functioning like this on earth, speaking to people, interacting with people and using only words that your earthly father authorizes you to use and only doing what your early father authorizes you to do? Kind of puts a whole new perspective on why Jesus spent so much time in prayer doesn’t it?
In John 10 Jesus presents Himself as the Good Shepherd and, in a debate with the Jewish leaders, makes the claim, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). It was a bold statement—one His audience found quite audacious—and it reveals much about who Jesus is.
Five key observations can be made concerning this passage.
First, Jesus claimed to be one with God in the sense of being equal to Him. Jesus did not claim to be merely a messenger or prophet of God, but of equal power with God.
Second, His audience understood that Jesus was claiming equality with God the Father. In verse 31, “The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.” Why? Blasphemy was a crime punishable by death according to the Jewish Law. When Jesus asked why they were planning to kill Him, they answered, “For blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:33). If Jesus had been lying or deceived, His statement would have been blasphemous. In fact, the only way His words were not blasphemy is if Jesus was telling the truth about His equality with God.
Fourth, Jesus claimed that that Father sent Him: “the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world” (John 10:36). In this statement, Jesus claimed preexistence in the Father’s presence. No biblical prophet had ever made such a claim before; yet Jesus claimed to exist before Abraham (John 8:58).
Fifth, Jesus only stated that the Jews did not believe Him; He never said they misunderstood His claim to be God. John 10:38 notes, “Even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” Jesus was not correcting a misunderstanding. They understood what He said perfectly. He was correcting their willful rejection of Him.
Colossians 1:16–17 affirms Jesus’ same teaching: “In him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” John 1:1 explicitly notes that Jesus was both with God in the beginning and was God.
Jesus claimed to be one with the Father as part of a larger argument to note that He had existed from eternity past, lived in perfect oneness with the Father, held the same power as God, and was sent by God the Father’s authority.
Now before I finish this post I want to draw your attention to one more truth that Jesus gave us. It’s found in John 15:5 NIV and reads: “”I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Think about that. If Jesus, when he walked this earth as a human, could do nothing of Himself and was authenticated by God the Father in all that He taught and did and we as humans can do nothing of ourselves apart from Jesus, there is a dependency there that perfectly follows the ministry of Jesus. But, and this is the kicker, in order to do that what do we as Christians need to do?
The Apostle Paul writes in Galatians 5:16, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” The flesh is the expression the Bible uses for the dwelling place of everything in a person that opposes God and His will. Our ego is like a command centre, sending out countless signals and actions. The signals and actions from this command centre all revolve around taking care of ourselves, preserving our ego, getting honour and favour, and exalting ourselves at others’ expense. This is the desire of the flesh, which has endless demands and expectations. We can usually control our flesh to a degree – at least when the impulses of flesh do not benefit our ego. For the most part, however, our human nature is subject to the powers of the flesh. Therefore when the negative characteristics we inherited through generations present themselves, we often hear, “We are only human.”
However, Paul wrote that by walking in the Spirit you no longer need to fulfill these lusts. You think and act differently than other people in the various situations of life.
This is what I call “Practical Christianity”, where the rubber hits the road. It’s where in all honesty I can say that I have only scratched the surface. It’s where I fail, it’s where a lot of us fail. By the words that come out of our mouths, by some of the things that we allow ourselves to do.
But it doesn’t end there, all this understanding is, is framing the reality of the process.
Hebrews 10:14 NIV “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” BEING MADE HOLY – this is a process that we work towards.
And finally Philippians 3:13-15 NIV where the Apostle Paul says :”Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.”
Is it any wonder then that God’s word tells us to “ Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!