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. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
Jesus’ answer to the Jewish leaders is a treasure trove of theological insight. I am breaking it down into little pieces so we don’t miss out on anything wonderful. In these two verses, Jesus speaks about the profound unity that exists between the Father and the Son. They are like divine reflections of each other.
Jesus says, “The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing." This statement paints a picture of the Son as a mirror, reflecting the actions and will of the Father. This isn't a mere external imitation, like a child copying a parent's actions. Instead, it's an intrinsic alignment, where the very essence and desires of the Son are perfectly attuned to the Father's. This unity of will is evidenced in Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane: "Not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).
Just as Jesus seeks to align his actions with what he sees the Father doing, we too are called to align our lives with God's will. This means regularly seeking God's guidance through prayer, Scripture, and discernment, and striving to live in harmony with his purposes. As Jesus taught us to pray: "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
Then Jesus says, “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.” The Father's act of showing the Son all he does is a profound expression of vulnerability and openness. When we reveal our actions and intentions to somebody else, we make ourselves vulnerable. We do this because we love and trust the other person implicitly. The Father's complete openness to the Son signifies an unparalleled depth of both.
The openness and vulnerability between the Father and the Son should encourage us to approach God with the same transparency. In our prayers, we can be honest about our fears, hopes, failures, and joys, trusting that God receives them with love. This vulnerability deepens our intimacy with the Father and the Son.
In turn, God will reveal himself to us in greater measure. So let us seek a similar depth of reflection in our relationship with God. And let us be attentive to the ways God might be speaking to us—through Scripture, the wisdom of fellow believers, circumstances, or the quiet nudgings of the Holy Spirit.
God bless you.