This morning's full reading can be found here.
'For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.'
As an example of the sort of 'marvelling' Jesus is referring to in verse 20 he makes this statement:
The Father raises the dead.That's sort of thing our Father does and will do.
Jesus is either referring to the examples in the Old Testament of people being brought back to life, or he is speaking in general characteristic terms as in - 'he's the sort of God who's willing and able to raise the dead.' Or else Jesus is speaking with the resurrection (both his and the final one) in view. Either way the statement can be trusted. God the Father raises people up from the dead, back to new life. Actually, I like the way Jesus puts it - 'the Father raises the dead and gives them life.' The Father isn't just a wonder worker who causes corpses to walk around like something out of a zombie film. No, the Father has power over the grave but also a willingness to give life.
The way he puts it makes it clear that life is a gift given by a good God, a loving Father.
I often behave like I'm entitled to good health and a long life but verses like this one remind me that life is all a free gift of grace. I didn't ask to be born, I did nothing to deserve life and I have nothing in myself that means I'll carry on living tomorrow. I have no way of knowing that I'll wake up again in the morning; how cheery. This all has the effect of making me both grateful for my life and also sobered about my own limitations.
We are like mobile phones disconnected from a power supply. Our life is running down every day. We live on borrowed life from the source of life himself. God is life and has life in himself. He is the sole possessor of life, everything else borrows from him.
Allow this to shape the way you approach your day today. Don't be afraid of staring your own mortality in the eye reminding yourself as you do that up until now you've been in the hands of the life giving Father and tomorrow you'll go on being in his hands. It's his goodness that gives us confidence for tomorrow.
Let's ask him to help us appreciate and enjoy the life he's given us, receiving it as a gift and not as our due.
Thank you Father. Thank you that nothing impossible for you, that you can bring the dead back to life; but thank you as well for the life you have given me today. Thank you that my life is in your hands and that I derive the meaning for my life from you as well. Help me to receive with gratitude all that you've done for me and continue to do for me today.