Questions Anticipating John 5:17-29
by Pastor Gene
5:17 Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 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. 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 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.
- Why was Jesus’ answer in 5:17 understood by His accusers as “making himself equal with God” (5:18)? Can’t I do the same works my father does without making myself equal to my father?
- Did Jesus accusers misunderstand Him? Did they twist His words or His meaning? Was this just ‘fake news?’ Why or why not?
- I believe John 5 has the structure of a courtroom drama, a trial. Do you see this? See if you can identify any of the following: (1) an alleged crime; (2) an investigation; (3) the questioning of a witness; (4) formal charges being leveled; (5) a specific sentence being sought by the prosecutors; the accused answering the charges. Identify the verses where you find any of these elements.
- What’s the essence of Jesus’ defense? What does He say to the charges made against Him? Does He plead innocent? Guilty?
- Jesus is both perfect God and perfect Man in One Person. Which verses in this passage emphasize His deity? Which emphasize His humanity?
- Which verses reveal Jesus as Lord of the resurrection? How so?
- Which verses show Him as the Giver and Lord of life?
- Which show Him as the great Judge before whom all will stand?
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