His Initiative Not Ours

I mentioned in an earlier blog about Jesus not taking the initiative.  One of many scriptures on this is John 5:30—”I can do nothing on my own initiative.  I do not seek to do my own will.”

I rarely hear this scripture topic mentioned in sermons, teachings or even books.  It is a difficult truth to grasp.  Jesus had his own initiative/will, but He did nothing on His own.    

Luke 2:40—“The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”

Jesus grew in stature but was also increasing in wisdom, learning wisdom.  We get some insight into Jesus and His increasing in wisdom from His journey to the temple when He was 12. ( Luke 2:46-47.)  Jesus spent about four days on His own with His parents anxiously looking for Him, finding him in the temple.  This seems like an unusual place for a 12-year-old to go all by himself.  He was eager to learn and share.  Verse 46/47—“Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, both listening to them (the Jewish teachers) and asking them questions.  And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.”

I find it interesting that Jesus was listening and asking questions.  To me, this seems like someone eager to learn and grow.  At the same time, the leaders were amazed at His understanding and answers.  The Son of God was increasing in wisdom. 

I am reminded of another story somewhat related in John 2 when Jesus and His disciples were invited to a wedding.  In verse 3 it says the wine ran out.  Mary came to Jesus and said, “They have no wine.”

Jesus answered, “Woman, what does that have to do with us?  My hour has not yet come.”  This interaction tells us a few things.  Jesus was waiting for His hour to come but was not going to act or take any initiative until His hour arrived.  Since the temple experience 18 years ago, Jesus had been increasing in wisdom.  His mom said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”  God must have been using her to urge Jesus to perform His first miracle.  And, Jesus obviously heard God speaking to Him through Mary because much water was turned into much good wine.  And it says in verse 11 that this miracle resulted in His disciples believing in Him.  His hour had come.

Since Jesus mentioned several times that He could do nothing on His own initiative, we know that none of His miracles from the water to wine and many healings, feeding five thousand with a few loaves, sermons, teachings and countless miracles were not accomplished by His initiative.  God was working through Jesus from the first miracle to the last.

John 14:8—“…He who has seen Me has seen the Father…”  John 12:49—“I have not spoken on my own.”  John 6:38—“I have come down out of heaven not to do my own will but, the will of Him who sent me.”  When His disciples saw Him, they saw the Father because it was the Father working many miracles, teachings and salvation through His son.    

If Jesus did not walk by His own will power and initiative, He surely does not want us to walk by our initiative.  What are our options?  Rom 8:14—“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  In Gal 5:25—“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  Jesus was totally dependent upon God to lead Him in everything He said or did.  We are now born-again sons of God and He wants us to live a life of total dependence, (not by our initiative) upon Him through His Spirit in us.  There is nothing we can do through our own initiative that will make us more acceptable to God because His Son’s death on the cross (His grace) has made us acceptable.  Our initiative inspires pride.   1 John 4:9…”God sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”  When His Spirit leads, He is living through us and He is glorified, not us.  

Lord, teach us to recognize your initiative and leading, that You may live through us by Your Holy Spirit.

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