“Always” is a daunting and near impossible word. I mostly use it and hear it used as hyperbole, and since we can use the word with certainty for so few situations, anytime I hear the word “always,” I almost always assume it isn’t always. Maybe I’m a bit cynical, but really, aren’t there very few instances in which we truly mean this word?
Yet in John 8:29 Jesus says: “And He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” That is an incredible statement and either it is true or Jesus is out of His mind – whether a liar or lunatic.
And yet at least four New Testament writers affirm this as fact (John 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 14:15; 1 Peter 1:19 and 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5). John and Peter were attached to the hip of Jesus for around three years and they both lived as if this was true.
This truth shows us why we so desperately need Jesus and why we should worship Him as our Lord and Savior.
- No one, save Jesus, has or will always do the things that are pleasing to Him (Romans 3:23). No one who with a sane mind could say: “I am perfect. I always do what is right.”
- But how do we know what is pleasing to God? Well, the Bible tells us so. The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 tell us about the perfect character of God. The reason perfect is perfect is because God said so and is so. He is the standard setter of the universe and He has told us what the standard is and none of us have met it.
- And even given Jesus’ perfect and pleasing life, Jesus came to serve and ransom many by absorbing the wrath of God (2 Cor. 5:21; Isa. 53:12; Isa: 53:11). There is some debate as to whether God turned His back on Jesus or whether Jesus was separated from God the Father. But what we can say for sure is the God poured out His wrath in an excruciating way on His perfect, sin-bearing Son to redeem people who are born sinners and always sinning (Matthew 27:45-46).
I’ve been meditating on this verse for a while and I marvel at it the longer I dwell on it. Jesus was pleasing because He is God and perfect, but also so that we might escape the fact that we are displeasing in our thoughts and actions. For this reason I desire always to worship the one who gave his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).