John 5:19-30, Jesus Describing His Own Nature

I normally do this kind of blog also in Korean, but for some reason, I can’t get my Korean key board to work today, so this will have to be just in English.

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The nature of Jesus is not an easy one to understand. He was the son of God, but he is also God. He was a man, but he is also God. He is both the father and the son. If we read the first chapter of John, it says that all things were made through him, and we even find him in the first chapter of Genesis when God says, “Let us make man in our own image.” God was talking to someone, and John 1:2 says, “Through him, all things were made, nothing was made that has been made,” so we think that he was talking about Jesus. The first verse of John even begins “in the beginning was the word,” and if we keep reading, we realize that “the word” was Jesus, the message from God. Jesus was God in the flesh, the author of life. Acts 3:15 says that Jesus is “the author of life.” These are things that were written about the nature of Jesus, but what does he tell us about himself in John 5?

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In John 5:19 & 20, he tells us he is indelibly connected to the father and can do nothing without the father. He says that he only does what he sees his father doing. He says that God loves him and shows him everything he does. Jesus knew that he had been sent to earth to be killed and then rise from the dead on the third day, and he knew why. He says in Matthew 17:22 talking about himself, “The son of man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day, he will be raised to life.” He discusses the topic of him being killed and raising to life several times during his ministry. He knew his purpose. He knew he was from God, but in a mortal body, and that is why he called himself “the son of man.” He tells people he has healed not to tell people what he did because he knew the crucifixion was coming. He knew he needed to teach the people, and he also knew the nature of people and that they would not put up with what he was doing and eventually kill him for it. He wanted time to teach before they crucified him.

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Jesus talks about his ability to give life in John 5:21. He says that God gives life, but that God has given him the ability to also give life. He can give physical life as we see when he raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44). He also gives us life beyond the physical body, and I am not just talking about Heaven where we can go if we listen to him. Read the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6, & 7. He explains how to live in such a way that if you think about everything he said logically, it can only bring happiness. He tells us not only not to murder, but not to get angry. When we get angry, we can cause all kinds of trouble that will come back at us. He tells the man not to even look at a woman who is not his wife. It is only logical that David would not have wanted Bathsheba and committed adultery and had her husband killed had he not watched her take a bath. Jesus tells us not to worry. Worrying only causes ulcers, and in the long run, it only keeps us upset rather than doing any good for us. He wants us to forgive, and as hard as forgiveness comes to us, if we think about it logically, forgiveness does the one who forgives more good than it does the one who is forgiven. He wants us to have peace and trust God, and having peace and trusting God will give us a more abundant life. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jesus knows what he is doing, and he wants to give us physical and spiritual life. He wants to give us peace and Heaven. He knows that if we listen to him, our lives will be longer. In Deuteronomy 5:16, it is one of the ten commandments that tells us to honor our father and mother so that our lives will be longer. Jesus truly believed in honoring your father and mother, and in Matthew 15:4, he quotes a scripture from the Old Testament that says you must honor your father and mother. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that he didn’t come to do away with the ten commandments, but to fulfill the Old Testament, and his teachings explain those ten commandments and enlarge on them so we can follow them. When he died on the cross, the laws that man had added to God’s laws were hung on the cross (Ephesians 2:14-16), but the basic laws of God that had been there from the beginning of time, even before the ten commandments, still existed. Jesus taught us how to follow those basic laws of God. When we understand the basic laws of God and follow them, we will have life more abundantly, and teaching us to do that was one of Jesus’ purposes on the earth.

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God has given Jesus all power on Heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18). In John 5:22, Jesus says that God has given him the power to judge us. And, in verse 23 of John 5, Jesus says that God gave him power because he wants us to honor Jesus as much as we honor God. If we don’t honor Jesus, we don’t honor God. People who try to say Jesus was only a prophet and not God, are not following the scriptures. I have relatives who are from a church that teaches that Jesus was only a man and not the son of God, but Jesus himself tells us that he is the son of God and God wants us to honor him as well as the father in Heaven. The Jews didn’t like Jesus saying that he was the son of God (John 5:18). Jesus calling himself the son of God just spurred them on and made them want to kill him more. The Muslims admit that Jesus was a prophet, but they don’t accept that he is the son of God either. However, the Bible came about before the Koran, and in Galatians the first chapter, it is so important that it was said twice that we are not to listen to anyone who teaches us another gospel, even an angel. Also, in the very last chapter of the Bible in the last few verses, it says that we are not to add or take away from the words of this book because if we add to them, God will add to us the plagues mentioned there, and if we take away from the Bible, God will take our name out of the book of life which means we can’t go to Heaven if we alter the Bible.

