Jesus said, “What I see the Father doing, that is what I do.”
The word “see” seems so simple yet it is profound. We are surprised and even mystified when we have to admit, “You see things so much differently than I do.”
“Do you see it?”
“I see a house.”
“Yes, you see a house but I see my house.”
So, what does Jesus mean in the phrase “What I see…” He must mean an activity of the Father for the Father is “doing.” Does he mean here on earth or in heaven? Let us say it is here in this world because he speaks to those around him. And let us assume that Jesus speaks to be understood. This is not a prayer where Jesus might say, “No one sees you like I do, Father.”
So, if the “doing” of the Father is happening before our eyes, how do we not see it? There are things to big to see. We cannot see the turning of our world in space. It is too large for us. We move with the earth at an incredible speed, yet we don’t see or feel it happening. We know that actions are taking place in the microscopic universe that are too small for us to see. We also cannot see actions that take place slowly like the eroding of a mountain. So, there are activities too wonderful for us to see. Too big, too small, too slowly.
When we injure our bodies, a process of healing begins very quickly. But that process may take quite a while to complete. But when Jesus heals a man in a moment, we call it “a miracle.” How much healing is going on over the globe? We pay little attention to it. We expect it to happen. Water is turned into wine everyday but we don’t see it happening. It goes too slow for our eyes. When Jesus changes water to wine, we say “miracle.” A man born blind gets new eyes from Jesus. Each one of us gets new eyes at birth. But the process takes months.
So maybe what Jesus means is this: what God is doing over time, he does in a short time. Certainly, Jesus is exhibiting the same care as the Father. The activity is more intensified by being done in a short time but God is always doing these same activities. In the situation of the man born blind, Jesus refuses the argument of this being a punishment for sin. He says this is a way to show the glory of God. Each one of us received new eyes from God that give us the glorious ability to see the beauty of creation and the faces of those around us. We forget this because it happened to us long ago. But when this man “comes back seeing”, we can rejoice with him in this wonderful gift that God has given each one of us.
Now, these miracles show us the power of God. We are always impressed with power and want more of it. But it shows us something more about God. Something more important than his power.
Let us look at a man with leprosy who kneels before Jesus and says, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He believes in the power of God. But, he wonders at the will of God. Maybe he has wondered, ‘Why has God allowed me to suffer?’
What wonder does Jesus do? He says, “I am willing,” as he reaches out his hand and touches the man. This takes place before Jesus says, “Be clean!” and the man is healed. Jesus show his willingness to heal him and much more.
He touches the man with his hand. Do you think this was a tentative touch? Do you think he touched him carefully with one finger? No, he reached out and took hold of a man whom no one else would touch. He connects himself with the man in his present state.
This is what the Lord longs to do with each of us. He wants to connect with us. That he forgives our sin is only part of it. This terrible disease brought this man to Jesus. But what brings us to Jesus is not what brings Jesus to us. He wants to reconnect us with himself. This man was also reconnected to society. Jesus tells him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” This is the way to formally rejoin society. But what else did he say? Don’t tell anyone. Maybe Jesus wanted him to reflect on what God had done for him. To remember who first put a hand on him. He wanted him to understand that God restored his relationship with him first, then he healed him and wanted him to rejoin society.