The President of the United States intended to have peace negotiations with the Taliban a few days ago. When the Taliban used the killing of 12 innocent people in Kabul as negotiation leverage, the President canceled the negotiation meeting at once and said that the Taliban is dead to him. The way the President used the word "dead" is similar to how people are spiritually "dead" to God since their rebellion. There is from the birth of a human being no personal relationship with God. Let's see in detail how this passage explains the possibility of having a restored spiritual relationship with the One and Only Awesome God of the universe. Jesus was bold 5:16-30 It is surprising to see that Jesus answered the Jewish leaders even though they wanted to kill him and that not only for healing on the sabbath but also for clarifying his relationship with God the Father. Most people would run if they sensed that powerful leaders made plans to kill them. The explanation for Jesus boldness lies in His answer. He reveals who really has the power and authority over death and life - He Himself (5:21). How come the Jewish leaders got the Romans to crucify Him then? Jesus GAVE His life. It was not taken from Him. His death to take away sin was His primary purpose of coming to earth ( 12:27 ). He gave His life and took it up again voluntarily to grant everlasting life to the repentant sinner. God is a worker - The Son and Father are united in their Work 5:16a - "For this reason" that is because Jesus healed the paralyzed on a Sabbath. Healing must've been considered a work by the Jewish leaders. 5:17 = God has been working in creating and sustaining the universe (Ps 145:16-17 Col 1:17 1 Co 8:6 2Pt 3:7). He also has been working on the redemption of His creation after the rebellion of humanity (John 3:16 Is 44:22 Rm 2:4). Equality in the Godhead 5:18 = The Jewish leaders interpreted correctly that Jesus claimed to be God. He said, "My Father" which was an outrage for the leaders. How can a man be God? There are three options: For one, Jesus claim to be God was true and we know that God loves people and desires to restore relationships with repented individuals. Secondly, Jesus lied and was a deceiver. Thirdly, He made the claim to be God and didn't know that he wasn't. To say Jesus was not God but a good man and teacher as may other religions claim is not an option. Jesus life is consistent with option one. No deceiver or lunatic would be able to do miracles and speak with perfect wisdom and authority as displayed in the records of the Gospels. In the following verses is Jesus equality with God displayed in His unity with Him. Unity in the Godhead 5:19 = The word "can" in this verse is interesting. It does not say "wants to" but "can". His will and purpose are in alignment with the Father's will and, hence, no choice and action could oppose the Father's will. Whatever he does can only be in complete agreement with God the Father. Must be quite harmonious to be in a state like this with someone. People have different standards and expectations and need to talk to agree on matters. It makes things seamless and so much easier if people are at the same level of understanding. God the Son and Father are always in agreement because they are perfect and nothing but their own glory is their standard. They always unitedly make the best choice that brings most honor and glory to themselves. As fallen people, we at times desire to get God's glory but we are not made to be glorified. We were made to give glory to God. God is to receive glory. Glorifying God cannot corrupt Him, but glorifying people can and often has corrupted them. People who think they deserve glory turn often into tyrants. The Fathers relationship with the Son grants insight into the very origin of true unity. Every time earthly fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives live up to their calling in a family, they reflect on God's nature of unity. Faithful couples and parents have their origin in the Godhead and are God's outpouring of mercy and grace to all humanity. Transparency in the Godhead 5:20 = This verse answers how earthly fathers ought to love their sons. God the Father's love to His Son Jesus is seen in His transparency toward Him. He shows Him all things that He does. No secrecy or competition but transparency. The Son's love to His Father is seen in the imitation of the Father or also in his obedience to the will of the Father. Unity of the Godhead in Life-giving, judgment, and honor 5:21-23 = The Father's and Son's unity are displayed in that: Both give life. The Father has entrusted all judgment (decision making) to His Son. He has complete confidence in Him. No one esteems superiority. They should be honored equally. Rebels invited to connect with the Godhead - Desired unity with individual people 5:24 = The Lord confronts with a relational life and death question at this point: The condition for everlasting life is to trustfully listen to Jesus. Not a blind trust, but rather a trust which is based on an evaluation of Him. He has proven to be God in human form when He supernaturally changed water to wine (2:1-12), healed an official's son (4:43-54), and healed the sick man at the pool (5:1-15). He testified that God the Father has sent Him. There is no middle ground. Either they believed the evidence of His action and the power of His word or they did not and concluded contrary to the evidence that He is a liar. A matter of