John 5:18 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.
John 5:19. 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.
John 5:30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
John 6:38. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
How did Jesus live his life on Earth? Our answer to this question is of utmost importance. Why? Because the whole point of our union with Christ is so that we would be conformed to the image of Christ, living our lives as he lived his.
Look at the verses above. What do you see? Jesus lived his life in full submission and dependence upon God – I do nothing on my own. Does that surprise you? Isn’t Jesus God? Can’t he make his own decisions? Can’t he be trusted to choose his own path? Isn’t he the one human who could actually follow his dreams, listen to his heart, and be true to himself? The only one who might be able to self-actualize, self-realize, self-determine, self-fulfill?
In his divinity, Jesus has always been the eternal Son of God. The Word from the beginning. The creator. The light and the life. And Jesus boldly claimed equality with God. He referred to himself as the “I am,” did miracles, forgave sins, called himself the judge of all humanity (day 133), and declared himself the Son of God – he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
But in his humanity, Jesus came to live a life of dependence upon God. The same life we were all meant to live from the beginning. Jesus did not give in to the temptation of his grandparents, Adam and Eve. As a man, Jesus did not try to “be like God.” He placed himself under God – I can do nothing on my own. He listened to God, followed God, obeyed God. He didn’t make a single move without faith in the Father through the Spirit.
Why did Jesus live this dependent life? Because that is the life we were all meant to live. The worshiper’s life. The life we have all failed to live. Jesus lived a life of dependence for us, because we would never do it on our own. He chose dependency out of love. Love for the Trinity. Love for you and for me. Jesus submitted himself for our salvation.
And now we must live dependent upon him as our Savior. We must depend on him for everything. This mortal life, but also all hope, all meaning, all purpose, all love, all acceptance, all joy, all peace. It all comes from our dependence upon his indwelling crucified and resurrected life.
John 6:57. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.
Jesus lived because of the Father. The eternal, immortal, invisible Son became mortal and placed his entire life into the hands of the Father. His everlasting, un-created life, now submitted to the will of God. What trust! What faith! What freedom! What love! He did that for you and me. Why? So that we could do the same. So that we could learn to trust Jesus with our lives. So that we might live because of him.
Now “being like Jesus” takes on a whole new meaning. Christ-likeness is not primarily about achieving a level of perfection, but about accepting a level of humble dependence. When we see our need to depend fully on Christ as our Savior, we can now follow Christ’s example of how to live in his dependence upon God. To live in his faith.
“To live is Christ” is a life of total dependence upon Christ. When there’s nothing left to earn, and nothing left to achieve, we are left with the beauty of simply trusting our Savior Jesus.
Which do you value more: independence or dependence?
You in Christ
In Christ you are fully dependent on him for everything in life now and for eternity? How does this truth actually bring freedom to your life today?
Christ in you
Where in your life are you trying to make progress apart from Jesus’ love and grace? How can that change today?
Playlist: Songs of dependence.