It is all about hearing.
John 5: 19-30
Do you know that experience of opening a large present only to find a smaller one inside? You open that one and then there’s another to open inside that. Eventually you get to the treasure!
This passage is a little bit like that.
Remember why John is writing his gospel: “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” 20:31
Let us read this passage as if we are opening a present.
V19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. AND v30 “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
- Jesus is because the Father is. It teaches us that we need relationship with God to do anything.
That’s the first layer opened. But it’s not the central present.
V20-21 “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 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. AND v28-29 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”
- The Father and Jesus are both the instigators of life. It teaches us that our relationship will lead to life at the culmination of everything.
That’s the second layer opened. But it’s not the central present.
V22-23 “Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him.” AND v26-27 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 judge because he is the Son of Man.”
- Judgment has been given to Jesus by the Father. It teaches us that there is only one way to the Father and that is through the Son’s judgment.
That’s the third layer opened. But it’s not the central present.
Here it is, we have come to the final layer. How exciting!
V24-25 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. “
John wants everyone to believe that Jesus is the Son and that they have life because of that belief.
May today many hear the words of eternal life and believe.
May they hear the voice of Jesus calling them to live.
That is the central prize, the crux of the purpose and the core present.