Posted in Isaiah, John

Doing the Works of Redemption

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” John 9:4

The disciples were confronted with a man who had been born blind, so they wanted to seek a reason for this calamity. They asked Jesus, “who sinned, this man or his parents that he should be born blind?” Jesus replied that neither answer was right, “but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Jesus didn’t dwell on those things that sin and Satan have brought into this world. His view was that all situations can be turned around and become a showcase for God’s redemption. He wants us to gain the same viewpoint.

Notice that He doesn’t say “I” must do the work, but “we.” He was modeling for His disciples the kind of works they would be doing after He was gone. A few chapters later He makes the same point in an even clearer way: “Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12)

Jesus did two kinds of work while He was on planet earth: Isaiah 53 work and Isaiah 61 works. Isaiah 53:5 tells of the work He did on the cross for us: “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.” This is finished work and it is work that only He could do. All we can do is receive that work and be grateful for the forgiveness of our sins.

Isaiah 61:1 tells of the works of His ministry by the anointing of the Holy Spirit: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.” This work He began while He was on earth but would be carried on by His disciples under the anointing of the same Spirit. Jesus modeled this work for them and then commissioned them to allow Him to continue these same works through them.

The church today preaches Jesus’ finished work of Isaiah 53 but largely ignores our responsibility to practice the Isaiah 61 works. I believe God is changing that. He wants us to recognize in a greater way the power of the Holy Spirit in us, and He wants us to gain His viewpoint, so that we can join Him each day in the works of redemption.