Jesus’ Authority to Give Life
Primary Truth Taught- Jesus has the authority and power to command the dead to rise and then to execute judgment.
Twice in this passage Jesus uses the words truly truly I say to you. Then John uses the phrase Do not marvel or literally think this odd, because the things described in these verses will take place. These things are so sure that our Lord gives His stamp of approval even before they take place.
We are told in our text for today that Jesus has the authority to raise the dead. Some when they’re raise will see eternity with God as His people. Others, when they’re raised will be sentenced to eternal judgment.
Human Need Met
Where this passage meets us today is in the realm of belief. Jesus will tell us that salvation is when a person hears His words and believes the Father who sent Him then and only then do we experience eternal life with Christ. It is vital that we believe Jesus and believe everything the Father tells us and that the Father sent Jesus.
In our churches today all we basically hear are things like ask Jesus into your heart or pray this prayer with me and you’ll be saved. Jesus’ version of salvation is entirely different. He says when we hear Him and believe that the Father sent Him then we are born again.
John 5:18–29 (ESV)
18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
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 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.
- Jesus’ Authority Comes from the Father
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.
Here in this first section John wants us to see the unity that exists between Jesus and His Father. God the Father and God the Son are equal in divinity and in person. God the Father is working even today in bringing salvation to lost sinners and He has appointed Jesus to do the same. Both are working in unison to bring about redemption for the people of God.
God is doing some amazing work in the world. Notice that the work here in context was the raising of the man who had been lame for 38 years. We remember that John used the word for rise up was the same as used for a resurrection. So, as amazing as that was, Jesus tells us that there will be greater works than that.
20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he shown him, so that you may marvel.
So far in this first section Jesus is making the point that the Father is working continually in the task of reconciling lost humanity to Himself. His eternal Sabbath rest after His six days of creative work is continuing but He is not resting from the work of saving His people. Jesus is telling us that He and His Father are doing the same work with the same thrust and the same end. The Trinity is in perfect harmony accomplishing the same goal.