I love the words to the old hymn, Jesus is all the world to me. These words are rich with meaning and truth:
Jesus is all the world to me My life, my joy, my all He is my strength from day to day Without Him I would fall When I am sad, to Him I go No other one can cheer me so When I am sad, He makes me glad He’s my friend
Jesus is everything. Without Jesus we are nothing. Without Him we would fall. In our text in John 5, Jesus is speaking to those who opposed His healing of the man on the Sabbath and of stating that He was doing the work of the Father. Jesus explains His relationship with God the Father, thus, revealing His true identity as the Son of God. In this discourse, Jesus reprimands the religious crowd for not believing on Him even though the Old Testament scriptures reveals who He is.
However, in light of the deep theological truths seen in this passage, we do find some practical principles that applies to we as believers in the Lord Jesus.
We can do nothing without Jesus (v. 19). In verse 19, Jesus mentions that He can do nothing except for what the Father does. Jesus was saying that His life imitated the Father. Jesus did nothing apart from the Father. Just as Jesus did nothing without the Father, so we can do nothing without Jesus. Any attempt to do anything in our own strength and ability will result in failure. The only life, the only work, that is blessed by God and has the approval of God is that which imitates Jesus. You can strive for holiness, but apart from Jesus you will never be holy. You can strive for wisdom and understanding, but apart from Jesus you will never understand. You can strive to rid the world of poverty and disease, but apart from Jesus poverty and disease will abound. You can strive to build a great ministry and a great church, but apart from Jesus it will be nothing more than a country club. A life without Jesus is destined for failure. A life with Jesus is destined for greatness.
Jesus shows us what to do (v. 20). You may say, “Well, I know I am supposed to imitate Jesus, but, how do I know what He wants me to do?” Jesus said that the Father shows Him what to do. Jesus reveals Himself to us in order that we may know what He wants us to do and how He wants us to live. Often times, people will get all caught up in trying to figure out what Jesus wants them to do. The big question that everyone wants answered is, what is God’s will for my life? My friend, you do not have to figure it all out. You do not have to ‘find’ God’s will for your life. All you must do is follow Jesus. Live a life of obedience and He will show you what He wants you to do one step at a time. Faithfully following Jesus day by day is the key to understanding God’s will for your life.
We cannot save anyone, salvation belongs to the Lord (v. 21-29). We may have all types of ministries to bring the Gospel to the world, and we should. We may be outward focused and mission minded, and we should. However, we must understand that we do not have any capability of bringing a sinner to repentance. God uses us to show the world their need for a Savior. God uses us to show the world the way to the Savior. However, only Jesus can save a lost soul. “It is by grace that we are saved, through faith, and not of ourselves, it is a gift of God…” No matter how hard you try to bring a lost soul to Jesus, ultimately only Jesus can save them and only the Holy Spirit can do the work of regeneration in them. Now, the fact that salvation belongs to the Lord does not take away the responsibility of man. There is still a choice that must be made. I had a friend of the Calvinist persuasion try to tell me that regeneration happens before belief. In other words, the Holy Spirit comes into a lost sinner and does the work of regeneration and then the lost sinner believers, thus, irresistible grace. This, my friend, is a bunch of hog wash. Jesus came to do what we could not do for ourselves. He went to the cross and paid the price of sin for all the world. The Holy Spirit is now working through the church to draw lost souls all around the world to Jesus. As the Gospel is revealed to a lost soul, they then must choose whether or not to believe. All those who believe are then immediately indwelled by the Holy Spirit and are born again. This process of presenting the Gospel, drawing sinners to Jesus, and regenerating those who believe, is only possible because of and by Jesus Christ. God uses us as instruments in this process to bring the Gospel to those who need to hear, but ultimately is Christ and Christ alone that saves those who choose to believe on Him.
Our greatest witness is not our words, but our works (v. 30-36). Jesus mentions that there are several witnesses to the fact that He is the Son of God. However, He says that the greatest witness is the works that He does. The same is true for you and me. The greatest testimony is a life that has been gloriously transformed by the power of the Gospel. It is not our words that attracts people to Jesus, it is the life we live that attracts people to Jesus.
The scriptures are our source for knowing Jesus (v. 39). We know that Jesus is everything. Without Him we can do nothing. We know that only Jesus can save. We know that our greatest witness is the life that we live. So, how do we know Jesus? How do we know how we are to live? The answer is found in the scriptures. The scriptures reveal to us who Jesus is. The scriptures show us how Jesus lived. Therefore, to know Jesus, we must know the scriptures.
Jesus is all the world to me. He is everything. Do you know Jesus? Search the scriptures, and you will find Him.