“Apart from Me, you can do nothing," Jesus said in John 15:5. He is the vine, we are the branches, and if we do not maintain a place of abiding (remaining in a relationship) with Him, our attempts at furthering the Kingdom of God and living a God-honoring life are significantly impaired. We need Christ's strength and Spirit to do anything of lasting value and meaning.
Healing the sick only occurs as His Spirit flows through us. Teaching and preaching the Word of God effectively is best accomplished when God's truth and illumination flow through us to the audience. Performing well on the job goes a thousand times better when we allow the Lord's wisdom and guidance to augment our naturally acquired skills and education.
Why is that? The flip side of Jesus' words that we can do no-thing apart from Him is found in Philippians 4:13 (NKJV), I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The deciding factor in doing no-thing versus doing all things is the Spirit of God within us. A powerful union occurs when the divine nature of God, through Christ, unites with our weak, frail humanness.
It happened first in Jesus, when He, being the Son of God, was born on earth as a human being. He took on a body of flesh like ours, needing food, water, sleep, oxygen, etc., to function for the thirty-three years He was here. He did not take on the sinful nature we are born with. Deity combined with humanity in our Savior, and the dunamis (from which the word "dynamite" is derived) creative power of God filled this amazing human being known as Jesus Christ.
He was fully God and fully man. The title He used most often as He walked among men and taught them was that He was the Son of Man. It emphasized His humanness, with all the limitations we experience as humans. Notice how He references Himself in the following verses:
Matthew 20:27-28 (NLT) "For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many."
Matthew 8:20 (NLT) But Jesus said, "Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of my own, not even a place to lay my head."
Matthew 16:27-28 (NLT) “For I, the Son of Man, will come in the glory of my Father with his angels and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see me, the Son of Man, coming in my Kingdom."
In Jesus Christ, divine authority and human frailty met, and there were no limitations on what could be accomplished in that supernatural-yet-natural combination. At the wedding in Cana, where Jesus performed His first recorded miracle, a human need arose—one that could have caused great embarrassment to the host of this festive celebration. Someone miscalculated the amount of wine the guests would consume (easily a human error), and Jesus, fully man, understood the problem when His mother brought it to His attention and asked Him to "fix it." He "fixed it" all right—turning pots of water into wine! And it wasn't just a cheap, they'll-never-even-notice-it wine; the host described it as "the best wine!"
John 2:1-10 (NLT) describes the event: The next day, Jesus' mother was a guest at a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. The wine supply ran out during the festivities, so Jesus' mother spoke to him about the problem:
"They have no more wine," she told him.
"How does that concern you and me?" Jesus asked. "My time has not yet come."
But his mother told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
Six stone water pots were standing there; they were used for Jewish ceremonial purposes and held twenty to thirty gallons each. Jesus told the servants, "Fill the jars with water." When the jars had been filled to the brim, he said, "Dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies." So they followed his instructions.
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. "Usually, a host serves the best wine first," he said. "Then, when everyone is full and doesn't care, he brings out the less expensive wines. But you have kept the best until now!"
Something divine happened to that water. God's divinity met with Christ's humanity and BINGO! A miracle occurred. There were many more to follow.
There are many more to follow, in and through us! We're the humans left here to do the work of Christ in our spheres of influence—our families, churches, communities, hospitals, schools, and so on. These are the words of Jesus Christ to us: "The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. Yes, ask anything in My name, and I will do it!" (John 14:12-14 NLT). Because of Christ in us, we are so much more than frail humans!
© 2023, Chris Werre