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©Michael Player

Chapter 5:19-29 (ESV)

Posted on August 01, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 5:19-29 (ESV) - 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. 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. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 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. 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.

“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. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

Question to consider: Which of the religious leaders, Pharisees or Sadducees, believed in the resurrection of the dead?

As remarkable as it may seem that the religious leaders opposed Jesus after He healed the paralyzed man, it’s worth noting that passages like Deuteronomy 13 warned that even if someone prophesied or performed miracles but told the people of Israel to follow after other gods, they were to be stoned. So, in their minds, they saw Jesus’ violation of their Sabbath traditions and equating Himself with God as blasphemy. The Law concerning the Sabbath was to do no labor and keep the day holy. The traditions of the Pharisees, however, defined labor through 39 different categories. Showing mercy to a paralyzed man was most definitely holy, and there was nothing in the Law of Moses that would have prohibited this man from carrying his mat.

The text doesn’t say that Jesus was specifically talking to Pharisees, but it makes sense considering that the man was violating one of their traditions. It also fits with Jesus’ discussion about the resurrection of the dead since the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. 

The Pharisees believed their traditions to be the oral Torah, the word of God given to them so they expected the Messiah to hold to both the Law of Moses and the traditions. When Jesus violated their traditions, they saw His miracles and claims to be blasphemous. We’ll find out in the coming chapters from where their traditions really came.

Jesus doubled down on His claims though that God was His Father saying that He only does the will of the Father and that the Father loves Him. As proof He let them know that just as the Father would raise people from the dead so would He.

In addition to referring to Himself as the Son of God, Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. This had Messianic implications, and again the Sadducees did not hold to the prophets or believe in the coming of the Messiah. Son of Man was frequently used in the book of Ezekiel, but if you went through my study of Ezekiel, you may remember that every time Ezekiel was given this name, he was acting in a way that served as a type for Christ. There is also an important passage in Daniel 7 in which the Son of Man comes to the throne of God on clouds to be judge. Jesus uses the title in this way saying that God has given Him as the Son of Man the authority to judge. So not only would He raise those who believed in Him to eternal life, but He would also raise up those who were to face judgment.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for fulfilling Your prophetic promises in Jesus. May we be counted among those who are raised to eternal life in His name. Amen.