Like any son, the Lord could do whatever He wanted, but because He loved His Father, He said the Son “can do noth-ing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do” (5:19). He’d seen His Father heal on the Sabbath. We know this because the people in John 5:1-4 would not have hung around the pool on the Sabbath if the water never moved on the Sabbath. (The angel didn’t heal by His own power, any more than men do [Acts 3:12]). But having seen the Father heal on the Sabbath, the Son healed too (v.19 cf. 5:17).
A father who loves his son shows him what to do (John 5:20). But how did the Father show the Son “all” things He’d done? He used the Book that chronicles all things He’d done! The Lord wasn’t born knowing the Book, the Father had to show Him all things He’d done in the Book.
The Father had already shown the Son how to do some amazing things, but He was about to show Him “greater works” (v.20). What could be greater than healing a man who was impotent for 38 years? How about raising the dead? We know this is what He was hinting at, because He mentions it in the next verse (v.21). In the OT, God healed people through Elijah and Elisha, and the Son also quickened “whom He will.” Why not raise everyone from the dead? Well, remember how He chose to heal just one of the multitude at the pool, because his 38 years was symbolic of Israel, and so the miracle had teaching value? Similarly, the ones He raised from the dead had teaching value, so He “quickeneth whom he will.” But don’t worry about all He didn’t raise, He has a plan to raise all men!
While raising everyone from the dead sounds like a good thing, it must be remembered why He plans to raise them—to judge them (v.22). Why did the Father commit all judgment to the Son? So all men would honor the Son as they honored the Father (v.23). What has honor to do with judgment? When Pharaoh refused to honor God, God determined to get honor on him (Ex.14:1,17,18). Ever wonder why a judge is called “Your Honor”? When a country dishonors another nation’s ambassador, they dishonor the nation that sent him, and when men dishonor the Son, they dishonor the Father who sent Him (John 5:23). The way to honor the Lord now, before honoring him unwillingly on Judgment Day, is to believe on Him (v.24). Since He and the Father were “one” (John 10:30), people who “heareth My word,” He said, “believeth on Him that sent me.”
He that believeth doesn’t just hope he can get everlasting life someday when he dies, he “hath” it right now (5:24), as a present possession, even these kingdom saints. And the believer “shall not come into condemnation.” Those words “shall not come into” are used in Numbers 14:30, when God told that sinful generation they would not come into the Promised Land, and they didn’t. Those words are also used in II Kings 19:32-34, where God vows that Sennecherib would not come into Jerusalem, and he didn’t (v.35-37). So when God says the believer “shall not come into condemnation,” you can take it to the bank!
The same can be said for when it says we’ve already “passed” from death to life (5:24). Hebrews 4:14 says the Lord “passed” into heaven. If you accept that, you must al-so accept you have passed from death to life upon believing
“The hour is coming” when the dead will hear the Lord’s voice (John 5:25 cf. 28,29), but the Lord said the hour also “now is” (5:25). He was referring to how the spiritually dead (Eph.2:1,5) can hear His voice and believe. Some say unbelievers are too dead to hear the gospel, but Adam was able to hear and understand God’s words just fine after he sinned and died in the day he ate the fruit (Gen.2:17).
“As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26 cf. I Cor. 15:45).
Another reason why God committed all judgment to the Son is “because He is the Son of man.” Men could complain to the Father, “You don’t know what it was like being tempted [James 1:13], it was pretty hard!” They could say that to the Father, but not to the Son.