John Chapter Five
Chapter 5 contrasts the quickening power of Christ, the power and the right of giving life to the dead, with the powerlessness of legal ordinances. They required strength in the person that was to profit by them. Christ brought with Him the power that was to heal, and indeed to quicken. Further, all judgment is committed to Him, so that those who had received life would not come into judgment. The end of the chapter sets forth the testimonies that have been borne to Him, and the guilt therefore of those who would not come to Him to have life. One is sovereign grace, the other responsibility because life was there. To have life His divine power was needed; but in rejecting Him, in refusing to come unto Him that they might have life, they did so in spite of the most positive proofs.
Let us go a little into the details. The poor man who had an infirmity for thirty-eight years was absolutely hindered, by the nature of his disease, from profiting by means that required strength to use them. This is the character of sin, on the one hand, and of law on the other. Some remains of blessing still existed among the Jews. Angels, ministers of that dispensation, still wrought among the people. Jehovah did not leave Himself without testimony. But strength was needed to profit by this instance of their ministry. That which the law could not do, being weak through the flesh, God has done through Jesus. The impotent man had desire, but not strength; to will was present with him, but no power to perform. The Lord's question brings this out. A single word from Christ does everything. "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." Strength is imparted. The man rises, and goes away carrying his bed.  It was the Sabbath-an important circumstance here, holding a prominent place in this interesting scene. The Sabbath was given as a token of the covenant between the Jews and theLord. 
But it had been proved that the law did not give God's rest to man. The power of a new life was needed; grace was needed, that man might be in relationship with God. The healing of this poor man was an operation of this same grace, of this same power, but wrought in the midst of Israel. The pool of Bethesda supposed power in man; the act of Jesus employed power, in grace, on behalf of one of the Lord's people in distress. Therefore, as dealing with His people in government, He says to the man, "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee." It was Jehovah acting by His grace and blessing among His people; but it was in temporal things, the tokens of His favour and lovingkindness, and in connection with His government in Israel. Still it was divine power and grace. Now, the man told the Jews that it was Jesus. They rise up against Him under the pretence of a violation of the Sabbath. The Lord's answer is deeply affecting, and full of instruction-a whole revelation. It declares the relationship, now openly revealed by His coming, that existed between Himself (the Son) and His Father. It shews-and what depths of grace!-that neither the Father nor Himself could find their Sabbath  in the midst of misery and of the sad fruits of sin. Jehovah in Israel might impose the Sabbath as an obligation by the law, and make it a token of the previous truth that His people should enter into the rest of God. But, in fact, when God was truly known, there was no rest in existing things; nor was this all-He wrought in grace, His love could not rest in misery. He had instituted a rest in connection with the creation, when it was very good. Sin, corruption, and misery had entered into it. God, the holy and the just, no longer found a Sabbath in it, and man did not really enter into God's rest (compare Heb. 4). Of two things, one: either God must, in justice, destroy the guilty race; or-and this is what He did, according to His eternal purposes-He must begin to work in grace, according to the redemption which the state of man required-a redemption in which all His glory is unfolded. In a word, He must begin to work again in love. Thus the Lord says, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." God cannot be satisfied where there is sin. He cannot rest with misery in sight. He has no Sabbath, but still works in grace. How divine an answer to their wretched cavils!
Another truth came out from that which the Lord said: He put Himself on an equality with His Father. But the Jews, jealous for their ceremonies-for that which distinguished them from other nations-saw nothing of the glory of Christ, and seek to kill Him, treating Him as a blasphemer. This gives Jesus occasion to lay open the whole truth on this point. He was not like an independent being with equal rights, another God who acted on His own account, which, moreover, is impossible. There cannot be two supreme and omnipotent beings. The Son is in full union with the Father, does nothing without the Father, but does whatsoever He sees the Father do. There is nothing that the Father does which He does not in communion with the Son; and greater proofs of this should yet be seen, that they might marvel. This last sentence of the Lord's words, as well as the whole of this Gospel, shews that, while revealing absolutely that He and the Father are one, He reveals it, and speaks of it as in a position in which He could be seen of men. The thing of which He speaks is in God; the position in which He speaks of it is a position taken, and, in a certainsense, inferior. We see everywhere that He is equal to, and one with, the Father. We see that He receives all from the Father, and does all after the Father's mind. (This is shewn very remarkably in chapter 17). It is the Son, but the Son manifested in the flesh, acting in the mission which the Father sent Him to fulfil.
