Bible Reading: John 5:1-9, 16-17
So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father never stops working, so why should I?” John 5:16-17
WHEN THE RELIGIOUS people of Jesus’ day started harassing him because he and his followers didn’t obey all their Sabbath rules, Jesus said, “My Father never stops working, so why should I?” (John 5:17).
Now, maybe you’ve never thought about it, but most people don’t picture God working. They picture him, oh, floating on a cloud somewhere high up in the sky. Or they imagine him sitting on a throne in a great celestial palace, snapping his fingers whenever he wants something. Or perhaps they see him leisurely looking down on earth from heaven like a city dweller who leans on his or her upper-story windowsill and watches the cars and buses go by on the street below.
After all, why would God work? He doesn’t have to; he’s got all kinds of angels to do whatever needs to be done. He could go on permanent vacation. He could snap his fingers, create his own island paradise in the Caribbean, and do nothing but eat kiwifruit and sip lemonade for the rest of his life (which, because he’s eternal, is a really long time!).
But Jesus said that God works. In fact, he said, “My Father never stops working.” God is always on duty! He’s always “on the job.” He never even sleeps (Psalm 121:4).
God works because it’s part of his nature. He is a God of action. There’s not a lazy bone in his body. (OK, so he doesn’t have a physical body, but you get the idea!) And because God is a God of action—a God who works—work is right; honest, hard work is a good thing. It doesn’t matter if the work involves building skyscrapers, washing cars, directing traffic, inventing computer software, pumping gas, governing a nation, acting in movies, flipping hamburgers, or writing devotionals! God approves of work because he works, too.
REFLECT: Did any of the pictures of God mentioned above (floating on a cloud, sitting on a throne, etc.) express how you have imagined God in the past? Has your picture of God changed after reading today’s devotional? Why or why not? What kind of work do you think pleases God?
PRAY: “Father, thank you for always being ‘on the job.’ Thank you for always being ready to hear and answer my prayers. Thank you for always being ‘on duty’ to help me. Please help me to do my work in a way that pleases you.”