Written By: Roger D. Campbell Bulletin Date: 1/8/2006
On one occasion some Jews asked Jesus, "Who art thou?" (John 8:25). His answer was, "Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning." As Jesus continued His conversation with them, He declared, "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (John 8:29). What a statement! Let us break it down and consider each part of it.
"And he that sent me" Ė This is an expression that we often read coming from the lips of the Messiah. Who is the One that sent Jesus? The same verse goes on to mention "the Father." Jesus had just told the Jews, ". . . but he that sent me is true" (8:26). John, the writer, then adds, "They understood not that he spake to them of the Father"(8:27). In another of Johnís inspired writings we read, "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14). Thus, it is plain that the Father is the One that sent the Son.
"And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone" Ė On the night of Jesusí betrayal, He told His apostles, "Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me" (John 16:32). What a comfort it must have been to the Son to know that His heavenly Father was with Him "through thick and thin." What about faithful children of God today? We know that Jesus promised His apostles that He would be with them when they went to preach the gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:19, 20). It is comforting, indeed, to know the Lordís promise to us, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). Of course, that promise is conditional. We are comforted to know that as we walk in the light, we have fellowship not only with other faithful saints of God, but also with the Godhead (1 John 1:3, 7).
"For I do always those things that please him" Ė From the context of this statement, we learn that both what Jesus did and taught were in harmony with the Fatherís will. Jesus had earlier stated that He came down from heaven, not to do His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him (John 6:38). Here is a lesson for each of us. Godís will is revealed to us in the Bible. As we learn that will, it then becomes a matter of choice for us: we will either choose to live according to those things that please the Lord, or we will choose to do those things that please someone other than the Lord. Some strive to please other people. Others strive to please self. However, if we want to please the Lord, there is only one right choice: strive to please Him! Remember what Paul wrote about this: ". . . if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ"(Galatians 1:10). What is it that true servants of the Christ do? They try to please Him.
"For I do always those things that please him" Ė Jesus not only knew what pleased the Father, and He not only talked about what pleased the Father. He actually did what pleased the Father! Many people know what the Lord desires. A whole lot of folks talk about what the Father desires. Knowledge and proper teaching are important, but they are of no value to our own relationship with the Lord unless we actually do what pleases Him. If the Savior counted it as essential in His earthly life to do what pleased the Father, then should not you and I count it as a serious, required course of action for us as well? Somehow Satan has convinced masses of religious people that striving to "do" the Lordís will is an evil concept. To many, "doing" the Lordís will (that is, keeping His commands) is legalism or evidence that one is trying to earn his/her salvation. The Bible teaches no such thing! The one that truly knows God is the one that keeps His word. The Bible says so (1 John 2:3-5). The one that is allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven is the one that does the Fatherís will. Jesus said so (Matthew 7:21). Thus, making a serious effort to do what pleases the Father is not a wicked thing at all. In fact, it puts one in pretty good company, for that is what the Christ did when He lived on the earth.
"For I do always those things that please him" Ė Jesusí commitment to doing the Fatherís will was continuous. It was a daily, ongoing, never-stopping course of action for Him. The second point that we noticed above from John 8:29 was the fact that the Father was with Jesus. Here is the Lordís own explanation of why that was the case: "For I do always those things that please Him." Brothers and sisters, if we want to be pleasing in Godís sight, then we, too, must make a continuous effort Ė "always" Ė to do that which pleases Him. Surely none of us wants to be a part-time doer of the Lordís will. No, we want to know His will, then we want to do His will. When? "Always." Where? Wherever we are.
I can remember my mother telling me on many occasions as I was planning to leave and go somewhere, "Be on your best behavior." For a child of the living God, our "best behavior" is doing the Lordís will. You cannot get any better than that, and you cannot have the best behavior without doing His will! When should you and I be concerned about doing what pleases Jehovah? It is not a Sunday only affair, my brethren. Regardless of the situation, let us all strive to imitate Jesus and "do always those things that please him." If that is the pattern of our life, we will not regret it in this life, nor will we regret it in the life to come.