19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, 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 execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
Personalize the meaning. Respond as God speaks to you through the Scriptures. Ask: How could my life be different today as I respond to what I’m reading?
Jesus’ claim that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, taken with vv. 17–18, affirms two themes: (1) Jesus is equal to God, i.e., he is fully divine (vv. 17–18); (2) the Father and the Son have different functions and roles (v. 19), and the Son is subject to the Father in everything he does, yet this does not deny their fundamental equality. See notes on vv. 21, 22, 23; 20:28. Only what he sees the Father doing may imply that Jesus had a unique ability to see the Father’s providential activities in the events of everyday life, activities that are ordinarily invisible to human beings.
The Father shows to Jesus all that he himself is doing—i.e., Jesus perceives God’s hand and purpose in every event in this world. The greater works are initially the raising of the dead (11:1–45). Even more, they include Jesus’ own death and resurrection (chs. 18–20), then the voice of this same Jesus summoning all mankind to final resurrection and judgment (5:27–30). (1)
- What stood out?
- What is the relationship between Jesus and the Father?
- Why were the Jews upset about Jesus saying He is equal with the Father?
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
End in Prayer