The Work of God

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me.  Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  John 9:4, 5.

What is the work of God?

Jesus demonstrates the meaning of this by healing a man born blind.

Why is this significant?  Mostly due to what we already discussed in my previous entry, but His mission is to reconcile man to God and and God to man.  What did the angels sing on the night of His birth?  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men!”  The purpose of Christ’s birth is to bring reconiliation between God and mankind—peace on earth, goodwill to men.

So how does Jesus’ miracle demonstrate this principle?

Bringing peace to one person by healing him or her accomplishes the mission just as much as each step forward brings us closer to our destination.  Unlike us, Jesus doesn’t look at numbers as a way of keeping score since each heart is of infinite value to Him.  Every person on earth is worth His life, which means the smallest of gains is worth the life of the universe.  I don’t believe Jesus ever thought everyone on earth would accept Him, so though He intended to give peace to all people on earth, only a certain segment are willing to accept it from Him.  Those who reject His offer don’t object to being at peace necessarily but take issue with either the source or the conditions required to receive it.

Jesus’ point here, however, needs to be taken in context of the disciples’ question and His initial answer.  The man in question became a living definition of God’s work to save and heal mankind in general.  In a way, his healing and what follows gives a live example of what each follower of Jesus can expect from both the world and the religious establishment.  In a way, I believe God sees every human life, damaged and ravaged by sin’s toll on the heart and mind, as an opportunity to display God’s power to not only save but glorify.  I don’t believe God orchestrated this man’s blindness specifically in order for Jesus to perform this miracle, instead He used the circumstances brought on by the natural order—or disorder—of life on this planet to circumnavigate sin’s consequences.

The statement,  “Night is coming, when no one can work”  puzzles me even now.  It’s not so much the statement itself, but the timing of it.  When does Jesus’ statement come true?  If we exegete the text, the only thing I can conclude is that the moment He leaves not only in bodily form but in the Spirit as well brings on a darkness in which all of God’s work ceases.  The reason I can come to that conclusion is because Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as His replacement in the world and that the disciples would “do greater things than these” in the future.  So the only definition I can come to is that He didn’t mean once He left earth physically we would be unable to do the work of God, rather that when the Spirit leaves the world, no one would be able to perform the work of God.

Another interpretation could be that as long as there are people who give Jesus a place in their hearts and conversation, His light is able to shine.  Yet the moment He becomes obsolete in the hearts and minds of humanity the darkness rules.  Notice Jesus also said the all-inclusive “we” when mentioning the accomplishing the work of God.  We have a part to play in this for we are the salt of the earth, the light of the world and part of a city on a hill which cannot be hidden.  As long as we are in the world, we are creating an aroma of praise, honor and righteousness for the Lord’s Spirit.

But just as in the days of Noah and Sodom, when the salt flavor grows too feeble for it to affect the taste of the world, there will be a time of darkness such as the world has never witnessed.  Christ in us brings light to the world—by default we flavor the sour taste of the world and preserve it from destruction.  He tells us He won’t leave us orphans and therefore sent the Holy Spirit to be our comforter until this age is over.  Once the salt loses its saltness, it is no longer any good for food but must be thrown out and will be trampled by the world of men.  Those who believe who lose the pure flavor of Christ in their lives will be trampled by the world, walked on and used as a way to harden the road to destruction.  The evidence of their apostacy will be used as proof for the falseness of their belief and claims.

For this reason it is vital we remain salty; full of Christ’s presence and immersed in His Word.  Salt does three things among many that are significant to us:  1) flavors food  2) preserves anything stored in it  3) purifies, which means it stings the wound while cleaning it.  The latter is what offends the world about us.  Jesus warned us not to be surprised if the world hates us because we testify that what it does is evil.

While Jesus is in us, we are light and must do the work of the Father who sent Him.

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2 Responses to “The Work of God”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    According to Pat Robertson’s statement on NPR: 7.5 million people have received a healing by faith in the United States. That’s 2% of the population. We’ve got add some more salt to the mix.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    I don’t know that it’s necessarily healing that is the work of God, though. I believe that’s part of it, but more importantly our example of faithfulness, kindness, justice, love and a sound mind should shine like a beacon in a world where these are compromised constantly.

    Miracles are easy to fake, a life that is repentent and humble is a better guage of one’s spiritual truth than all the miracles combined.

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