This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series John

Gospel according to John, Chapter 5:  Read &/or listen from the Bible.

1/ Jesus healing in Bethesda, John 5:1-15 (see video)
2/ The Authority of the Son, John 5:16-23
3/ John 5:26-27 Son of Man
4/ John 5:28-30 Resurrection
5/ John 5:31-38 Bear Witness
6/ John 5:39-47 Search the Scriptures

“Bethesda” means “House of mercy.” The pool of Bethesda consisted of two pools archaeological evidence for the pool of Bethesda were discovered in 1888.

2/ The Authority of the Son, John 5:16-23

16 So the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day. 17 Jesus answered them, “My Father is working still, and I am working.” 18 So the Jews sought even more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

The Authority of the Son

19 Then Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do. For whatever He does, likewise the Son does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself does. And He will show Him greater works than these so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all men should honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

After the Lord healed a paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda, the Jews began a persecution to death against Him, because he had performed this miracle on a Sabbath (Jn 5:16).

But what did Jesus mean when he said that his Father continued working until now? (vs. 17) Doesn’t Scripture say that after the six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day?
It is true that God ceased in his creative activity of the world, although this did not mean resting from all activity. The apostle Paul explained to the inhabitants of Lystra that God has not stopped “doing us good, giving us rains from heaven and fruitful times, filling our hearts with sustenance and joy” (Acts 14:17). And he tells the Colossians that in Christ “all things subsist” (Col 1:17), and the author to the Hebrews agrees that the Son is “who sustains all things by the word of his power” (Heb. 1: 3). Therefore, although God had ceased his creative work, He continues to sustain His creation.

Verse 18- John had previously affirmed the deity of Jesus in the beginning of his gospel (Jn. 1: 1-18). John the Baptist said of himself that he was only a messenger preparing the way of the Lord (Jn. 1:23, Isaiah 40:3). Also Philip told Nathanael that they had found the one about whom Moses wrote  (Jn 1:45) , and when Nathanael had his first encounter with Jesus, he recognized him as “the Son of God … the King of Israel” (Jn. 1:49). Even the Samaritans affirmed that He “is the Savior of the world, the Christ” (Jn. 4:42).

Vs.19- The Lord says “whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise” (Jn 5:19). This means that the Son is omnipotent like the Father, because otherwise he could not do “everything that the Father does.” However,  He clarifies that “the Son cannot do anything by himself, except what he sees the Father do.” With this He shows us that his power is not in competition with that of the Father, but that His works are done in humility and dependence on the Father. We, as fallen humanity, can easily think that such subordination necessarily implies inferiority, because in our human relationships, this may be the norm. But let’s not forget that we are talking about God. In His case, subordination does not imply inferiority, nor is there any type of conflict of interest or will. What is implicit in this relationship is a perfect collaboration, friendship, & union in purpose. The Father and the Son are two wills united in one.

The Lord Himself made it clear beyond all doubt that He is equal to God. Equal in power: Jn. 5:19, in knowledge: Jn. 5:20, The same in their ability to give life to the dead: Jn. 5:21, in authority to judge: Jn. 5: 22,27, equal in dignity and honor: Jn. 5:23, in power to impart eternal life: Jn. 5:24, etc. See more in ‘Jesus is God‘.

In these links below you can find the studies of the rest of the passages of John chapter 5:

3/ John 5:26-27 Son of Man
4/ John 5:28-30 Resurrection
5/ John 5:31-38 Bear Witness
6/ John 5:39-47 Search the Scriptures

Series Navigation<< Gospel of John- Chap. 4Gospel of John- Chap. 6, pt.1 >>