Sermon: The Son Does What He Sees His Father Doing John 8:12-30

John Banner website_edited-1

Primary Truth Taught- Jesus follows His Father in everything and, in turn, shows us how to follow the Father.

Introduction

As a pastor and one who has the privilege to look into God’s Word weekly to prepare to preach and teach, I’m always learning. I’m learning more and more about our amazing Savior and how majestic and powerful He is. At the same time, I’m learning things that expand my views of Jesus past what I previously thought. In other words, more and more, I’m confronted with the fact that our Lord can do anything at any time and sometimes what He does not fit what I think He should do. It’s in those times that either I refuse to believe those truths presented because I either have never been taught them or they simply don’t fit my views or I submit to the teachings of God’s Word and adjust my theology to fit with what the Bible teaches. I either submit to the Bible or somehow try to get the Bible to submit to me. Therefore, I’m also always fine-tuning the theology and doctrines I hold to. As I gain a better more clear understanding I’m better equipped then to expound that truth to you. I pray together we understand in a much greater way the truths of God’s Word. I also pray that we are together maturing into what God would have us to be.

This week was one of those times when my belief system was enlarged and made more solid. Through a better understand of what it is to follow Jesus, what’s at work in the whole dynamic of following Jesus and what the results are we can be better followers.

Here’s a truth that I want to make sure we all understand. What it means to follow Jesus. Now, I realize we’ve looked at this in some detail when we covered verse 12…
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

We learned that following Jesus means we have life in Him. We also learned that following Jesus means we believe what He tells us and obey what He commands. I want to explain another nuance to that that will, I believe, help us see why it’s so important.

Here are some things we already know about following Jesus…

It’s commanded

It’s impossible in our own strength

It is what is expected from every Christian

When we are following we leave the darkness and enter Jesus’ light

The result of following Jesus is eternal life

Today, I want is to look at another aspect and that is what’s really going on when we follow Christ.

My thesis statement or truth taught goes like this:

Jesus follows His Father in everything and shows us also how to follow the Father.

In ancient times it was an almost universal truth that a son would grow up and be what his father was. If the father was a farmer, the son would be taught by the father when to plant, fertilize, and harvest. The son would learn the trade from his father. If the son came from a blacksmith family, he too would be taught the trade of metal working almost in every case.

This pattern can be seen in our Lord whose earthly father was a carpenter. Jesus was also called the carpenter because He practiced the trade of His father. Many of the Apostles were fishermen because their fathers were fishermen. The son was identified with his father because he did what his father did. This point is going to be very important when Jesus teaches us from various passages including today’s.

Of course today things are different. Rarely does a son follow in his father’s footsteps to learn the occupation of his father, studies say less than 5% follow their fathers in the same business or occupation. Today what DNA shows, following in the father’s footsteps showed in the ancient world.

Another universal truth in the ancient world was that the son while working at his father’s vocation would also live close to the father, working the same land as a farmer for example. There was a vocational connection and a geographical connection. This too is vital to understand the importance of Jesus’ teaching.

John 8:12–30 (ESV)

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “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 authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

  1. The Son Came From The Father

Geographically, Jesus, as the Son of God, came from heaven or as He tells us, He is not from this world.

We realize of course that God is everywhere all the time but the Bible tells us that God’s throne room is not on this earth. Somewhere out there is the heavenly throne room of God, the place where God rules. Jesus tells us that is where He came from.

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.

16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.

18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

Jesus was sent to earth by the Father. His real home is not on this earth but in heaven with the Father. He is not of this world and for those who do not know Him, He says, are of this world.

Jesus is not of this world and has been sent here by the Father…
Galatians 4:4–5 (ESV)

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

1 Corinthians 15:47 (ESV)

47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.

John 6:62 (ESV)

62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

We could go on and look at verse after verse showing us that Jesus came from the same place that God the Father is geographically.

Then we could look at the ascension when Jesus goes up into the clouds and out of sight returning to the Father.

Jesus’ real home is in heaven with His Father. Much like in the ancient world when a son would remain located near his father working in the family business or running the family farm, so too Jesus’ real home is with His Father…a place not built with human hands.

