Lesson 26

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

5:22 For neither does the Father judge any man, but he has given all judgment to the Son, 5:23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn't honor the Son doesn't honor the Father who sent him. 5:24 Most assuredly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn't come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 5:25 Most assuredly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God's voice; and those who hear will live. 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself. 5:27 He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.

 Today's Lesson

Today's scripture continues the response of Jesus to those who would have Him killed because He claimed equality with God by asserting to be the Son of God. He has told them that He does nothing of His own. The Son only does that which the Father shows Him. He has also said that just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son will do also.


Now He adds to His prerogatives the right of judgment of men. The Father has "given all judgment to the Son." The picture of God as the righteous judge was an important one to the Jewish nation, as it should be to all men. The concept of judgment might have a slightly different context to these people than it may to us. We have a notion of impartial, fatherly wisdom when we think of a judge. To these people the concept of judgment was one primarily of power. The judge had the power of disposition over a person. The judge could say live or die and had the might to follow the judgment through. Judges were rarely impartial. They were usually powerful people who had some vested interest in most matters.


Jesus says that the Father has given all judgment to the Son so that the Father may be honored through the Son. He who doesn't honor the Son doesn't honor the Father. The honor that is given to the Son also honors the Father. Such is the way of earthly fathers and sons and Jesus says that such is the way of the heavenly Father and Son as well.


Jesus explicitly states that which He hinted at in yesterday's lesson. The man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and believes His words has passed over from death into life. That man will not fall into judgment. He possesses eternal life in the here and now. Jesus compares this hearing and believing to death and life. The man that hears and believes is like those that are in the grave. They are dead and God gives them new life. He raises them from the dead.


It is a measure of the life that has been given to the Son that those who believe in Him are given life. In past times, the prophets and men of old were given the Spirit of God to show that God was with them. They were set apart and made holy. Now, those who believe on the Son are set apart by that same Spirit who comes upon them and sets them apart as holy. The new people of God are those who honor the Son.


This authority has been given to Jesus of Nazareth because He is the Word of God made flesh. He is a son of man. He is our ultimate judge. All authority of the Father has been given over to Him because He has lived the perfect life of the Son. He did nothing of His own, only what the Father gave Him to do. As the writer of Hebrews states it, "He was perfected through obedience."


Before the judge of all men we will bow one day. Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your judge? Do you place yourself solely within His justice?


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