Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


John 5:18-29
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 5:18
v18 (continued): John’s choice of words (in Greek) is indisputable. He says Jesus made Himself equal (“iso”) to God. He is informing us that Jesus meant to present Himself as someone who shared the same divine nature that distinguishes God the Father, that He was someone who was uniquely begotten by God (Jn 1:18). And when these leaders heard this claim behind the statements Jesus was making, Jesus did not correct them, but He did immediately correct their false assumption that He was not submitted to the Father.

Monday: John 5:19
v19: He described His relationship with the Father in terms that imply eternal truths rather than temporal ones. What they were observing in the way He related to the Father was something that had always been true and always would be true. He accepted their charge against Him that He claimed to be God’s divine Son, but He totally rejected their charge that He was proudly usurping His Father’s role as the leader. He only did what the Father told Him to do. And in no way did He think of Himself as independent of God. The truth was He was completely dependent on and submitted to the Father. He would first perceive what the Father was doing in the spiritual realm and then perform it in the physical realm.

Tuesday: John 5:20
v20: Yet there was nothing sterile or mechanical in the way this happened. Theirs was a relationship of love: “The Father loves (“phileo”) the Son and shows Him all the things He is doing” (literal). Then He added this statement, “and greater works [than] these He will show Him, that you may marvel.” The raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:1-48) as well as His own resurrection could certainly be included in the category of “greater works,” but as Jesus continues to speak we discover that He was pointing to the “greater works” He would do at the end of this age. It will be His voice that calls the dead out of their graves at the resurrection (vs21, 25, 28); He will be the One who sits on the throne of judgment, separates the righteous from the unrighteous (vs21-27); and it will be Jesus before whom every knee will bow and whose name every tongue will confess to be Lord (v23) (Php 2:9-11).

Wednesday: John 5:21-24
vs21-23: Though God’s Son truly became a man by means of the incarnation, the divine origin of His spirit, and therefore His right to exercise an authority which belongs only to God, can be seen in the following statements: [v21] At the Father’s direction Jesus will be the One who calls the dead to life (1Th 4:16). In fact He was already exercising that authority in the many healings He was performing. He was replacing “death” with life.[v22] On the Father’s behalf Jesus will conduct the judgment of the human race (Isa 11:1-4; Mt 7:21-23; 16:27; 25:31-46; 2Th 1:7-10). And [v23] He will be honored by all just as they will honor the Father. To dishonor Him is to dishonor the Father who sent Him. v24: Jesus explained to these leaders that these powers He would exercise at the end of the age, were already at work. Each time someone listened to Him and believed, He was raising a “dead” person to life. In effect when a person heard the truth about Him and chose to believe, His judgment concerning them was already decided. That person had already passed from death to life.

Thursday: John 5:25-26
v25: Jesus warned them that a future event was coming (“an hour is coming”) when all those who have died will hear His voice, and at that moment they will be physically resurrected. But to this statement about the future He added these words, “and now is” meaning these future powers were already in operation through Him. He had already begun to give life to the dead by His preaching, healing and deliverance. He was already exercising judgment by confronting people with the truth about Himself, and when confronted with “light” the condition of their hearts was exposed (Jn 3:19-21). v26: By this statement, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so also He gave to the Son to have life in Himself” (literal). Jesus made it clear that He contained within Himself the same divine authority and power as that which is in the Father (Col 1:19; 2:9). As the Son, He does not simply “echo” or “reflect” the Father’s power and authority, He contains the same qualities within Himself. In no way is He inferior to the Father with respect to His divine nature, but as we have seen (v19) He is submitted to Him in everything He does.

Friday: John 5:26-27
v26 (continued): By all accounts, prior to the resurrection Jesus functioned as a man not a divine being. The miracles He did, He did at the leading of the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit. But by saying He “has life in Himself” we learn that had He chosen to do so; He had the divine capacity within Himself to do such works by His own power and authority. But He never did, because in order to die as our human representative He had to limit Himself to function as a human (Php 2:5-7; Heb 2:14). v27: Jesus wanted to give these leaders a scriptural basis for such amazing claims, so He reminded them of the heavenly “Son of Man” pictured in the Book of Daniel (Jn 1:51). Daniel was given a vision in which He saw God the Father, whom He called the “Ancient of Days” (Da 7:9), seated on His throne in heaven. Then “One like a Son of Man” came up to Him (Da 7:13). The term itself simply means someone who looks like a human being, but in this situation for a human being, no matter how exceptional, to walk into God’s throne room and approach God Himself is unthinkable. There must be something very unique about this person. His presence in heaven followed by the complete authority God gives Him (Da 7:14) seem to go beyond the boundaries of what is possible for a human.

Saturday: John 5:27-29
v27 (continued): Before this “Son of Man” sets up His kingdom on earth, Daniel said there will be a terrible persecution against the “saints of the Highest One.” But God will only tolerate that persecution for a limited period of time (Da 7:25), after which the Son of Man’s people will rule over all the kingdoms of the earth (Da 7:27). There will also be a resurrection of the dead (Da 12:1): “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these (everyone whose name is written in the book, Da 12:1) to everlasting life, but others to disgrace and everlasting contempt” (Da 12:2)). With this prophetic background in mind, we can only imagine the shock on the faces of these religious leaders when Jesus told them that He was the Son of Man to whom the Ancient of Days would give “authority to execute judgment.” And He would make this same claim during His trial before Caiaphas (Mt 26:63-66). vs28-29: Daniel said that both the righteous and the unrighteous would be resurrected. Those whose names were in “the book” would be given everlasting life, but the others would receive everlasting disgrace (shame) and contempt (they become repulsive to others). This is the moment to which Jesus was referring when He said, “Do not marvel at this that an hour is coming in which all those in the tombs will hear His voice, and they will come forth, the ones having done good things into a resurrection of life, the ones having done worthless things into a resurrection of judgment” (literal).  


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