Two things are spoken of in this chapter (v. 21, 22) which demonstrate the glory of the Son. He quickens and He judges. It is not healing that is in question-a work which, at bottom, springs from the same source, and has its occasion in the same evil: but the giving of life in a manner evidently divine. As the Father raises the dead and quickens them, so the Son quickens wham He will. Here we have the first proof of His divine rights, He gives life, and He gives it to whom He will. But, being incarnate, He may be personally dishonoured, disallowed, despised of men. Consequently all judgment is committed unto Him, the Father judging no man, in order that all, even those who have rejected the Son, should honour Him, even as they honour the Father whom they own as God. If they refuse when He acts in grace, they shall be compelled when He acts in judgment. In life, we have communion by the Holy Ghost with the Father and the Son (and quickening or giving life is the work alike of the Father and the Son); but in the judgment, unbelievers will have to do with the Son of man whom they have rejected. The two things are quite distinct. He whom Christ has quickened will not need to be compelled to honour Him by undergoing judgment. Jesus will not call into judgment one whom He has saved by quickening him.
How may we know, then, to which of these two classes we belong? The Lord (praised be His name!) replies, he that hears His word, and believes Him who sent Him (believes the Father by hearing Christ), has everlasting life (such is the quickening power of His word), and shall not come into judgment. He is passed from death into life. Simple and wonderful testimony!  The judgment will glorify the Lord in the case of those who have despised Him here. The possession of eternal life, that they may not come into judgment, is the portion of those who believe.
The Lord then points out two distinct periods, in which the power that the Father committed to Him as having come down to the earth, is to be exercised. The hour was coming-was already come-in which the dead should hear the voice of the Son of God, and those that heard should live. This is the communication of spiritual life by Jesus, the Son of God, to man, who is dead by sin, and that by means of the word which he should hear. For the Father has given to the Son, to Jesus, thus manifested on earth, to have life in Himself (compare 1 John 1:1, 2). He has also given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of man. For the kingdom and the judgment, according to the counsels of God, belong to Him as Son of man-in that character in which He was despised and rejected when He came in grace.
This passage also shews us that, although He was the eternal Son, one with the Father, He is always looked upon as manifested here in the flesh, and, therefore, as receiving all from the Father. It is thus that we have seen Him at the well of Samaria-the God who gave, but the One who asked the poor woman to give Him to drink.
Jesus, then, quickened souls at that time. He still quickens. They were not to marvel. A work, more wonderful in the eyes of men, should be accomplished. All those that were in the grave should come forth. This is the second period of which He speaks. In the one He quickens souls; in the other, He raises up bodies from death. The one has lasted during the ministry of Jesus and 1800 years since His death; the other is not yet come, but during its continuance two things will take place. There will be a resurrection of those who have done good (this will be a resurrection of life, the Lord will complete His quickening work), and there will be a resurrection of those who have done evil (this will be a resurrection for their judgment). This judgment will be according to the mind of God, and not according to any separate personal will of Christ. Thus far it is sovereign power, and as regards life sovereign grace-He quickens whom He will. What follows is man's responsibility as regards the obtaining eternal life. It was there in Jesus, and they would not come to Him to have it.
