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John 5:19-23   

The Father And The Son


John 5:19-23 MKJV   Then Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He sees the Father do. For whatever things He does, these also the Son does likewise.  (20) For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all the things that He Himself does. And He will show Him greater works than these, so that you may marvel.  (21) For as the Father raises the dead and makes alive, even so the Son of Man makes alive whomever He wills.  (22) For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son,  (23) so that all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.


Jesus says four astonishing things about Himself (remember yesterday He said he was God’s Son, “thus making Himself equal with God”):

  1. 1.    For whatever things He (God the Father does, the also the Son (Jesus) does likewise. That is Jesus is claiming to do the same activities as God.
  2. 2.    The Son of Man (Jesus) makes alive whomever He wills. In other words Jesus is claiming that He has the god-like power to impart life, even eternal life.
  3. 3.    The Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son (Jesus). In other words Jesus is claiming to be the judge of the souls of all men and women on planet earth.
  4. 4.    “That all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father” and that not honoring the Son is to dishonor the Father. In other words Jesus is claiming that people should honor Him, even as they also honor God and that to not honor Him is to also not honor God.


These are astonishing claims! If they are true then Jesus does the works of God, can give life to the dead, judges the souls of all men, and is to be honored by all people everywhere. In other words if these claims are true, then Jesus is the Son of God and is also God. If these claims are true then Jesus is Lord and we must honor and worship Him.


On the other hand they could be false. If they are false then we have two alternatives. Either Jesus knew they were false and was a liar and was crucified for His deception. Or Jesus did not know these outrageous claims were false and thus was a raving lunatic in the same category as someone who maintains that they are a boiled egg!   Jesus cannot be “just a good man” and claim to be the judge of all human souls. Such a claim is so grand that either He is what He says He is, or He is a demonic religious charlatan, or He is a deluded lunatic. He is either a liar, a lunatic or He is Lord. There are just no other alternatives.


But the transparent, sacrificial, honest quality of His life and teaching and the good that has flowed from them and the coherence and beauty of His thought tell us that He is not a liar and certainly no raving lunatic. So we are left with the third alternative – Jesus is who He says He is, the Son of God.


Jesus sees and does the works of God. So if I want God to work in my life, then I should ask Jesus to do that work. Christ in me is God at work within me. God heals through the name of Jesus, God does mighty miracles through the name of Jesus, and God even sends His Holy Spirit – through and in the name of Jesus. Faith in Jesus leads us into the realm of the might, miracle-working power of God.


Jesus has the power to give life to the dead. He makes alive whomever He wills. A dead person cannot will anything much, and we are dead in our sins until Christ makes us alive with the life that is from God. Beyond that we can come to Christ for a deeper experience of His eternal life within us. Christ makes us alive – in the midst of disappointment, disillusionment, despair and hopelessness God’s hope and life can break through and bring defeated souls into life and faith and hope and love.


All judgment has been committed to the Son. He is the Judge we will face on Judgment Day. Those who do not believe are condemned already but those who believe have passed out of death into life (see John 5:24,25, the next two verses after today’s passage).  Jesus is not just a sentimental figure in a robe and with a beard and sandals; He is the living resurrected one, the Judge of all our souls. So it is very important that we obey His commandments.


So all should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. Jesus is worthy of worship and honor as the Son of God. He is not just a worthy example, a good man, or a prophet; He is the One through whom all things were made and for whom all things were made (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1:1-3).  Jesus is the Lamb of God, seated upon the throne (Revelation 5) before whom we all should bow and worship and sing praises.


Thus the Christian life is not just about life principles, morality or spiritual keys to success. The Christian life is about giving appropriate honor and glory to the Son of God, believing in Him, worshipping Him, and obeying His commandments.


The focus of our life has to be on God.  Our personal success is a secondary by-product, and one that is negotiable. The non-negotiable aspect is faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God. Now this faith is not a momentary thing “I once prayed a prayer..”  but an abiding life-directing and controlling reality. Peter did not become a great apostle by bowing his head by the lake of Galilee and uttering a one-minute prayer then going back to fishing as before. When Peter believed it was for good, and it took over and directed his whole life. That is the sort of faith we must have in Jesus the Son of God.

Blessings in Jesus,

John Edmiston