The Gospel of John
5:18-47 - CHAPTER STUDY
Jesus Is God

J. Deering, AncientPath.net


THE GOSPEL OF JOHN CHAPTER 5:17-47
The Gospel of John – Text Based Studies

THE TEXT (NASB)

17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working”

 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

 19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

 24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

 25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

 30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

 31 “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.

 33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

 36 But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.

 37 And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. 38 You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.

 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from men; 42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

 

Key Verses To Understanding The Section [5:17-47]
Jesus offers “Proofs” of His authority to work miracles on the Sabbath.

[St. Augustine referred to these, in part, as: “The inseparable action of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”]

5:17-18 & 23, Jesus’ Claims Equality with God

5:25 & 28, Two Resurrections, now and then

5:34b, Witness of John Surpassed

5:36b, Witness of His Works

5:38b, Witness of the Father not believed

5:47a, Witness of the Scripture not believed

 

COMMENTARY [5:17-47]

Jesus speaks of His Equality With God, 5:17-24

5:17-18
But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

The Jews were questioning and criticizing Jesus because He had healed a man on the Sabbath. They were outraged that He had told the man to “take up his bed and walk around” – a clear violation of the Mosaic Sabbath laws. While the offense was made by the man who was healed, they held Jesus responsible.

Jesus’ answer to them was simple. He and His heavenly Father were co-equal and therefore, as God, He could not be held responsible under the Mosaic Law. The one who makes the law has the right to change the law, and this outraged them all the more.

[References: John 10:31-38; John 19: 5-7]

5:19-23

19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will 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 goes on with His discussion with the Jews by further explaining His relationship with His heavenly Father. The points He makes are:

1.   5:19, The Son is an extension of The Father. His activities mirror the activities of the Father. [Matthew 26:39]

2.   5:20a, The relationship between the Father and the Son is one based upon love. [Matthew 3:16-17]

3.   5:20b, This love relationship results in a complete sharing between the Father and the Son. [Romans 4:16-18]

4.   5:20c, The activities of Jesus are designed to make the Jews “marvel.”

5.   5:21a, Both the Father and the Son deal in resurrection and the gift of both psychical and eternal life.

6.   5:21b, Both the Father and the Son grant this life according to their desires.

7.   5:22, The ultimate source of the judgment of man rests in hands of Jesus, the Son of God. [Acts 10:39-43]

8.   5:23, Those who honor the Son, honor the Father.

9.   5:23, Those who do not honor the Son do not know the Father. [Luke 10:13-16]

10.        5:23, It is the Father who sent the Son.

 5:24
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Jesus presents the Jews with a clear breakdown of the Gospel of Salvation.

1.   The one who hears Jesus’ word (the Word of God)

2.   The one who Believes The Father sent Jesus

This one, has eternal life.

This one, does not come into judgment.

This one, has already passed out of death and into life. [1 John 5:9-13]

 

Jesus speaks of Two Resurrections, now and then, 5:25-31

5:25-29

25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Augustine found 2 resurrections spoken of here, but in verses :24 and :29. He illuminates the immediate “resurrection” of the spirit of a man upon His conversion to Christ (:24), and the eventual resurrection of the body (:29).

But here we are speaking of the two qualities of resurrection; the resurrection to Life - of the believer, and the resurrection to Judgment – of the unbeliever.

Verse 25 tells of both the timing and the qualifications of resurrection to Life. The Hour is both “now” (Jesus’ time) and “coming” – the resurrection of the Dead In-Christ. Certain miracles of Jesus demonstrate His ability to raise the dead – once again to life. It is a further testimony to His Deity. The second, and prophetic, testimony in these verses is to His Divine right as Judge of all mankind. That right is His alone, according to His revelation of The Father. [Acts 17:31]

Verse 26 continues the theme of Life from verse 24 that is available through Him. This “Life” is completely different from human physical life. This specific “Life” is one that has a future that does not include a judgment that would prevent the bearer from entering into the eternal presence of God. It is the opposite of a kind of “Death” that prevents the bearer from entering into the eternal presence of God, but has the destination of eternal perishing.

Verse 27 Tells us that the “Office” that Jesus holds is that of “The Son of Man.” One of the responsibilities given to that office is “All Authority to Execute Judgment.” This is, of course, the judgment of Faith. All mankind will be judged as to whether or not they have “saving faith.” Different ages or dispensations have had progressive revelation as to the nature of the Faith required, however it is the God, Jesus the Christ, who will see into all men’s hearts and determine the character of one’s Faith. Those who meet those requirements will enter into His eternal life, and those who do not meet those requirements will enter into His eternal death – totally apart from God and His righteousness, in a separate place designated by God known as Hell.