The Lord goes on to point out to them four testimonies rendered to His glory and to His Person, which left them without excuse:-John, His own works, His Father, and the scriptures. Nevertheless, while pretending to receive the latter, as finding in them eternal life, they would not come to Him that they might have life. Poor Jews! The Son came in the name of the Father, and they would not receive Him; another shall come in his own name, and him they will receive. This better suits the heart of man. They sought honour from one another: how could they believe? Let us remember this. God does not accommodate Himself to the pride of man-does not arrange the truth so as to feed it. Jesus knew the Jews. Not that He would accuse them to the Father: Moses, in whom they trusted, would do that; for if they had believed Moses, they would have believed Christ. But if they did not credit the writings of Moses, how would they believe the words of a despised Saviour?
In result, the Son of God gives life, and He executes judgment. In the judgment that He executes, the testimony which had been rendered to His Person leaves man without excuse on the ground of his own responsibility. In chapter 5 Jesus is the Son of God who, with the Father, gives life, and as Son of man judges. In chapter 6 He is the object of faith, as come down from heaven and dying. He just alludes to His going on high as Son of man.
 Christ brings the strength with Him which the law requires in man himself to profit by it.
 The Sabbath is introduced, whatever new institution or arrangement is established under the law. And in truth, a part in the rest of God is, in certain aspects, the highest of our privileges (see Heb. 4). The Sabbath was the close of the first or this creation, and will be so when fulfilled. Our rest is in the new one, and that not in the first man's creation state but risen, Christ the second Man being its beginning and head. Hence the first day of the week.
 God's Sabbath is a Sabbath of love and holiness.
 Remark how full the bearing of this is. If they do not come into judgment to settle their state, as man would put it, they are shewn to be wholly dead in sin. Grace in Christ does not contemplate an uncertain state which judgment will determine. It gives life and secures from judgment. But while He judges as Son of man according to the deeds done in the body, He shews us here that all were dead in sin to begin with.
── John Darby《Synopsis of John》
The cure at the pool of Bethesda. (1-9) The Jews' displeasure. (10-16) Christ reproves the Jews. (17-23) Christ's discourse. (24-47)
Commentary on John 5:1-9
(Read John 5:1-9)
We are all by nature impotent folk in spiritual things, blind, halt, and withered; but full provision is made for our cure, if we attend to it. An angel went down, and troubled the water; and what disease soever it was, this water cured it, but only he that first stepped in had benefit. This teaches us to be careful, that we let not a season slip which may never return. The man had lost the use of his limbs thirty-eight years. Shall we, who perhaps for many years have scarcely known what it has been to be a day sick, complain of one wearisome night, when many others, better than we, have scarcely known what it has been to be a day well? Christ singled this one out from the rest. Those long in affliction, may comfort themselves that God keeps account how long. Observe, this man speaks of the unkindness of those about him, without any peevish reflections. As we should be thankful, so we should be patient. Our Lord Jesus cures him, though he neither asked nor thought of it. Arise, and walk. God's command, Turn and live; Make ye a new heart; no more supposes power in us without the grace of God, his distinguishing grace, than this command supposed such power in the impotent man: it was by the power of Christ, and he must have all the glory. What a joyful surprise to the poor cripple, to find himself of a sudden so easy, so strong, so able to help himself! The proof of spiritual cure, is our rising and walking. Has Christ healed our spiritual diseases, let us go wherever he sends us, and take up whatever he lays upon us; and walk before him.
Commentary on John 5:10-16
(Read John 5:10-16)
Those eased of the punishment of sin, are in danger of returning to sin, when the terror and restraint are over, unless Divine grace dries up the fountain. The misery believers are made whole from, warns us to sin no more, having felt the smart of sin. This is the voice of every providence, Go, and sin no more. Christ saw it necessary to give this caution; for it is common for people, when sick, to promise much; when newly recovered, to perform only something; but after awhile to forget all. Christ spoke of the wrath to come, which is beyond compare worse than the many hours, nay, weeks and years of pain, some wicked men have to suffer in consequence of their unlawful indulgences. And if such afflictions are severe, how dreadful will be the everlasting punishment of the wicked!
