1. “This is a passage of critical importance....”
a. First open hostility to Jesus in the Gospel; his first comments of any length about relationship to the Father.
b. An amazing passage, because it is woven together of thoughts and expressions which are all claims by Jesus to be the promised Messiah
c. “To me it seems one of the deepest things in the Bible.”
2. This paragraph is “the overwhelming testimony of Jesus concerning himself.”
a. It grows out of controversy surrounding healing of a man who had been lame for thirty-eight years.
b. He had the man to pick up his bed and walk, but the Jews began to persecuted him over it because he was doing such things on the Sabbath.
c. He explained that he was only doing what his Father had always done, but that only made their opposition more determined.
3. At the core of this saying is the determining issue of our lives: honoring Christ.
1. Our first, highest, and most pleasant task is to honor the Father.
a. The standard is what the Father is doing, v. 19.
i. His working is constant (v. 17)
ii. His ways are sovereign (v. 19)
iii. His love makes him known (v. 20)
iv. His power raises and gives life (v. 21)
v. His grace makes accountable (v. 22)
b. The assumption is that all will honor the Father, v. 23.
i. Not despised, but appreciated (Mal. 1:6)
ii. Not argued with, but trusted (Isa. 64:8)
iii. Not dealt with corruptly, but repaid (Deut. 32:4-6)
2. None of us can honor the Father without honoring the Son whom he has sent.
a. The claim of Christ is that he is equal with God, v. 18.
i. “My Father” (v. 17)
ii. “The Son” (seven times in vv. 19-24)
iii. “The Son of God...the Son of Man” (v. 25, 27)
b. The argument of Christ is that he does the same things God does, v. 19.
i. Works the way the Father does (v. 17)
ii. Can do nothing of himself (v. 19)
iii. Knows what the Father intends (v. 20)
iv. Gives life to whom he will (v. 21)
v. Has the authority of judgment (v. 22)
3. We can honor the Son only by taking his word to heart and acting in accordance with what he says.
a. What Christ accomplishes through the power of his word, v. 24.
i. By it, attitude toward the One who sent him is known (v. 24)
ii. By it, individuals may pass from death to life (v. 24)
iii. By it, the dead will hear and live (v. 25, 28)
iv. By it, all will be judged (v. 27-29)
b. How Christ may be honored in accordance with his word
i. Through obedience to the gospel in his name (Acts 22:16)
ii. By being remembered, praised, and imitated in the assembled church (1 Cor. 11:23-26; Heb. 13:15; 2 Cor. 8:9)
iii. As the lives of his people are being renewed after his image (Col. 3:10f)
1. Pleasing the Father...by honoring the Son...in believing his word. This is the way to live!
2. W. Barclay observed, “For Jesus to speak like this was an act of the most extraordinary and unique courage. He must have known well that to make claims like this would sound the sheerest blasphemy to the orthodox Jewish leaders and was to court death. The man who listened to words like this had only two alternatives – he must either accept Jesus as the Son of God or hate him as a blasphemer.”
3. “Whoever believes the Son...whoever does not obey the Son...” (John 3:36)