In Verses 28-29 Jesus tells the Jews to not “marvel” at His words for “You ain’t seen nothing yet!” He prophetically speaks of the dead saints, then some in “Paradise,” the place of the righteous dead awaiting resurrection, and some “across the great gulf” the unrighteous dead awaiting resurrection. They will hear His voice and come forth from the grave – The righteous to His Life, and the unrighteous to His judgment and death. [1 Corinthians 15:50-57; Daniel 12:1-3]

Verse 30 defines the basis of Jesus’ judgment task. It is to mirror the will of His Father. Because the basis is based upon the will of His Father – the Judgment will be just. Jesus’ note at the end of this verse re-emphasizes that He has been sent by God The Father to accomplish this task.

Verse 31 introduces us to the witnesses that validate Jesus’ claims of Authority. He places His approval upon these witnesses as trustworthy.

 

The Witness of John the Baptist, 5:33-35

Jesus reminds the Jews that they had sent for John The Baptist in order to testify concerning Jesus. Jesus puts His approval on that testimony. John’s testimony of his own ministry concerned Jewish repentance and turning back to their God in preparation of the Messiah. He then identified that person as Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus states, based on that testimony, that His testimony is that His Heavenly Father gave Him the authority to accomplish these miracles – so that they might be saved. He ends these verses with a reminder that the Jews were rejoicing in John The Baptist’s message – if even for a little while. [2 Peter 1:16-21]

 

The Witness of The Works of Jesus, 5:36

Jesus tells the Jews that His ministry is of greater value. The works of His ministry – that His Father gave Him – were for the purpose of demonstrating that it was God Almighty (His Father) who sent Him. [Matthew 11:2-6]

 

The Witness of The Testimony of The Father, 5:37-38

Jesus tells the Jews that His heavenly Father has already testified as to who Jesus is. The Old testament is filled with the Grace of God which was to be manifested in The Son Of God. Every book of the Old Testament is filled with the symbols, types, and imagery of Messiah, and every book works as a whole in prophesying His coming.

He then condemns them: “You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.” These are harsh words that were certain to stir up even greater resentment. [Romans 2:17-24]

 

The Witness of The Testimony of the Scriptures, 5:39-47

Verse 39 – paraphrase: You think your version of the Scriptures will lead you to eternal life (reliance upon the Law and good works). But, instead they testify about Me!

 Verse 40 – You are unwilling, as God’s chosen people, to come to ME (instead of the Law) to have Life.

 Verses 41-42 – No one (none of you) is bringing praise concerning ME; but I know you, you have no love of God within you. No Grace, only Law.

 Verse 43 – Jesus comes in the Father’s Name – His Ambassador, and you do not receive me and my message – even though others come with no authority and you receive them and their messages.

 Verse 44 – Because you glory in the praises of other men – and not God – therefore you are unable to believe. [Romans 2:25-29]

Verse 45 – Jesus has no need to accuse them before His Father, All that Moses had written spoke of Jesus the Messiah, and the unbelieving Jews are condemned by those writings. They have set their hope in the Law and not in the Christ they represent, worshipping the created thing instead of the creator.

Verse 46 – FOR – If you believed Moses (believed the things Moses had written of and their object) you would believe Me (faith), for his writings concerned Me. [Luke 24:25-27]

Verse 47 – So, since you do not believe Moses writings, you are unable to believe My words. [Luke 16:19-31]

 

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REFERENCE VERSES FOR CONTINUED STUDY:

John 10: 31-38

The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

 

John 19:5-7

5 Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate *said to them, “Behold, the Man!” 6 So when the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out saying, “Crucify, crucify!” Pilate *said to them, “Take Him yourselves and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God.”

 

Matthew 26:39

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

 

Matthew 3:16-17

16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

 

Romans 4:16-18

16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

 

Acts 10:39-43

39 We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. 40 God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. 42 And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

 

Luke 10:13-16

13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will be brought down to Hades! 16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

 

1 John 5:9-13

9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for the testimony of God is this, that He has testified concerning His Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son. 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

 

Acts 17:31

30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

 

1 Corinthians 15:50-57

50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Daniel 12:1-3

12 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

 

2 Peter 1:16-21

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

 

Matthew 11:2-6

2 Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?” 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”

 

Luke 3:21-22

21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

 

Romans 2:17-24

17 But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, 18 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, 21 you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.

 

Romans 2:25-29

25 For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

 

Luke 24:25-27

25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

 

Luke 16:19-31

19 “Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20 And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and *saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

 


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