Commentary on John 5:17-23
(Read John 5:17-23)
The Divine power of the miracle proved Jesus to be the Son of God, and he declared that he worked with, and like unto his Father, as he saw good. These ancient enemies of Christ understood him, and became more violent, charging him not only with sabbath-breaking, but blasphemy, in calling God his own Father, and making himself equal with God. But all things now, and at the final judgment, are committed to the Son, purposely that all men might honour the Son, as they honour the Father; and every one who does not thus honour the Son, whatever he may think or pretend, does not honour the Father who sent him.
Commentary on John 5:24-29
(Read John 5:24-29)
Our Lord declared his authority and character, as the Messiah. The time was come when the dead should hear his voice, as the Son of God, and live. Our Lord first refers to his raising those who were dead in sin, to newness of life, by the power of the Spirit, and then to his raising the dead in their graves. The office of Judge of all men, can only be exercised by one who has all knowledge, and almighty power. May we believe His testimony; thus our faith and hope will be in God, and we shall not come into condemnation. And may His voice reach the hearts of those dead in sin; that they may do works meet for repentance, and prepare for the solemn day.
Commentary on John 5:30-38
(Read John 5:30-38)
Our Lord returns to his declaration of the entire agreement between the Father and the Son, and declared himself the Son of God. He had higher testimony than that of John; his works bore witness to all he had said. But the Divine word had no abiding-place in their hearts, as they refused to believe in Him whom the Father had sent, according to his ancient promises. The voice of God, accompanied by the power of the Holy Ghost, thus made effectual to the conversion of sinners, still proclaims that this is the beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleased. But when the hearts of men are full of pride, ambition, and the love of the world, there is no room for the word of God to abide in them.
Commentary on John 5:39-44
(Read John 5:39-44)
The Jews considered that eternal life was revealed to them in their Scriptures, and that they had it, because they had the word of God in their hands. Jesus urged them to search those Scriptures with more diligence and attention. "Ye do search the Scriptures," and ye do well to do so. They did indeed search the Scriptures, but it was with a view to their own glory. It is possible for men to be very studious in the letter of the Scriptures, yet to be strangers to its power. Or, "Search the Scriptures," and so it was spoken to them in the nature of an appeal. Ye profess to receive and believe the Scripture, let that be the judge. It is spoken to us as advising or commanding all Christians to search the Scriptures. Not only read them, and hear them, but search them; which denotes diligence in examining and studying them. We must search the Scriptures for heaven as our great end; For in them ye think ye have eternal life. We must search the Scriptures for Christ, as the new and living Way, that leads to this end. To this testimony Christ adds reproofs of their unbelief and wickedness; their neglect of him and his doctrine. Also he reproves their want of the love of God. But there is life with Jesus Christ for poor souls. Many who make a great profession of religion, yet show they want the love of God, by their neglect of Christ and contempt of his commandments. It is the love of God in us, the love that is a living, active principle in the heart, which God will accept. They slighted and undervalued Christ, because they admired and overvalued themselves. How can those believe, who make the praise and applause of men their idol! When Christ and his followers are men wondered at, how can those believe, the utmost of whose ambition is to make a fair show in the flesh!
Commentary on John 5:45-47
(Read John 5:45-47)
Many trust in some form of doctrines or some parties, who no more enter into the real meaning of those doctrines, or the views of the persons whose names they bear, than the Jews did into those of Moses. Let us search and pray over the Scriptures, as intent on finding eternal life; let us observe how Christ is the great subject of them, and daily apply to him for the life he bestows.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on John》
 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
A feast — Pentecost.
 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
There is in Jerusalem — Hence it appears, that St. John wrote his Gospel before Jerusalem was destroyed: it is supposed about thirty years after the ascension.
