What Jesus Did! 'My Father Never Stops Working' — John 5:16-17

Saturday, April 2, 2022

So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules [by healing on the Sabbath]. But Jesus replied, "My Father is always working, and so am I."
— John 5:16-17 NLT

Key Thought

For centuries, the Father in heaven heard prayers, created babies, healed diseases, and upheld the universe on the Sabbath. Why? So his children, his human creations, could be blessed by his rest and honor him. To turn the Sabbath rest into a legalistic debate and forget the people for whom God made the Sabbath holy is a sham and a shame. Jesus clearly affiliates himself with the Father and emphasizes that as long as the Father is working on the Sabbath to do things that bless others, he will too. Jesus' statement is both bold and astonishing to the Jewish leaders. [1] He is claiming the right to do good on the Sabbath, not just because God wants goodness to be a part of the Sabbath rest, but also because Jesus, like his Father, will not rest nor abandon his human children in their misery.

[1] John 5:18.

Today's Prayer

God, I do thank you that when I sleep, you do not. Thank you for working on my concerns, answering my prayers, sustaining my world, and doing your work while I sleep as well as when I'm awake. I cannot comprehend it, but I am truly thankful that you are the God who does not tire or grow weary in doing what is good and what is a blessing. I recognize that all the good things I have in my life have come because of your blessing. I praise you for your mercy and grace that sustain me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 19:1-4
  • Hebrews 1:1-4
  • Deuteronomy 5:14


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Illustration of John 5:16-17 NLT — So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules [by healing on the Sabbath]. But Jesus replied, "My Father is always working, and so am I."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.