Day 5 of the 21 Day Challenge
What does John reveal about Jesus in this passage?
“The Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” 5:22
“The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” 5:22
“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” 5:26
“And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” 5:27
“I (Jesus) seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” 5:30
“The very works that I am doing – testify that the Father has sent me.” 5:36
“The Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
A quick summary of what we learn: Authority is entrusted into the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, to be the judge. Those who listen and obey the words of Christ, honor the Father and will rise to live. Jesus seeks to please the Father and all of his good works validate his Sonship.
What do we learn about Godliness?
“Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” 5:23
“Whoever hears my word and believe him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” 5:24
“A time is coming…those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” 5:29
“But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” 5:47
Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father – If we want to live a God honoring life, we do so by honoring Christ. Godliness, as I mentioned before is a God-honoring life. It pleases God for his creation to love and follow Jesus. “Those who hear the Son of God will live.” (5:25) The word “hear” implies obedience.
The final thought of the discourse of Christ is powerful – “But since you do not believe what he (Moses) wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” 5:47 – What a powerful question. This statement would prick the heart of his hearers. The hearers devoted their life to listening to the Scriptures, of which Moses played a considerable function. Yet Jesus says, you read it, but you don’t believe it. To read the scriptures is to read of Christ. They studied it intently and missed the living, breathing Messiah right before their very eyes.
Where is there application here for our world?
Again, we look at Salvation. For those who hear and believe, who listen and obey, they cross over from death to life. I heard last night that the means of salvation was through a sinners prayer and a couple other prayers. What I didn’t hear was this “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life…” It’s more than a prayer to ask Jesus into your heart, that’s nice (but not biblical). Salvation is for those who follow Jesus Christ - It’s hearing, following and believing in the Son of Man. It’s being Born Again in Spirit, Water and Truth (like we read in chapter 3).
What’s the application for me?
Sometimes when we study the Bible, we read it intently and we miss the whole point. Why this happens, I don’t know. I’m sure that I have done it multiple times myself. Christ condemns those he is in contention with for reading the scriptures without really reading it. They missed the application. The whole debate was over a healing. To read the Scriptures and decide that healing on the Sabbath and having the gentleman pick up his mat is somehow wrong or sinful is missing the whole point of the scriptures. Jesus’ argument goes like this, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” He tells us later what his work is like his Fathers, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” (5:21) God and Jesus are both busy giving and restoring life. I’m glad he isn’t taking a break from this.
What I think happens is we want the Scriptures to be what we are comfortable with, what we can handle. The role of the Scriptures isn’t to somehow keep us comfortable and unchanged, but to radically transform us into God-honoring, loving citizens of his Kingdom. The Bible is more than a rules for living, the words are transformative and life-breathing.
I’m getting carried away here, but the application is simple – really read the Scriptures and let God’s word go to work on your heart. After all, He’s raising the dead to life.
Prayer – I’m certain, Heavenly Father, that I have taken your word and ignored the truth. I’ve gained convictions that are outside of your will that lead me to form my own sort of righteousness. But as you have displayed through the life of Christ, you have revealed Truth and life. May my life honor both the Son and the Father. May my life be transformed into the likeness of Christ. He truly is the Son of Man as Moses and the rest of the Scriptures direct me. Your truth, revealed to us in the Scriptures points us to Jesus. May I listen, really, truly listen and obey. With your help, I pray, Amen.
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Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.