Having five porticos — Built for the use of the sick. Probably the basin had five sides! Bethesda signifies the house of mercy.
 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
An angel — Yet many undoubtedly thought the whole thing to be purely natural.
At certain times — Perhaps at a certain hour of the day, during this paschal week, went down - The Greek word implies that he had ceased going down, before the time of St. John's writing this. God might design this to raise expectation of the acceptable time approaching, to add a greater lustre to his Son's miracles, and to show that his ancient people were not entirely forgotten of him.
The first — Whereas the Son of God healed every day not one only, but whole multitudes that resorted to him.
 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
The sick man answered — Giving the reason why he was not made whole, notwithstanding his desire.
 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
Sin no more — It seems his former illness was the effect or punishment of sin.
 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
The man went and told the Jews, that it was Jesus who had made him whole — One might have expected, that when he had published the name of his benefactor, crowds would have thronged about Jesus, to have heard the words of his mouth, and to have received the blessings of the Gospel. Instead of this, they surround him with a hostile intent: they even conspire against his life, and for an imagined transgression in point of ceremony, would have put out this light of Israel. Let us not wonder then, if our good be evil spoken of: if even candour, benevolence, and usefulness, do not disarm the enmity of those who have been taught to prefer sacrifice to mercy; and who, disrelishing the genuine Gospel, naturally seek to slander and persecute the professors, but especially the defenders of it.
 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
My Father worketh until now, and I work — From the creation till now he hath been working without intermission. I do likewise. This is the proposition which is explained John 5:19-30, confirmed and vindicated in John 5:31 and following verses.
 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
His own Father — The Greek word means his own Father in such a sense as no creature can speak.
Making himself equal with God — It is evident all the hearers so understood him, and that our Lord never contradicted, but confirmed it.
 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
The Son can do nothing of himself — This is not his imperfection, but his glory, resulting from his eternal, intimate, indissoluble unity with the Father. Hence it is absolutely impossible, that the Son should judge, will, testify, or teach any thing without the Father, John 5:30, etc.; John 6:38; John 7:16; or that he should be known or believed on, separately from the Father. And he here defends his doing good every day, without intermission, by the example of his Father, from which he cannot depart: these doth the Son likewise - All these, and only these; seeing he and the Father are one.
 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
The Father showeth him all things that himself doth — A proof of the most intimate unity.
And he will show him — By doing them. At the same time (not at different times) the Father showeth and doth, and the Son seeth and doth.
Greater works — Jesus oftener terms them works, than signs or wonders, because they were not wonders in his eyes.
Ye will marvel — So they did, when he raised Lazarus.
 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
For — He declares which are those greater works, raising the dead, and judging the world. The power of quickening whom he will follows from the power of judging. These two, quickening and judging, are proposed John 5:21,22. The acquittal of believers, which presupposes judgment, is treated of John 5:24; the quickening some of the dead, John 5:25; and the general resurrection, John 5:28.
 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
For neither doth the Father judge — Not without the Son: but he doth judge by that man whom he hath ordained, Acts 17:31.
 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
That all men may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father — Either willingly, and so escaping condemnation, by faith: or unwillingly, when feeling the wrath of the Judge. This demonstrates the EQUALITY of the Son with the Father. If our Lord were God only by office or investiture, and not in the unity of the Divine essence, and in all respects equal in Godhead with the Father, he could not be honoured even as, that is, with the same honour that they honoured the Father.
He that honoureth not the Son — With the same equal honour, greatly dishonoureth the Father that sent him.
 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
And cometh not into condemnation — Unless he make shipwreck of the faith.
 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God — So did Jairus's daughter, the widow's son, Lazarus.
 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
He hath given to the Son — By eternal generation, to have life in himself - Absolute, independent.
 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Because he is the Son of man — He is appointed to judge mankind because he was made man.
 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
The time is coming — When not two or three, but all shall rise.
 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
The resurrection of life — That resurrection which leads to life everlasting.
