“Jesus answered them, 'My Father works even up to the present, and I also work.'” (John 5:17)
Jesus is telling us about his Father. He wants us to know about his Father. If we understand the Father, we understand Jesus.
The Father works. He engages in purposeful action.
Is this just a personal preference? Does the Father just enjoy keeping himself busy? No, it is part of God’s nature to be purposefully, faithfully active.
Reality seems to be such that purposeful activity is a necessity—at least for human beings and other living things. Life and work go together.
And our God is a living God. And so God has work to do.
Some devout people have found a stillness in God’s heart. I suspect this stillness is not stationary, like a boulder sitting on the ground. Rather, it is the stillness of a deep river flowing smoothly, quietly. Always flowing.
God’s being is in purposeful action. His existence is that he works. His power is his movement. He is God because he does what a faithful and worthy God does, unceasingly, inexorably.
Jesus knows God in both time and eternity, and knows God to be the same in both realms.
God works in eternity as he works in time. He acts as the source, maintainer, and perfecter of all that is and all that could possibly be.
This sounds abstract, but it is simple to Jesus. Jesus sees his Father working and so works also. He does this because he wants nothing more than to remain united to his Father.
I see Jesus working, and so I work too—because I want to be united to Jesus and, through him, to the Father.
Like Jesus, do good work. What work did Jesus do? He healed, spoke truth, forgave, ate, slept, and a thousand other things. Go and do likewise.
All genuine work is a participation in God’s work.