Verse of the Day Devotion: John 5:30
“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” – John 5:30
This verse says something that we do not think about regarding Jesus. But it does not mean what we think it does. “I can do nothing on my own initiative.” John 5:30a. It is not because He cannot, but because He chooses not to. Essentially, He will only do what the Father says or does. “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19. Jesus would always seek the will of the Father before He did anything. The reason was that He would only do what the Father wanted, not necessarily what He wanted.
Now, back to our focus verse, He says as I hear, I judge. The reason is because He and the Father are one, and therefore He always listens for what the Father says. This does not imply that His own judgement would be wrong, but that He had no reason to. He did not come to promote His own views, but that of the Father, to do the will of God, to submit totally to the Father. “because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30b. Remember what He prayed in the Lord’s prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10.
Now Jesus, the Son of God, submitted Himself to do only what the Father told Him, not what He chose to do. This is complete and total submission to God. And if Jesus does this, we should also. Whatever we do, we should seek the will of the Father. Jesus said as such when He taught them how to pray. “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10. We should be like Jesus, not looking for our own will, but His. We often react in ways that are contrary to what God desires, and when we do, it does not turn out well.
An example of this is when we make a judgement without evidence that it is true. Before we say anything, we should pray and ask God for wisdom. We often make judgements based on how we feel, or purely on speculation. Something we may assume happened may not be true, or our assumption as to their motive may have nothing to do with why they did it. Another example is when we choose to do something, is it what God wants us to do? Often when we make decisions, we do it based on our desires and not necessarily His.
This may be difficult at times. However, we should let God lead us where He wants us and what He wants us to do. One of the best things we can do is spend time in concerted prayer, asking Him what His desire is for us. If God wants us to do it, He will make it happen in His timing. We must trust Him, listen, and be open to anything. He is God, and He loves us and desires our best. But it should be His will and not our own. Things always turn out better that way.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.