 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
I can do nothing of myself — It is impossible I should do any thing separately from my Father.
As I hear — Of the Father, and see, so I judge and do; A because I am essentially united to him. See John 5:19.
 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
If I testify of myself — That is, if I alone, (which indeed is impossible,) my testimony is not valid.
 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
There is another — The Father, John 5:37, and I know that, even in your judgment, his testimony in beyond exception.
 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
He bare testimony — That I am the Christ.
 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
But I have no need to receive, etc..
But these things — Concerning John, whom ye yourselves reverence, I say, that ye may be saved - So really and seriously did he will their salvation. Yet they were not saved. Most, if not all of them, died in their sins.
 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
He was a burning and a shining light — Inwardly burning with love and zeal, outwardly shining in all holiness. And even ye were willing for a season - A short time only.
 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
He hath testified of me — Namely at my baptism. I speak not of my supposed father Joseph. Ye are utter strangers to him of whom I speak.
 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
Ye have not his word — All who believe have the word of the Father (the same with the word of the Son) abiding in them, that is, deeply ingrafted in their hearts.
 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Search the Scriptures — A plain command to all men.
In them ye are assured ye have eternal life — Ye know they show you the way to eternal life. And these very Scriptures testify of me.
 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Yet ye will not come unto me — As they direct you.
 I receive not honour from men.
I receive not honour from men — I need it not. I seek it not from you for my own sake.
 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
But I know you — With this ray he pierces the hearts of the hearers. And this doubtless he spake with the tenderest compassion.
 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
If another shall come — Any false Christ.
 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
While ye receive honour — That is, while ye seek the praise of men rather than the praise of God. At the feast of pentecost, kept in commemoration of the giving the law from Mount Sinai, their sermons used to be full of the praises of the law, and of the people to whom it was given. How mortifying then must the following words of our Lord be to them, while they were thus exulting in Moses and his law!
 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
There is one that accuseth you — By his writings.
 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
He wrote of me — Every where; in all his writings; particularly Deuteronomy 18:15,18.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on John》
Chapter 5. By the Pool of Bethesda
Rely on Man:
Look unto God: Rise
I. A Thirty-eight-year Infirmity
II. The Son and the Father Are One
III. Various Testimonies
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
All Should Honor The Son (5:16-30)
1. The ministry of Jesus was not without controversy...
a. One reason was because He healed on the Sabbath - Jn 5:16
b. Another reason was because He made Himself equal with God - Jn
-- Prompting the Jews to seek to kill Him
2. Yet He they sought to kill, they should have honored - Jn 5:22-23
a. Even as one should honor the Father
b. For failing to honor the Son, they did not honor the Father who
-- Indeed, all should honor the Son!
[Do we honor the Son today? Truly honor the Son? We certainly should,
and in our text we note several reasons why Jesus should be held high in
our estimation of Him...]
I. WHY WE SHOULD HONOR THE SON
A. THE SON WILL RAISE THE DEAD...
1. Among the "greater works" Jesus would do included raising the
dead! - Jn 5:20-21
2. We have record of Jesus raising three people from the dead
a. The daughter of Jairus - Mk 5:21-43
b. The son of the widow of Nain - Lk 7:11-17
c. The brother of Mary and Martha, Lazarus - Jn 11:1-44
3. One day, Jesus will raise all from the dead! - Jn 5:28-29
a. Those who have done good, to the resurrection of life
b. Those who have done evil, to the resurrection of
-- Just as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive!
- cf. 1 Co 15:22
B. THE SON WILL JUDGE THE WORLD...
1. The Father has committed judgment to His Son - Jn 5:22
a. Jesus has authority to execute judgment, because He is the
Son of Man - Jn 5:27
b. Jesus will exercise righteous judgment, because He seeks the
Father's will - Jn 5:30
2. One day, Jesus will judge all mankind! - cf. Ac 10:42; 17:31
a. His words will judge us in the Last Day - Jn 12:48
b. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ - Ro
14:10; 2 Co 5:10
-- Knowing we will one day stand before the Judge, should we not
honor Him now?
