The Oneness of the Father and the Son

The Oneness of the Father and the Son

Bethesda. Sabbath. Jesus’ defence.

(The Gospel History, from Sections 37 and 38)

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work. For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only brake the sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus therefore answered and said unto them,

Verily, verily, I say unto you. The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and greater works than these will he shew him, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son also quickeneth whom he will.

Christ’s Defense

1. The Oneness of the Father and the Son

(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book II Poem XVI)

The issue narrowed to a single point,
Th’ observance of the Sabbath, rage of the Jews
Gathered to head likewise; their enmity
Left Him no place of safety. What did He?
As with large frankness speaks a generous soul
Disclosing all his mind, his purpose whole,
Or, speaking for he must the thing he knows,
Compelléd by strong-swelling truth in his breast,
So Christ discloses to these men of hate
(Was it in Court of the Temple He thus spake?)
Ultimate mysteries of love and life!
As sudden break in heavy cloud reveals
Glories of gold and purple, so displayed
(Scarce conscious seeming of the things He shewed),
Messias, glories of the City of God!
Purple of amethyst, the sapphire’s blue,
Jacinth and chrysoprase and emerald,
Lustre of stones most precious, modified
By luminous softening of the pearly gates,—
Such glories Christ revealed in meek defence,
Declaring why He wrought on Sabbath day:—

“My Father worketh hitherto, and I
“Work ever with the Father from the first:

“Ye claim the Sabbath sacred? So be it;
“But work is sacred also, is of God.

“How then shall holy thing mar holy thing
“And sacred work defile your sacred day?

“The works that I do ye may also do
“On Sabbath days and all days, they are good.”

The blessedness of work, discovery,
Our very own, so think we, our chief prize;—
Nor wage, reward or praise, but only work,
The Gospel of our day of strenuous life;—
How good to know this joy we think we have won
Was shared by God and the Son ere worlds were made!
Defending work, yet deeper He offends;
For this cause sought the Jews the more to kill,—
“He brake the Sabbath, yea, and worse, He calls,
“The very God his Father, equal both!”

To those blind eyes, deaf ears, those halting steps,
Jesus unfolds that mystery of Oneness,
The Atonement with the Father that was His,
Atonement in whose ever-widening reach
All men should find the Father and be one!
Void of reserve, He shows the ties that bind—
Ties of diversity and unity—
The Divine Father and the Son Divine!
O wondrous condescension! Make us meet
To look and learn with open eyes and meek!

Subjection and obedience of the Son,
Pattern of all fit human ordering,—
“Nothing the Son can do, but that He seeth
“The Father also do; what things soe’er
“The Father doeth, likewise doth the Son.”
Oneness of mind so perfect, could the Son
Or think a separate thought, do separate act?
All sin is separation; happiness,
Lies it not in perfection of accord?
In our small lives we know it; cross are we
With some poor neighbour of the least account
To us? How sore are we, remorseful, sad;—
Why doth so small a matter vex our soul?
Not small th’ offence although th’ occasion small;
The Pattern of the Unity Divine
Constrained us not to follow; we were vexed;
Nor found our peace again till, sorry, we,
Seeing ourselves were wrong; then, little act
Of atonement makes us one with every man,
At one with Christ in God. Lord, help us keep
Thy Spirit’s unity in bond of peace!

“The Father loves the Son and showeth Him
“All things that Himself doth.” As when a king
Confides his mind to modest courtier
All gratified to learn the things that please,
Things that displease his lord, e’en so do we
Find confidence of Christ to gratify:
’Tis sweet to ponder how, as human son,
Promoted by his father’s trust in him,
Is glad, so Christ in the Father’s Love rejoiced,
Who showeth Him all He doth. Admitted, we,
To secret of those high relations
Subsisting ’twixt the Father and the Son,
Sure, we, too, learn of love and reverence.

All things the Father doeth, showeth He;—
Doth all the time for creatures of His hand;
The lily of the field restored by dew,
The sufferer recovered of his pain,
And such a thing as Christ but now had done,
Restored the impotent. What “greater works”
Lie in the thought of Christ? Belike, the three
Whom shortly He will wake from death, “that ye
“May marvel.” This, of every sign the end,
To turn men’s thoughts to Christ:—Attend; my soul!

The Father raiseth from the dead all day
And every day, nor pauseth; life of plant,
Of insect, human life called from the void,—
What be all these but raisings from the dead?
And what, that mystic secret quickening
That stirs a soul to rise and go to God,
But a raising from the dead? Ultimate power
Of God the Father this, and this the Son
In equal measure shares; He quickeneth, too,
E’en whom He will; no choice arbitrary,
For man, not pawn on chessboard moved about
E’en as the player wills; but his to will,—
Most high prerogative of human state,—
And, willing with the Son who wills to quicken,
Behold, the man alive, at one with God!

The Trinity by Master of Soest

St. John v. 17-21