posted on May, 7 2015 @ 05:04 PM
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of Man, and those who hear will live”-
John ch5 v25
Jesus was fond of using the phrase “Truly I say to you”, but this “double” version, with the repeated AMEN, is found only in John’s
He seems to use it to mark the statements which he wants people to remember.
This discourse in the fifth chapter presents three of them in quick succession, underlining its importance.
The background of the discourse is the healing of the man at Bethesda, on the Sabbath.
Jesus is addressing those Jews who are criticising his “working”.
The first “Truly, truly” comes in v19;
“Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees his Father doing”.
This answers the charge that he was doing something wrong.
If he does not act on his own initiative, but only in accordance with the Father, then he cannot be acting against his Father’s will.
There follows a succession of statements beginning with “For”, which explain and expand upon what precedes them.
“For whatever [the Father] does, that the Son does likewise.”
This is the positive version of what he said in the first part of the verse.
Adding them together means that the two sets of actions coincide completely.
The Son does everything that the Father does, and avoids everything the Father does not do.
“For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing”.
This explains how it is possible for the Son to do everything the Father does, given that he can only do what he sees the Father doing.
He sees everything, because the Father shows him everything.
“Greater works than these will [the Father] show him” (and therefore cause him to do).
The “working” is not just restricted to physical healing, but covers much more important matters.
“For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to whom he will”.
This explains the phrase “greater works than these”.
The “raising from the dead” isn’t emphasised in the second part of the statement, because that isn’t, for the moment, what he’s talking
“To whom he will”. That is, not to everyone. A choice is being made.
“For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgement to the Son”.
This does not mean that the Father avoids judgement. It means that he and the Son are working together so closely on this matter that the task has
effectively been delegated to the Son.
Judgement is the other side of the coin to “giving life”; everyone receives one or the other.
The intention is that “all may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father”.
The Son is a full partner in both sides of the task, giving life and giving judgement.
He should be honoured because he is doing the same work, and he should be honoured because the Father sent him.
Therefore anyone who denies him that honour is also guilty of failing to honour the Father.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life” (v24).
This is how the Son gives life “to whom he will”.
He presents his word, and people hear it and believe him.
This is giving him honour, and therefore believing and giving honour to the Father who sent him.
One who believes this word HAS eternal life.
Eternal life is not something which will begin in the future. It has begun already.
Putting it another way, “he has passed from [spiritual] death to life”.
Consequently he does not “come into judgement”.
He has already passed the test which separates the two categories.
Then we come to the third of the “Truly, truly” statements, the one I’ve already quoted.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will
The declaration “The hour is coming” appears twice in these verses.
On this occasion it comes with “and now is”.
He is talking about something very imminent, something which has already begun even as he speaks.
“The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God”. These are the spiritually dead, those who need to pass from death to life.
“Those who hear will live”. That is, those who really hear, which will be the equivalent of “hearing the word and believing”. For the
rest, presumably, it will be a case of “hearing but not hearing”.
So this verse takes the generalised promise of the previous verse and gives it an immediate application.
“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself”.
This recaps the explanation given at the beginning of the discourse, and takes it a little further by adding the words “in himself”.
The Son is not just passing on something from the Father, but providing life from his own resources (a capability which the Father has given him).
In the same way, the next verse recaps the point about giving judgement, and adds a little more.
It explains that the Son has the EXOUSIA (the power or authority) to act as judge and he has this authority because he is “Son of Man”.
Surely this points back to the judgement scene in Daniel ch7, where “one like a son of man” appears before the throne of judgement and is given a
kingdom which will never be destroyed.
The second declaration that “The hour is coming” appears in v28;
“The hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice”.
There are some very important differences from the statement in v25.
For one thing, it lacks the additional phrase “and now is”. He is not talking about the immediate future, but something more distant.
Furthermore, the voice will come to those who are “in the tombs”, that is the physically dead.
And the voice will be heard by ALL who are in the tombs, whether they are destined for life or for judgement.
In short, this verse is about a future resurrection followed by a final judgement, and a separation between those who did good and those who did
Here those who did good receive “the resurrection of life”.
The earlier statement, of course, was that those who hear the word of the Son and believe have already received eternal life.
Reconciling the two statements seems to oblige us to make “hearing and believing” one of the definitions of “doing good”.
Finally, v30 brings a summary of the teaching of this part of the discourse.
He repeats that he does not have the power (OU DUNAMAI) to do anything independently.
He can only give judgement as he hears (from the Father).
Therefore his judgement cannot be anything other than just, because he gets it direct from the Father.
In everything he does, he seeks “not my own will, but the will of him who sent me”.
And the will of God, we have been learning from this discourse, is that everyone believing in him and placing their trust in him should receive