JOHN 5:16-30 (NIV – UK)
The authority of the Son
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defence Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.’ 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
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. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 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. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him.
24 ‘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. 25 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. 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 judge because he is the Son of Man.
28 ‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 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.
HONOUR THE SON
Here we see a wonderful picture of the relationship between the Father and the Son. Firstly, even that Jesus calls God his Father is enough to provoke a strong reaction from the Jewish leaders (v. 17-18). But some of the intricacies of that relationship are also revealed:
– Jesus is at work because his Father is at work (v. 17).
– Jesus is equal with his Father (v. 18).
– Jesus does as his Father does – he doesn’t have a separate agenda (v. 19).
– The Father loves Jesus (v. 20).
– The Father shows Jesus everything that he does (v. 20).
– The Son gives life just as the Father gives life (v. 21).
– The Father has entrusted al judgement and authority to Jesus (v. 22 & 27).
– The Father’s desire is that Jesus is honoured (v. 23).
– The Father has granted Jesus to have life in himself (v. 26).
– Jesus seeks to please his Father (v. 30).
These details are not to be discarded. Paying attention to these details allow us to begin to build up a fuller picture of who our God is, his nature and the way he relates to us. This God is a unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and so appreciating the dynamics of those relationships are the very way in which we begin to learn about God. Having a fuller picture of God will inform our whole lives from how/why we pray, to the way we interact with our friends, to how we choose to spend our time. Knowing this God is life changing, and it begins by receiving his revelation here in the words of the Bible.
Question: How much attention do you pay to the relationship between the Father and the Son? Do you think it is important? How do you think it might affect your life to have a fuller picture?