In the earlier part of this chapter we saw how the Jews understood that Jesus was making himself equal with God. As a result, “they tried all the more to kill him.” They are not wanting to kill Jesus because they are evil people or bad Jews. No. Under the law of Moses blasphemy was to be punished by death. They see Jesus and see that he is a man and assume that he is only a man! Yet he claims to be equal to God! So he deserves death! Unless, that is, Jesus truly is equal with God.
Jesus not only says that whatever the Father does the Son also does. Jesus prophesies both what he will do in the short term and what he will do in the long term, at the end of the age. Let’s note that. “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.” Jesus does not offer some flimsy philosophical argument that he is truly equal to God. He points to coming indisputable proof, raising the dead and giving them life! It is impossible for a simple mortal man to do that! Jesus refers to doing this in the short term when he says, “a time is coming and has now come.” So in the short term, “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” We see this fulfilled in an objective and public way further ahead in John when Jesus calls forth Lazarus and although he is dead he hears the voice of Jesus and comes back to life, he lives. So Jesus offers this as a demonstrable proof that he is equal to God. We should have no doubt about this, Jesus does no back away from affirming and proving that he is equal to God.
Jesus intertwines this with the subject of judgment. He intertwines the giving life to the dead and judgment because they are intimately related. We will come back and talk about what Jesus says about judgment.
In regards to this giving life to the dead, Jesus speaks of a future time by saying, “for a time is coming.” At this future time, “all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out.” Jesus is referring to the end of times, “all who are in their graves.”
At the end of time, the resurrection is tied to judgment. As Jesus explains, “those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” We see then why Jesus talks about judgment when he talks about giving life. Let’s go back and look at judgment.
Jesus tells of a surprising relationship, “he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” Jesus says that he has been given authority to judge precisely because he is the Son of Man! Think about that. Jesus can give life because he is equal to God. Jesus has authority to judge because he is a man, Jesus is “the Son of Man.”
We went over to Revelation, also written by John, to see how this being the Son of Man relates to judgment. In chapter five of Revelation, we see John concerned that no one if found who is worthy to open the seals of a scroll. We find out in chapter six of Revelation that each seal that is opened is another punishment from God on unbelieving mankind. So the person who will open the seals is the person who will cause these punishments to be poured out on unbelieving mankind. So who is worth is the question raised in heaven. Who? We see that it is the lamb of God, Jesus, who is worthy to break the seals. Why is Jesus worthy? Praise breaks out in heaven, praise to the lamb, praise to Jesus. The praise is because Jesus is worthy and Jesus is worthy because by his blood he bought people from all nations to be a people of God! Jesus had to be a man to shed his blood. That is why, “he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”
Of course the people still want to kill Jesus. For this reason Jesus will publicly press his legal proof that he truly is equal to God.
The Lord willing we will see this proof in our next study.