John 5:30 (NIV): By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Jesus was the perfect example of submission to God. His agenda was not tainted by the slightest trace of self-interest. As He said in John 5:19, He could only do what He saw His Father doing. He did not make decisions about His daily agenda until He had heard from the Father directly. (That was one of the key drivers for His frequent early morning prayers!) And once He had heard where the Father was directing Him to go, once He knew what the Father was calling Him to do, He immediately set Himself in the Father’s way, so that He was always where He needed to be, right when God needed Him to be there.
Some believe that this submission to the Father proves that Jesus was not God. But it doesn’t. Jesus, in addition to being the Lamb of God who was sent to die for the sins of the world, also came to initiate the kingdom of God on earth, and to live the kingdom life conspicuously before everyone so that they could see what it was supposed to look like. Jesus consciously humbled Himself when He took on human form (cf. Philippians 2:5-11), so that He became the prototype of what every one of His followers was to become.
The way that Jesus lived, in complete submission to God’s will, seeking His direction and following His lead in every detail – not just “on call,” but consciously seeking God’s whole will throughout the day – that is the way that all of God’s people are called to live. In that path lies the fullness of God’s presence, as well as the fullness of His power. Only in that way of living will Jesus’ followers be able to do “even greater things” than Jesus did. (John 14:12) It is the way that leads to life, and that will guide our lives all the way into eternity.
Father, forgive us for living contrary to Jesus’ example. For setting our own agendas, making our own plans, and then expecting You to bless us. Help us to really internalize the example of complete submission to You and Your will that Jesus illustrated so well, and then to live out that model every day in our own lives. Amen.