Read John 5:19-30
The bookends of this passage reveal the role of Jesus as Son and His part in the complexity of the Holy Trinity. The Son can do nothing alone, but He is never alone. There is no “if” in this passage, so don’t get confused. Jesus explained His relationship to the Father for our benefit, not to raise questions!
My brief coverage of this topic doesn’t do it justice, but my goal is not to write a commentary here, simply to point out some thoughts that speak to me as I listen for His voice in the morning. I hope you hear this clearly and more! I pray you will be unsatisfied with my few words and add your own. Not for my benefit, but for your and those you know. May these few words inspire you to write your own!
Remember the context for this discussion: Jesus just healed a man who was lame for 38 years; a man who didn’t ask to be healed, yet was given this amazing gift. The religious leaders are appalled because Jesus did this on the Sabbath, but they are ready to kill Him because He asserts that He is the Son of God!
Jesus’s response begins and ends with these statements:
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. John 5:19,30
The Son can do nothing alone. Let that sink in. As I said in the beginning, Jesus doesn’t give us any hint that He can ever be separated from the Father (and the Spirit). This is not an option. The triune aspect of the Father-Son-Spirit is a challenge to grasp, but just like gravity, it is very real and life on earth would not be the same without it!
Be Amazed — Don’t Be Amazed
Which is it? Should I be amazed or not?
Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. John 5:20
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice John 5:28
Jesus seems to indicate that healing the lame is no big deal. What greater works could be done you ask?
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. John 5:21
Raising the dead to life. Ok, that’s definitely a greater work than healing the lame, but how is either thing even possible?
The way John prepares this passage, I get the idea that the religious leaders are actually listening to Jesus’s response to their concerns. It seems that Jesus has them scratching their heads as He explains to them in no uncertain terms that they need to listen to His instructions.
Twice John records that Jesus says, “Very, truly I tell you…” A phrase that provides a strong indication that we need to listen to the rest of the statement.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. John 5:24-25
Do you hear and believe? Lord, I hope and pray we are able to hear Your voice and Your words.