We are continuing our meditation from yesterday, on Jesus’ five claims of equality with God. The Lord was responding to His enemies, the Pharisees, when they began persecuting Him after He healed an invalid on the Sabbath. Today we look at the third and fourth claim by Jesus:
3) Christ is Equal with God in Giving Life (v. 21).
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it (John 5:21).
There is only one source of Life, and that is God Himself. Because the Pharisees didn’t believe in Christ, I imagine the Jewish leadership was shocked at this statement. He again was claiming that He is equal with God in the ability to give life. All of humanity stands weak in front of the death of a loved one leaving this earth, but the Lord Jesus was and is the Creator that brought forth all life. John the apostle writes that Christ was in the beginning, here represented as the Word:
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind (John 1:1-4).
To prove His ability to give life to the dead, we have several examples of Jesus’ bringing people back from the dead, i.e., another prophetic sign the Messiah would fulfill. The prophet Isaiah wrote:
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead (Isaiah 26:19).
To read more on that subject, you can click the following link: The Word Was God.
4) Christ is Equal with God in His Judgment (v. 22).
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).
If you were to ask anyone who will be the final judge, most would reply that God is the ultimate judge of men for what they have done in this life, but Christ states that He is the One who will be the judge of all men. The Father has delegated all judgment to the Son. The Lord Jesus is perfectly righteous, while at the same time, He knows everything about us, and He has experienced being human from a lowly place. He can judge because He has walked in our shoes as a man, yet still very much God. We would be quick to say that it does not mean that the Father ceases to be the final judge, for we see God as being on the white throne at the final judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). What the Scriptures teach us is that Christ is equal with God and seated on the throne with the Father: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1). Jesus sits on the throne with the Father. Keith Thomas
This meditation is a shortened version of the in-depth study: Jesus the Life-Giver