John 5:18-47

Author: Sascha Terry

Jesus Is Equal with God

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.


The Authority of the Son

19 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[a] does, that the Son does likewise. 20 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. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 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. 24 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.

25 “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. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.


Witnesses to Jesus

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 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. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Key Verses

28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.


This section of scripture comes as the Jewish leaders are ridiculing Jesus for having healed a lame man on the Sabbath.  They go after Jesus with their knowledge of the Sabbath rules, not understanding that he has been given all authority by God.  After the healing and before we get to our section of scripture, Jesus tells them in verse 17 of John 5 that he and his father (God) are always working.  This proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God makes his opposition want to murder him.  So, Jesus spends a few minutes explaining his authority and the right given to him by God to give life, or to judge, and how this is meant to bring honor to him and to God the Father.

This is an interesting passage after a healing because of the many references to judgement.  We don’t often think of judgement being synonymous with healing, but I think that Jesus is saying that he is giving judgement through his healing of this lame man.  He is giving life through his judgement.  In verses 28 and 29, Jesus refers to his second coming when he says that the dead will rise after hearing the voice of the Son of God.  The good will be healed and those who have continued in their evil ways will continue on to further judgement.

I have not thought of Jesus’ compassionate acts of healing throughout the Gospels as a form of judgement before this study.  In verse 36, Jesus says that his teachings and miracles are his “witnesses” of what the Father sent him to do.  Therefore, we can conclude that Christ’s life-saving actions were him judging his people.  As we honor God and Jesus and live with the Spirit dwelling in us, he will judge us with healing and we will rise when he calls out our names.



·       How do Jesus’ miracles and teachings (v.36) demonstrate his judgement and prove God sent him?

·       If Jesus’ acts of compassionate healing were also him judging, do you think there were people he did not offer            healing to because of their sin?  Are there recorded cases where he heals people who were opposed to him?

·       How do you think Jesus’ judgement and healing affected the lame man – physically and spiritually (vs. 14-15)?

·       As a disciple of Jesus, how do you heal or bless others when judging them?

Sascha Terry

Sascha is a former missionary and minister now teaching 5th grade Language Arts in Wylie ISD.  He is the author of the children’s book “Wylie’s Way” and was a contributing writer in the anthology “A Hug for the World”.  Sascha and his wife, Jennifer, have four daughters: Elisa (9th grade), Kira (5th grade), and twins Evelyn and Isabelle (kindergarten).