C. THE SON OFFERS EVERLASTING LIFE...
1. To those who hear His Words, and believes in the Father who
sent Him - Jn 5:24
a. They shall not come into judgment (i.e., condemnation)
b. They shall pass from death (spiritual) to life (eternal)
2. The time for this offer is now ("the hour is coming, and now
is") - Jn 5:25
a. When those who are dead (spiritually) will hear the voice of
the Son of God (via the gospel)
b. Those who hear (obey) will live (be saved)
3. The Son has power to give life - Jn 5:26
a. Because the Father has life in Himself
b. And the Father has granted the Son to have life in Himself
-- That Jesus offers the gift of everlasting life is certainly
reason to honor Him!
[Many other reasons to honor the Son could be given, but these certainly
suffice. How should we honor Him? From our text, we can glean at least
II. HOW WE SHOULD HONOR THE SON
A. BY HEARING HIS VOICE NOW...
1. One day, we will hear His voice - cf. Jn 5:28-29
a. Whether alive or dead
b. Whether we want to or not
c. Either to a resurrection of life, or to a resurrection of
2. How much better that day will be, if we hear His voice now
- cf. Jn 5:24-25
a. We can have everlasting life!
b. We will not come into judgment (condemnation)!
c. We can pass from death to life!
-- Will we honor the Son by listening to His words of life?
B. BY OBEYING HIS VOICE NOW...
1. It is not enough to simply "hear" His Words
a. We must be "doers" of His Words - Mt 7:24-27
b. Otherwise, why bother to call Him "Lord"? - Lk 6:46
c. Only by abiding in His word are we truly His disciples - Jn
2. Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all obey Him - cf.
a. Obeying His call to believe in Him - Jn 8:24
b. Obeying His call to repent of sins - Lk 13:3
c. Obeying His call to confess Him before others - Mt 10:32-33
d. Obeying His call to be baptized - Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16
e. Obeying His call to remain faithful - Re 2:10
-- Will we honor the Son by heeding His voice now, today?
C. BY SEEKING THE FATHER'S WILL NOW...
1. Jesus sought His Father's will in all that He did - Jn 5:30
a. His "food" was to do the Father's will - Jn 4:34
b. He came down from heaven to do the Father's will - Jn 6:38
c. He glorified the Father by doing the work He was given to do
- Jn 17:4
2. Jesus wants us to do His Father's will
a. Otherwise we will not enter the kingdom of heaven - Mt 7:
b. Otherwise we will not be part of His family - Mt 12:46-50
-- We can best honor the Son by emulating His example in doing the
1. All should honor the Son today...
a. He is certainly worthy of honor - cf. Re 5:12
b. Just as the Father (He who sits on the throne) is worthy - cf. Re
2. All will honor the Son one day...
a. By responding to His voice at the resurrection - Jn 5:28-29
b. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess - Ro 14:10-11;
For those willing to honor Him today by heeding His voice, they will be
honored together with Him in That Day! - cf. 2 Th 1:10-12
The Insufficiency Of The Scriptures (5:37-40)
1. The all-sufficiency of the Scriptures is an important doctrine...
a. For the Scriptures are completely adequate - 2 Ti 3:16-17
b. God has provided all that we need for life and godliness - 2 Pe
c. We do not need further revelation, we have the faith delivered
"once for all" to the saints - Ju 3
-- Thus we have that which is able to build us up and give us our
inheritance - Ac 20:32
2. Yet there can come a time... when the Scriptures are insufficient...
a. When despite its power, the Word of God is unable to save
b. When despite diligent study, it does not benefit those who search
-- There can be a time when the Scriptures are insufficient!
