Key Verse: ‘I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.’ (John 5:30 NIV)
15-16 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.
17 But Jesus defended himself. “My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I.”
Reflection: (John 5:17)
Jesus was identifying Himself with God, His Father. There could be no doubt as to His claim to be God.
Jesus does not leave us the option to believe in God while ignoring God’s Son (John 5:23).
The Pharisees also called God their Father, but they realized Jesus was claiming a unique relationship with Him.
In response to Jesus’ claim, the Pharisees had two choices:
- to believe Him, or
- to accuse Him of blasphemy.
They chose the second.
Reflection: (John 5:17)
If God stopped every kind of work on the Sabbath, nature would fall into chaos, and sin would overrun the world.
Genesis 2:2 says that God rested on the seventh day, but this can’t mean that he stopped doing good.
Jesus wanted to teach that when the opportunity to do good presents itself, it should not be ignored, even on the Sabbath.
18 That really set them off. The Jews were now not only out to expose him; they were out to kill him. Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was calling God his own Father, putting himself on a level with God.
19-20 So Jesus explained himself at length. “I’m telling you this straight. The Son can’t independently do a thing, only what he sees the Father doing. What the Father does, the Son does. The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.
20-23 “But you haven’t seen the half of it yet, for in the same way that the Father raises the dead and creates life, so does the Son. The Son gives life to anyone he chooses. Neither he nor the Father shuts anyone out. The Father handed all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father. Anyone who dishonors the Son, dishonors the Father, for it was the Father’s decision to put the Son in the place of honor.
Reflection: (John 5:19-23)
Because of His unity with God, Jesus lived as God wanted Him to live.
Because of our identification with Jesus, we must honor Him and live as He wants us to live.
The question “What would Jesus do?” may help us make the right choices.
24 “It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.
Reflection: (John 5:24)
Eternal life – living forever with God – begins when you accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
At that moment, new life begins in you (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is a completed transaction.
You will still face physical death, but when Christ returns again, your body will be resurrected to live forever (1 Corinthians 15).
25-27 “It’s urgent that you get this right: The time has arrived—I mean right now!—when dead men and women will hear the voice of the Son of God and, hearing, will come alive. Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. And he has given him the authority, simply because he is the Son of Man, to decide and carry out matters of Judgment.
Reflection: (John 5:25)
In saying that the dead will hear His voice, Jesus was talking about the spiritually dead who hear, understand, and accept Him.
Those who accept Jesus, the Word, will have eternal life.
Jesus was also talking about the physically dead. He raised several dead people while He was on earth, and at His second coming, “the Christians who have died” will rise to meet Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Reflection: (John 5:26)
God is the source and creator of life, for there is no life apart from God, here or hereafter.
The life in us is a gift from Him (see Deuteronomy 30:20; Psalms 36:9).
Because Jesus has eternally existed with God, He, too, is “the life” (John 14:6) through whom we may live eternally (see 1 John 5:11).
Reflection: (John 5:27)
The Old Testament mentioned three signs of the coming Messiah.
In this Chapter, John shows that Jesus has fulfilled all three signs.
Authority to judge is given to Him as the Son of Man (cf., John 5:27) with (Daniel 7:13-14).
The lame and sick are healed (cf., John 5:20-21 with Isaiah 36:6; Jeremiah 31:8-9).
The dead are raised to life (cf., John 5:21,28 with Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7).
28-29 “Don’t act so surprised at all this. The time is coming when everyone dead and buried will hear his voice. Those who have lived the right way will walk out into a resurrection Life; those who have lived the wrong way, into a resurrection Judgment.
Reflection: (John 5:29)
Those who have rebelled against Christ will be resurrected too, but they will hear God’s judgment against them and will be sentenced to eternity apart from Him.
There are those who wish to live well on earth, ignore God, and then see death as final rest.
Jesus does not allow unbelieving people to see death as the end of it all. There is a judgment to face.
30-33 “I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders. If I were simply speaking on my own account, it would be an empty, self-serving witness. But an independent witness confirms me, the most reliable Witness of all. Furthermore, you all saw and heard John, and he gave expert and reliable testimony about me, didn’t he?
Reflection: (John 5:31)
Jesus claimed to be equal with God (John 5:19), to give eternal life (John 5:24), to be the source of life (John 5:26), and to judge sin (John 5:27).
These statements make it clear that Jesus was claiming to be divine – an almost unbelievable claim, but one that was supported by another witness, John the Baptist.