We must work the works.
John 9:4-5 “I must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” NASB
These are the words spoken by our Lord after His departure from the temple, in John Chapter 8, where the Jews had been disputing with Him about their standing before God. In these verses, Jesus shows His disciples that He has more to do than just stand around and argue with the stubborn unbelief of His enemies.
Take note of the word “We”, We must work. Let’s look at the passage in context:
John 9:1-12 “As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.” And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”
When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing. Therefor the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?” Others were saying, “This is he,” still others were saying, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the one.” So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.” They said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” NASB
We can’t let the actions of others determine our actions.
Jesus, who had just had a most unpleasant encounter with His enemies did not let the circumstances throw Him off His mission in this world. Though the mission would involve hanging on a cruel cross not many days hence, He would not miss an opportunity to do good and thus show the mercy and goodness of God. This healing of the blind man subsequently caused quite a commotion amongst the synagogue officials and they cast out the blind man.
John 9:35-39: Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” NASB
The man who had been born blind received nothing but good from the Lord; physical healing and soul healing. He received not only the ability to see the world, but he also received the ability to see Jesus and the salvation He offered. Jesus did not just talk about the goodness and glory of God while He was on this earth. He showed the love of God and the goodness of God to a sin sick world.
A Christian is not all talk, A Christian also acts!
We as Christians have a work to do. It is an important work; the most important work that God has ever given a man or a woman to do. The work is this; to not only spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ but to help the needy, the widow, the orphans. Another part of the work is to treat people with justice, equity and fairness. All these things are things Jesus did; it is the example He set for us, and it is this work He expects us to do. And another thing to note; all these things bring glory to God.
I would point you to the first three questions in the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
- What is the chief end of man?
- Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
- What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
- The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
- What do the Scriptures principally teach?
- The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
And this scripture pretty well sums up what our work is:
Mark 12:29-31 And Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” KJV
The thing I would like to point out here is, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This requires another scripture:
Luke 10:29-36 “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise, a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” KJV
And the answer is obvious. The neighbor is the Samaritan; the people despised by the religious Jew of the day. So, who is our neighbor? Everybody! My best friend and my worst enemy are both my neighbors! So many Christians behave as though their work is just to attend church, give a few bucks, sing a hymn, shake a few hands and go back into the world and do whatever it is that pleases them. They seem to think it is only the pastor whom they have hired to spread the gospel’s job. That is not the case, as the Word of God makes plain in so many scriptures besides the ones quoted above. It is the work! It is not only the work it is the duty! Of all of us to spread the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to the world outside the Church.
We have some questions we must ask ourselves and we must answer honestly.
How can the ordinary Christian spread the gospel to the ordinary citizen of the world in a manner that can be believed? The truth is, if he or she fits the description of the Christian in the preceding paragraph, they can’t. The Gospel can only be presented in a convincing manner by a person that lives the life as well as talks the talk. Now I know this will make a lot of people angry and they will read no further, but I must say it anyway: The world, in general, thinks of Christians as a bunch of hypocrites, and that is so because so many of us act like hypocrites. Now I ask you, who takes advice on how one should live their life from a hypocrite? Do you? I didn’t think so.
So I guess I could sum it all up like this:
To do the work of Jesus is to live the life of Jesus and to spread the gospel, and we cannot spread the Gospel in an effective manner without first living the life of Jesus. Mk 12:31 “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” We must help the needy, the widow, the orphan; We must treat people with justice, equity and fairness. In other words, “We must Love our neighbors as ourselves.” It is only then we are qualified to spread the gospel to a lost and hurting world.
In our Lord’s prayer in John 17:13-18 “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”