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Jesus says in John 5:24 that if we hear his words and believe them, we have already crossed from death to life. If you believe the words of Jesus, you will do them. He is not talking about a simple assent that what he says is true because James 2:19 says, “You believe there is one God, good. Even the demons believe and shudder!” This belief that Jesus is talking about is not merely an acknowledgement that what Jesus says is true because we know the demons don’t have eternal life in Christ. James 2:18 says, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.” Hebrews 11 is a whole chapter praising person after person who God appreciated because they believed to the point that they got up and did something about it. It is like when someone says, “Put your money where your mouth is.” You can see a hungry child and say, “What a shame!,” but if you don’t decide to feed that child because you want to keep your money in your pocket, it means you don’t really care. You can acknowledge something without doing anything about it, and Jesus wants us to do something about our belief in him. We can’t have life if we don’t do what Jesus asked us to do no matter how much of a mental assent we give to his words. He can give us a gift, but we must reach out, take it, open it up, and use it. Christianity is not just on the surface. That was what was wrong with the Pharisees. They thought as long as they looked religious, then they were fine, but they are the ones who were responsible for making sure Jesus was nailed to the cross. They killed the author of life. It takes more than just looking religious to be saved.

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In verse 27, Jesus says that God has given Jesus the right to judge because Jesus was born into a man’s body and became the son of man. Jesus understands us because he is not only God, but he was also made man. He had all the same problems that we have. If he skinned his knee, it bled. If he pushed himself too hard, he got a headache. Matthew 4 tells us all about Jesus in the desert being tempted by Satan. Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if he would just bow down and worship him. That would have been a real coup for Satan had Jesus given in. It would have been easy for Jesus to give in. Who wouldn’t want all the kingdoms of the earth to bow down and worship them? Jesus said, “No.” Jesus took on himself the form of a servant for us to understand that is what he wants from us. Jesus understood that we get hungry because he did, but he didn’t turn the rocks to bread because he was hungry when Satan asked him to when he was in that desert even though he could have. Jesus understood that true life is in God, not in physical things. He wanted that more abundant life that he talked about. He wanted to do the will of God. Just before the crucifixion, Jesus was praying in the garden, and he didn’t want to die. He was truly in the flesh, but he prayed to God that he would do God’s will and not his own. Big tear drops and sweat came from him in the garden while he was praying. It was a really hard temptation not to call ten thousand angels and destroy the world to set him free, but he succumbed to the crucifixion because he loved us so much and wanted us to understand how important it is to do God’s will. Jesus was humble and kind. He did not think equality with God was something to be grasped, and he humbled himself to God’s will, even the death on the cross, and because of that, God raised him to sit on a throne next to him. Hebrews 1:3 says, “The son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in Heaven.” Hebrews 1:13 says that God said to Jesus, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Jesus did what God asked him to, and God raised him from the dead on the third day just as Jesus said he would. This is a historical fact. It is not only written about in the Bible, but also in history. After all, how could something of that magnitude escape being written about in history books? It couldn’t. Jesus lived, he died, and he rose from the dead, and he understands us, so God has given him the right to judge us because he became man and lived a perfect life so he could become a sacrifice for our sins.

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In verse 30, Jesus tells us that he is a fair judge. You see, if he had never come to the earth, he wouldn’t understand us, and that wouldn’t have been fair. God is so far above us that without Jesus, he couldn’t understand us. It would be like us stepping on bugs when God condemned us, but that is not what it is like. Because of Jesus, God has the ability to understand us. God loved us so much that he gave his only son so he could understand us. 1 John 2:1 says, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the righteous one.” 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus is sitting on the throne next to God, and God listens to him. Jesus understands us. He is on our side. He went through all the things we go through, and he explains us to God. This causes God’s judgement to be not only righteous, but compassionate and fair. Jesus did a pretty good job of telling us who he was in these verses, and looking at what he said a bit deeper helps us understand the most wonderful man who ever lived better. Jesus knew who he was.

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