9.17.17 ~ John 5:16-24, “Jesus is the Giver of Life.”
Read John 5:16-18... Last week I noted how Sabbath observance was at the top of priorities for the Jews of Jesus’ day. Which makes Jesus’ response, to those who are challenging Him for violating the Sabbath (verse 16), quite remarkable.
Jesus basically tells them that the Father doesn’t stop working on the Sabbath, and neither does He, for the constraint to cease working on the Sabbath doesn’t apply to God, it was made for man’s benefit (Mark 2:27), “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
See Genesis 2:1-3... “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done.”
Notice that all of God’s work was (verse 1) “completed” by the end of the sixth day, and so (verse 2) God “rested,” meaning that God ceased creating, as everything was done.
Isaiah 40:28, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary.”
Although God doesn’t get tired or weary, men do, and so the Sabbath when God rested, was given as a divine example that man should rest one day out of each week (see Exodus 20:9-11).
God finished creating the world in six days, but He continues to sustain everything in and through Christ (Hebrews 1:3), “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word.”
When Jesus stated that He worked on the Sabbath just as the Father does, He was declaring that He was fully equal with God and (Matthew 12:8), “the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Just like the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, continues to do good and to show mercy on the Sabbath; this is a rebuke to the Jewish religious leaders who had accused Him of violating the Sabbath by healing the man who had been an invalid for 38 years.
In verse 16 we read that the Jews were seeking to kill Jesus, not only for breaking the Sabbath (at least in their darkened minds), but for calling God His own Father, thus claiming to be equal with God.
Read John 5:19-21... For any man to claim equality with God was blasphemy. Jesus affirms (verse 19) the veracity and significance of what He said, “I tell you the truth” [lit. “Truly, truly” [amen, amen].
Jesus is saying that the Father would have done the same thing concerning the invalid man; in fact, Jesus is only doing what the Father has shown Him to do, for the Son was always in obedience to the Father (John 10:30), “[He] and the Father are One.” Jesus said (John 14:9), “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
So, for the Jews to accuse Jesus of wrong doing is to accuse the Father who sent Him, for Jesus did what the Father wanted to be done (John 5:20), “the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does.” The word used for love here is the word phileo, meaning deep feelings and warm affection like that of a father for his own son.
Jesus then says that the Father is going to show Him even greater things than the healing of an invalid, as amazing as that was.
Jesus declares (verse 21) the Father has authority and power to raise the dead, to give life; and the Son also has the power to give life to whoever He desires to do so, even one who is dead!
John 10:17-18, “The reason my Father loves Me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
Jesus, the Son of God, is equal to the Father, in that He can raise a physically dead person to life; but Jesus is also able to raise to life those who are spiritually dead, and to grant them eternal life (see John 6:37-40; 11:25-26, 39-44).
Jesus, God the Son, can not only raise one who was physically dead, He also provides spiritual [eternal] life to whomever He chooses.
Read John 5:22-24... Wow! Not only does the Son have authority to raise the dead; He also has been given (verse 22) authority to judge all people. This is an especially powerful statement, because Genesis 18:25 says, “God is the judge of all the earth.” And so, Christ’s judgement will be the very same as the Father’s judgement.
2Thessalonians 1:8-9, “He [the Lord Jesus Christ] will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.”
Acts 17:31, “For [God] has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising Him from the dead" (see Romans 1:1-4).
The Son of God will be sovereign Judge over the world, and so (John 5:23), the Son will be honored just as the Father who sent Him is to be honored. You see, the Father is actually honored more when the Son receives honor, for this was the plan and purpose of God from the beginning.
The divine, sovereign and eternal unity between the Father and the Son is incomprehensible, when One of them receives glory, the Other One also receives glory. In Isaiah 42:8 God declares, “I will not give My glory to another,” And yet, here in John 5, the Father declares that everyone will honor the Son.
John 6:28-29, The people asked Jesus, ”What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.”
Philippians 2:9-11, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Eventually everyone is going to give honor to Jesus Christ, for He came from heaven to show us the Father and to offer forgiveness for sins and eternal life, through His own sacrificial death and sovereign resurrection.
In John 5:24 Jesus reaffirms His authority to give eternal life; ”I tell you the truth,” [lit. truly, truly [ah-main, ah-main], declaring that those who hear His message [the gospel] and believe the Father who sent Him receive eternal life.
What did the Father say? When Jesus was baptized (Matthew 3:17), “a voice from heaven said, "This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”
And when Jesus was on the mountain talking with with Moses and Elijah, while Peter, James and John were watching (Matthew 17:5), “a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!"
This is so awesome: Jesus says that he who hears His message (His death as payment for our sins; His resurrection to grant us eternal life) and also believes the One who sent Him (God the Father) “has eternal life and will not be condemned; for he has crossed over from death to life” (cf. Romans 8:1).
The claims of Jesus Christ are imperatives, in that every person must make a decision to either believe and receive Him or to reject Him, there is no middle ground, no neutral position; as Jesus said (Luke 11:23), “Whoever is not with Me is against Me.”
John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.”
John 6:40, “For My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
Jesus is the giver of life and He gives it freely to anyone who believes in Him as God’s Son, Lord and Savior, Creator and Judge over all; but to all who reject Him, He will one day pronounce judgement on them.
1John 5:11-13, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Pastor Mike <‘(((><