Let’s look to Daniel 7 which is the prophetic vision of Daniel actually seeing Jesus return to heaven after His mission was completed.

Daniel 7:13–14 (ESV)

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

13 “I saw in the night visions,

       and behold, with the clouds of heaven

there came one like a son of man,

       and he came to the Ancient of Days

and was presented before him.

14    And to him was given dominion

and glory and a kingdom,

       that all peoples, nations, and languages

should serve him;

       his dominion is an everlasting dominion,

which shall not pass away,

       and his kingdom one

that shall not be destroyed.

Jesus returns to His Father after accomplishing redemption of His people. Someday all of Jesus’ people all of God’s children will be with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We who are in Christ will be where the Son is forever.

but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.

Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

The point our Lord begins to make here and will complete it in the next few sections in John 8 is that in the same way He came from His Father and at death will return to His Father, so too the Pharisees who do not believe will at their death will go home to be with their father. They cannot go with Jesus to be with Him and His Father because God is not their father, Satan is.

This truth holds for everyone. Either we come to the Father through His Son and follow Christ and go to God the Father when we die or we stay a child of Satan and go be with him when we die.

  1. The Son Does What His Father Does

Like the son who has learned from his father how to run the family farm and does what the father does, so too Jesus does what His Father does. He told the Pharisees who were out to get Him for healing on the Sabbath that He was only doing what His Father was doing. His works are the exact same as what He sees His Father doing.

16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.

18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”

26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father.

Here is one of the clearest teachings on this vital subject Jesus gave us…

John 5:18–19 (ESV)

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

The Holy Trinity is working together perfectly and accomplishing the same thing together.

Do you feel the weight of what Jesus is teaching? He only does what He sees His Father doing. Another way to say this is He does everything the Father does. Jesus creates because God creates, He judges because the Father judges, He gives life like the Father, He cares for the widow and orphan like the Father, He creates the universe…
John 1:1–3 (ESV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Colossians 1:16 (ESV)

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

So when Jesus claimed God as His Father and then did the works God gave Him to do He was showing the world the proof of His deity, like Father, like Son. He was, in a real sense, making the invisible Father visible. He would later tell His disciples that if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.
Like the farmer who sends his son into the farm to work it, sow seed and harvest, so too God sent His Son into the world to sow seed and harvest.

Jesus sees His Father working and does what He sees His Father doing. He listens to His Father, Believes His Father and perfectly obeys His Father.

The same is true for the lost Pharisees. We will learn that they too have learned a trade from their father the devil.

John 8:44 (ESV)

44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

  1. Jesus’ True Family

When we come to Christ, we are given the Holy Spirit and created within us is spiritual life. The Holy Spirit resides within us bring us to life. It’s at that point we become sons of God. While Jesus, of course, is the special Son of God, we are adopted into the family of God and becomes sons and daughters.

We studied the doctrine of adoption when we studied Systematic Theology.

John 1:12–13 (ESV)

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 8:14–17 (ESV)

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

We could look at many other passages but it’s clear that when God saves us He places us into His family.

When we are placed into Jesus’ family we begin, as it were, to learn the family business. We begin to do what the Father does. Remember an earthly father would teach his son the family business. The family business for the believer who is now adopted in God’s family is to do what we see Jesus doing because He does everything the Father does.

Matthew 12:46–50 (ESV)

46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. 48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

I pray we see the vital importance of following Christ. As we follow Him by believing everything He tells us and obeying all He commands we will begin to do the will of the Father proving that we are part of the family.

Here’s just one example…
Jesus told His disciples when He was calling them into ministry, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. Remember they were fishermen because their fathers had taught them this trade. Now Jesus was going to teach them how to fish for men, why, because God the Father is a fisher of men.

So the command to follow Jesus isn’t just because Jesus wants us to, although that would be reason enough. The command to follow Him is so that we can learn from Him His and our Father’s ways so that we will be better fit for God’s Kingdom.

Are you following Christ? Are you seeking to learn from Him the ways of the Father?

Declaration of Grace

In the mercy and grace of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for His sake God forgives us all our sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power to become the children of God and gives to them the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

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