John 5


John 5:14

Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

So that nothing worse happens. Jesus draws a line between sin and sickness. It’s not God who makes us ill, but Satan and sin. “The wages of sin is death” and that includes death in all its forms. Sickness is a kind of death. Sickness means something has broken. Something is amiss.

This does not mean those who are sick are sinners who need to repent. The sin that opened the door to death was Adam’s sin (Rom. 5:12). But make sinful and unhealthy choices and there will be consequences. Sexual immorality can lead to disease. Adultery can destroy a marriage. Drunkenness can lead to liver damage. DIY religion can lead to burnout and heart disease.

We reap what we sow. This is why Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more. He wanted to break the destructive cycle. So he gave her the gift of condemnation (setting her free from sin) and then he graced or empowered her to stay free. See entry for John 8:11.


John 5:19

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) The Son can do nothing of Himself. Jesus shows us how to live in total dependence on the Father.

First Adam chose the path of independence and cut himself off from life. Last Adam shows us how to live in dependence on God (John 10:37).


John 5:20

“For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) The Father loves the Son. The original word for “loves” is the verb phileo which means fondness or affection. The Father views the son with tender affection.


John 5:21

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) Gives them life… gives life. Zoe-life originates with God and is manifested and given to us in Jesus through the Holy Spirit (John 6:63). See entry for New Life.


John 5:23

so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) Who sent him. On numerous occasions, Jesus told his disciples that he was not from earth but had come or been sent from heaven. See entry for John 6:38.


John 5:24

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

(a) Hears my word. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ.

It’s the unfailing love of God that inspires us to trust him (see entry for 1 John 4:16). Since the love of God is revealed in Jesus Christ (John 17:26), faith comes from hearing about Jesus (Acts 15:7, 28:24).

(b) And believes. All of God’s blessings, including forgiveness, salvation, righteousness and eternal life, come to us freely by grace and are received by faith. Faith does not compel God to forgive us or sanctify us. But faith is the conduit through which grace flows. See entry for Eph. 2:8.

(c) Passed out means to cross over or change places. The moment you put your faith in Jesus, you passed out of Adam’s family and were placed into God’s family. Crossing over from death to life is a one-way trip. Once the Lord takes hold of you, he will never let you go (John 10:28).

(d) Eternal life is living forever in union with Jesus; see entry for John 3:15.


John 5:26

“For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself;

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) Has life in Himself. God is the source of zoe-life, the life of the spirit. See entry for New Life.


John 5:28


“Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,

(a) An hour. While the other apostles spoke of living in the last days and a coming day of the Lord (Heb. 1:2), John preferred shorter metaphors. He said we are living in the last hour (1 John 2:18) and spoke of the coming hour of the Lord.

(b) Hear. The Lord will return with a shout to raise the dead (1 Th. 4:16).


John 5:29

and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

Those who did the good deeds. What are the good deeds Jesus wants us to do and which lead to eternal life? He has just told us: “He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life” (John 5:24). Doing good is hearing and believing Jesus. Indeed, this is the work of God (see entry for John 6:29).

Jesus is speaking to religious Jews who were trying to kill him (verse 18). Jesus doesn’t rebuke these people for being murderous, but for being unbelievers. “You refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:40). “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me” (John 5:46).

Further reading: “Judged for what we have done


John 5:36

“But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) Sent Me. On numerous occasions, Jesus told his disciples that he was not from earth but had come or been sent from heaven. See entry for John 6:38.


John 5:37

“And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.

(a) The Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) Sent Me. On numerous occasions, Jesus told his disciples that he was not from earth but had come or been sent from heaven. See entry for John 6:38.


John 5:38

“You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.

(a) You do not believe. The religious Jews considered themselves a God-fearing people. They had faith in the one God, yet they persecuted his Son and tried to kill him (John 5:18). Thus their faith was a dead and useless faith for it was not accompanied by the work of believing in the One sent by God (see entry for Jas. 2:14).

(b) He sent. On numerous occasions, Jesus told his disciples that he was not from earth but had come or been sent from heaven. See entry for John 6:38.


John 5:39

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;

Eternal life is living forever in union with Jesus; see entry for John 3:15.


John 5:40

and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

(a) You are unwilling to come. We are not born immortal (Rom. 2:6–8). Eternal life is a gift we receive when come to Christ (John 3:15, 5:24). Those who refuse to come to Christ will not have eternal life but remain dead in their sins (Eph. 2:1).

(b) Life. Two kinds of life are described in the Bible; the psuche– or soul life we inherited from Adam and the zoe– or spirit life that comes from God (John 5:26). It’s the second kind of life that is described here. See entry for New Life.


John 5:43

“I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

(a) My Father; see entry for John 4:21.

(b) You do not receive me. They did not believe that Jesus had been sent by the Father (John 6:29).

In the New Testament, there are more than 200 imperative statements linked with faith. Some of these statements exhort us to: receive Jesus (John 1:11-12), receive the message of Jesus (John 17:8), obey or heed the message or good news of Jesus (John 17:6) and turn to God in repentance (Acts 26:20).

Other scriptures encourage us to accept the word (Mark 4:20), confess Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9), call on the name of the Lord (Act 2:21), eat the bread of life (John 6:50-51), be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20), submit to God’s righteousness (Rom. 10:3), and be born again (John 3:3, 7).

But the one imperative that appears far more than any other, is the instruction to believe. We are to believe in Jesus (see entry for John 3:16).

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