Jesus Does the Marvelous “Works,” that the Father Does.  

[This section is from the “Works of God” section,
from my Systematic Theology book]

…This mighty work of God is mirrored in Jesus Christ and His saving of the Elect. Indeed there are even two baptisms in the New Contract with Jesus. One for the removal of slavery and sins, and one for the power of God’s Spirit.

  Jesus Does the Marvelous “Works,” that the Father Does.

John 5:16–30 (NET)
16 Now because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began persecuting him.
17 So he told them, “My Father is working until now, and I too am working.”
19 So Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does, and will show him greater deeds than these, so that you will be amazed.
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes.
22 Furthermore, the Father does not judge anyone, but has assigned all judgment to the Son,
…27 and he has granted the Son authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.
…30 I can do nothing on my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.

 Luke 4:16-20 NET
4:16 Now Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 4:17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and the regaining of sight to the blind,
to set free those who are oppressed,
4:19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

4:20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on him. 4:21 Then he began to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.”

  A few quick things about the works Jesus is doing.

The Father “works on the Sabbath.” Back the Exodus and wilderness story, on the Sabbath God first worked by giving them “food” to eat.[1] God then worked on the Sabbath to provide “sanctification”[2] for them. Thus, according to first mentions hermeneutics “God working on the Sabbath” on the behalf of man, is 1st a material-miracle blessing and then 2nd a spiritual blessing.  Most have this flipped upside down, or do not even consider the first because their parents are the same ones who complained in the wilderness. They do not like how God “works” on the behalf of man. The have the same attitude toward Jesus and His followers.

Also, in context of Exodus 16, we have in chapter 15 God healing them, and declares that He is “Yahweh who heals you.” Jesus does these same works the Father did.

Jesus Christ mirrors this in His working on the Sabbath. Our text starts with a common experience in the gospels. Jesus is healing on the Sabbath. Jesus is working material-miracle blessings on the Sabbath, just like His Father did.  Just like the Israelites in the wilderness who hated God for helping them, these in John 5 also hated God’s Son for helping them. Those who follow after the Father, and the Son by doing these same “works” to help man, are often persecuted by those who claim to follow God.

I know this sounds strange, but you need to let that sink in. The Father was providing one miracle supply after another for the Israelites; the responded with complaints and hating the Father.  God was richly helping them and they turned around and hated Him for it.  Jesus on the Sabbath was doing exactly what the Father did. He was richly supplying both material miracles and spiritual ones, and the Jews hated Him for helping them. They did the same thing to the disciples in the book of Acts. The same happens today.

Our verse in Luke shows that Jesus quotes Isaiah’s prophecy as being fulfilled by Him. The is about God healing, setting people free, preaching truth to them. This is God richly supplying every sort of material and spiritual blessing. The Father has been doing this works through the Scripture, and now Jesus is doing them as the Son of Man. In fact, when question by John’s disciples if Jesu was truly the one they were looking for He responded by saying,

“Luke 7:22–23 (NET) So he answered them, “Go tell John what you have seen and heard: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

Think about what Jesus is saying about being offended. He is not preaching on hell, and saying do not be offended by this; rather, just like in Exodus and the Sabbath provisions, Jesus is preaching and providing great miracle supplies, and then says do not be offended. That is, do not hate God for richly providing material and spiritual blessings, as the Israelites did in the wilderness. Do not be offended at God richly pouring out goodies, if you do, then you burn in hell. Your body will be left in the wilderness just like the rest.

Jesus started His ministry, as the Godman, after He was empowered by the Holy Spirit. He did His ministry, not by the mere power of the Son of God, but as a “man,” born under the law, “empower by the Spirit.” After Jesus’ baptism and the Holy Spirit coming down to rest on Him, He became an explosive ministry of miracles, healings, truth and power. This was an antitype for how God’s chosen ones would follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus commanded the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they are baptized in the Holy Spirit for missional/miracle power. Jesus was baptized and empowered by the Spirit, as a man, and commands His followers to do the same.

I could go on and on about this, but this will have to suffice for now. We will transition to the “works that man will do” by quoting Jesus speaking of this very thing.

John 14:10–14 (NIV)
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.


[1] Exodus 16:22-30.

 He said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a time of cessation from work, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. … See, because the Lord has given you the Sabbath, that is why he is giving you food for two days on the sixth day, (v. 23,29 Net). 

The first mention of the “Holy Sabbath,” is here. The first mention of Sabbath being a “holy” day is the day God provided so much miracle material provision, they stayed home and ceased from working. God worked so hard to provide for them miracle food, they were able to cease from their work.  This ceasing from material work, due to God’s abundant miracle provision, “sets them apart to Yahweh, (i.e. Holy)” and makes them a “cut-above” all peoples of the earth.

It is true that in Jesus’ atonement, He becomes the spiritual provision of forgiveness, sanctification, adoption and redemption; however, this does not negate the first mention of this is about material provision. Thus, the teaching about the first mention of God providing on the Holy Sabbath, is more than, but not less than, God providing abundant material miracle provision.

Fools often use one Scripture to cancel out another. But as we see here, as it often is, the Scripture for the sake of God’s love to man, keeps adding not subtracting blessings. Let us be true children of God, and in faith, obtain all the provisions of God, and by this become “Holy people of God.”

 [2] The next big mention about the Sabbath and God’s supply is in Exodus 31. God just gave Moses instructions about the Tabernacle, and all the symbolic parts that represent God’s mercy, salvation and nearness to them. In verse 12 it says, “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, speak also to the Children of Israel, saying: “Surely, My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you (NKJV).”

At first God is the abundant material supply through miracles; next, is the abundant spiritual supply of mercy, salvation and nearness.

Thus, we can conclude the Sabbath was designed by God to be a day where “God works” by supplying so much material and spiritual blessings, that man rests from their works. Their “receiving” and “trusting” in God’s abundance miracle supplies, makes them “holy,” set-a-part to God as His chosen people.

Therefore, in Gospel of Jesus Christ, not only imputed righteousness is provided(spiritual) but also healing (material) (Exodus 15:26, Isaiah 5:4-5, James 5:15), and finances (Exodus 36:5, 2 Corinthians 8:9)