Last time we met we learned why the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus. Today in John 5:19-29 we see Jesus’ authority.
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Based on the next line when it says “so Jesus said to them“, I imagine when Jesus made the statement that “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” that the Jews had a fairly immediate response to it (other than the wantig to kill him). Jesus gave them a long response which is today’s reading.
What do we learn then of Jesus?
- Jesus can do nothing of his own accord. v. 19
- Jesus can only do what he sees the Father doing. v. 19
- What God does, Jesus does. v. 19
- God has given certain tasks to Jesus. v.22
- Jesus can give life to whom he wills.
- Jesus is the one who judges.
- If you don’t honour Christ, you don’t honour God. v.23
- Belief in Jesus merits eternal life. v. 24
- Jesus has life within himself.
My son was sitting on the couch as I was working through this list, so we stopped for a moment to talk about it. I was telling him how I’ve read through this passage and had it preached more times than I care to admit, but today I feel like it’s the first time I actually really thought about this passage.
Jesus doesn’t do anything that God does do (other than the “For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son”). This means that if we know that Jesus does something (heal sick, talk to people, knows their history without being told, and such like) he is really truly showing God to us.
[clickToTweet tweet=”This means that if we know that Jesus does something (heal sick, talk to people, knows their history without being told, and such like) he is really truly showing God to us” quote=”This means that if we know that Jesus does something (heal sick, talk to people, knows their history without being told, and such like) he is really truly showing God to us”]
And the things that Jesus does do, doesn’t just come up out of his own mind. It’s not like he’s saying “oh… I’m the Word that created everything so now I’m going to heal whatever”. God heals people, Jesus heals people. God is in relationship with people, Jesus is in relationship with people. The one begets the other. It’s not like the carpenter’s son becoming a lawyer eh? It’s God being God and Jesus being God.
This is a rather cool passage if you stop and think about the implications of what Jesus is saying. I can understand the fierce anger of the Jewish people, knowing what their mindset is. God is holy and just, and no one can be like him and here is a Jewish man saying that what God does, he does. He spells it out so clearly for them.
Then, after he has laid it out clearly for them gives them this injunction “do not marvel at this” (which I personally find a bit odd as Jesus had just finished saying that he will do things that will cause them to marvel). Jesus warns them that a day will come when the dead will hear the Son of God. Those that hear will then live. For just as God the Father has life so does the Son of God. Like father, like son.
I fear I am SO not doing this passage justice. So many thoughts are whirling around in my head … mostly of how Jesus is God in a way that we can see him. Jesus shows us God. God gives Jesus the right of Judgement. This matters eh? Just look at vvs 28-29. The dead will hear his voice, those that do good will receive a resurrection to life, and those who do evil receive a resurrection of judgement. Can you imagine it? The shock of the Jews at Jesus making such statement!?!?! It’s shocking to me to… to see it put so plainly I already knew this truth. Putting it within the context of the Jews wanting Jesus dead for it makes me more clear to me this day.