everlasting life and death. The death Jesus talks about is the separation from God and life is the eternal connection or unity with God which can only come by trusting Jesus. The death and separation from God is a consequence of man's rebellion. Man's relationship with God broke when he rebelled. God's just judgment and wrath abides over the unrepentant rebel (3:36). The restoration to God comes by His outpouring of mercy and grace to those who listen and trust Jesus Christ. Unity in giving spiritual Life - The miracle of a relationship with God 5:25-27 = Some of the dead heard Jesus speak and started to live. Now, how is that to make sense? When we speak of death today, we usually refer to physical death. But Jesus continues to speak about spiritual death and spiritual life. As before, death represents the broken relationship with God and life the re-union of the relationship with God. Just as in a similar way as the President said that the Taliban was dead to him, so are you and I dead to God because of our breaking of His standards. The way to come into a relationship with God is through the negotiation of the only-qualified God-Man Jesus Christ. I am so glad to be spiritually alive, that is, to be forever in a secure and stable relationship with God because of Jesus, and that even when my physical body will die soon. The word "for" at the beginning of verse 26 provides the reason for why the dead will hear and live in verse 25 . Some of the natural listeners actually are granted by Jesus authority to come spiritually alive and enter into an everlasting relationship with God. Unity in creating and sustaining natural Life 5:26-27 = Everything created exists in relation to other things. For example, besides other substances, plants live in relation to sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water to produce oxygen. Human beings relate to plants by exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling oxygen. Interestingly enough, people can live even without knowing the air-exchange with the plants. In similar ways, humans live in complete dependence on God, even though many don't know about their dependency on the Creator. Now, God exists apart from anything else. He does not need oxygen, in fact, oxygen exists because He created it just as He created the plants, water, and the sun. God the Father granted Jesus, His Son, to have an independent life in Himself as a human being. Jesus could have turned stones to bread when He fasted for 40 days and night. He could have stilled His natural human hunger by any supernatural means, but for some reason, He didn't ( Mt 4 ) . Jesus is the supreme Judge of the universe 5:28-30 = Jesus is authorized (5:27a) and empowered (5:26b) to raise the physically dead for eternal judgment on a coming day (5:28). Jesus will judge righteously because He does everything exactly as God the Father wants things done (5:30). No one will be able to defend themselves in the presence of this Judge because we humans and some angels have failed God's standard and are guilty. We know it by conscience and the Judge knows it. The only way out is the removal of guilt. Here is where the love of God connects as later chapters reveal. God the Son came to earth to justify the guilty by paying the penalty with His life so that the guilty can go free. The penalty for rebels is imprisonment in the lake of fire. A place of utter and awful suffering.
Main point summary
Jesus and God the Father are equal and work unitedly to bring people into a relationship with the Godhead. Only a relationship with God will save from the punishment of human rebellion.
For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus,
and sought to kill Him,
because He had done these things
on the Sabbath.
But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working .”
Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him,
because He not only broke the Sabbath,
but also said that God was His Father,
making Himself equal with God.
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “ Most assuredly , I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself ,
but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does , the Son also does in like manner.
For the Father loves the Son,
and shows Him all things that He Himself does ;
and He will show Him greater works than these,
that you may marvel.
For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them,
even so the Son gives life to whom He will .
For the Father judges no one,
but has committed all judgment to the Son,
that all should honor the Son
just as they honor the Father.
He who does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent Him.
“ Most assuredly , I say to you, he who hears My word
and believes in Him who sent Me
has everlasting life ,
and shall not come into judgment ,
but has passed from death into life .
Most assuredly , 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 live .
For as the Father has life in Himself,
so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,
and has given Him authority to execute judgment also,
because He is the Son of Man.
Do not marvel at this;
for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—
those who have done good,
to the resurrection of life ,
and those who have done evil,
to the resurrection of condemnation.
I can of Myself do nothing.
As I hear, I judge ;
and My judgment is righteous,
because I do not seek My own will
but the will of the Father who sent Me.