3. We find such an occasion in the gospel of John...
a. When Jesus was confronted by unbelieving Jews - cf. Jn 5:16-18
b. Who had rejected various sources bearing witness to Jesus - cf. Jn
[In what serves as our text (Jn 5:37-40), we learn when and how the
Scriptures can be insufficient, as it proved to be in the case of the
I. HOW THE SCRIPTURES PROVED INSUFFICIENT FOR THE JEWS
A. THEY DILIGENTLY SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES...
1. As indicated in our text - Jn 5:39
a. The KJV has Jesus commanding them to search the Scriptures
b. The ASV, NKJV, NASB has Jesus acknowledging their study of
c. "The form here can be either present active indicative
second person plural or the present active imperative second
person plural. Only the context can decide. Either makes
sense here, but the reason given 'because ye think' (clearly
indicative), supports the indicative rather than the
imperative." - Robertson's Word Pictures
2. The Jews were diligent students of the Scriptures
a. Moses was read in the synagogues every Sabbath - cf. Ac 15:
b. "Hillel used to say, 'More law, more life...He who has
gotten himself words of law has gotten himself the life of
the world to come' (Talmud). In their zeal for the
Scriptures the Jews had counted every letter of them,
expecting to find life in the laws and precepts..."
- McGarvey's Fourfold Gospel
-- One could hardly be a more diligent student of the Scriptures
than the Jews!
B. YET THE SCRIPTURES DID NOT BENEFIT THEM...
1. They were unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures
testified - Jn 5:39-40
2. Failing to believe in Jesus led to the Father's Word not
abiding in them - cf. Jn 5:38
-- Unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures testified,
the Scriptures proved insufficient to be the Word of life for
[How sad that many Jews who had the benefit of receiving "the oracles of
God" (Ro 3:1-2) and studied them so diligently fell short of receiving
their true benefit. Yet the same occurs often today...]
II. HOW THE SCRIPTURES CAN BE INSUFFICIENT FOR US TODAY
A. WE MAY BE DILIGENT STUDENTS OF THE SCRIPTURES...
1. Indeed we should be diligent students of the Word!
a. The gospel is God's power to save - Ro 1:16
b. The Word of God is living and powerful - He 4:12
c. The Word is able to save our souls - Ja 1:21
d. The Word is able to make one born again - 1 Pe 1:22
e. The Word is able to help us grow - 1 Pe 2:2
f. The Word is able to give us that inheritance among those
sanctified - Ac 20:32
2. Many people are diligent students of the Word!
a. Every denomination has its scholars, people well-versed in
b. People read the Bible daily, study it in church frequently
c. Some can even quote entire sections from memory
-- Many are like the Berean Jews in their study of the Scriptures
- Ac 17:11
B. YET THE SCRIPTURES WILL NOT BENEFIT US...
1. If we do not have faith - He 4:1-2
a. We may come short of our promised rest
b. Like the Israelites who fell in the wilderness
2. If we are not doers of the Word
a. If we are only hearers, we deceive ourselves - Ja 1:21-25
b. If we are only hearers, we will not stand in times of trial
- Mt 7:24-27
-- Unless we believe and obey the Word of God , it remains
insufficient to save us!
1. The Word of God is truly all-sufficient..
a. To do the work God designed it do - Isa 55:10-11
b. To bear fruit in the noble and good heart - Lk 8:11,15
2. Yet "people of the Book" (as the Koran calls Jews and Christians)
should take heed...
a. The Word cannot bear fruit in some hearts - Lk 8:12-14
b. We must let the Word lead us to Him Who is the giver of life - cf.
Indeed, "the all-sufficiency of the Word" must be understood in its
context, for the Word alone does not save. To be saved we also need
faith (Jn 8:24), we need blood (Ep 1:7), we even need water (Ep 5:26),
the last being an allusion to baptism where the Word, God's grace,
Christ's blood and our faith comes together to provide remission of
sins! - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16