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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
John 5

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Verses 1-4


The next three chapters, John 5-7, belong together. They all start with a history. Each history illustrates a truth about which the Lord Jesus teaches further in that chapter. In John 5 it concerns a lame man who illustrates the powerlessness of Israel under the law. This wonder is only communicated to us by John. In the teaching that the Lord connects to it we see that He is the Son of God who not only gives strength, but life as well. In John 6, He speaks of Himself as the bread that has descended from heaven after saturating a crowd with bread. That bread is the flesh of the Son of Man that is eaten to get eternal life. In John 7 we see Him at the Feast of Booths, to which He attaches teaching about the Holy Spirit. In everything we see the glory of His Person.

Again the Lord goes up to Jerusalem. In this Gospel we often see Him in Jerusalem, while the other evangelists follow Him especially in His service in Galilee. He goes to Jerusalem on the occasion of “a feast of the Jews” which in all probability is the Passover. If so, there are four Passover feasts in this Gospel (John 2:23; John 5:1John 6:4; John 11:55). The first Passover, in John 2:23, was before the Lord began His public service. The three following Passover feasts make it clear that the Lord performed His public service in Israel for three years.

John points to a special location in Jerusalem: a pool near one of the porticoes of the wall around Jerusalem, “the sheep gate”. He also gives it its Hebrew nickname, which reads “Bethesda”. When Nehemiah starts repairing the wall around Jerusalem, he begins with the Sheep Gate (Nehemiah 3:1). This repair work is done by the priests. Through this gate the sheep were brought into the city to be sacrificed in the temple.

Because of this we are immediately reminded of the most important thing of city and temple which is the worship to God. Restoration of the wall is first of all necessary for the progress of the priestly service. Only of this gate is said in Nehemiah 3 that they sanctified it, i.e. separated it especially for God and dedicated it to Him.

However, John does not draw attention to the sheep entering through the gate, but to a pool nicknamed Bethesda, which means ‘house of mercy’ or ‘house of grace’. John also mentions that there are five porticoes. The number five indicates responsibility. Israel has failed in its responsibility to obey the law and as a result, the five porticoes are full of a crowd of sick people suffering from all kinds of ailments. The sheep for the sacrificial service brought into Jerusalem by a celebrating crowd have given way to distress and misery. This is the result of the unfaithfulness of the people.

Yet there remains a glimmer of hope for the crowd of the sick. No matter how much the people have deviated from God and with that have taken on the plagues of all kinds, as God has said, God has shown His mercy again at certain times. From time to time God sends an angel to stir up the water. He who first descends into it then becomes healthy, no matter what sickness he had. However, it is only mercy to someone and not general healing for everyone.

Verses 5-9

The Lord Heals a Sick Man.

Among the many sick is a man who has been ill for thirty-eight years. This man is a picture of the Jews under the law. After all, Israel was given the law two years after their exodus from Egypt, and after that, for thirty-eight years, they wandered through the wilderness as a people under the law. It has become clear that they didn’t keep the law, because many fell in the wilderness, although God also showed His grace. By their disobedience to the law, the people have forfeited all rights to blessing. In his own strength, man can never come into possession of the forfeited blessings. What applies to Israel as a people applies to every person as a sinner (Romans 5:6-2 Samuel :).

Then the Lord Jesus appears. Without the man having asked for it, He comes to him. He knows the man’s past and knows that he has been ill for a long time. The Lord asks him if he wishes to get well. Of course He knows that, but He wants to hear it from the man’s mouth. After His meetings with Nicodemus in John 3 and the Samaritan woman in John 4 we see here another example of the Lord’s approach to the individual and to how close He therefore comes to him or her.

The man tells how utterly hopeless his situation is. There is no man who cares about him. Everyone has enough to do with himself and his own misery. Nor does he himself have the strength to be the first to reach the water when it is stirred up. He is a paragon of misery and despair, without any hope. The nature of his illness makes it absolutely impossible for him to benefit from the occasionally offered means of healing, because for that he needs strength. In the man’s condition we see the characteristics both of sin and of the law.

The man wants to, but is not able to, because he does not have the strength for it. He is the illustration of a truth which is extensively dealt with in the letter to the Romans, namely the misery caused by the law to people who do want to live to God's honor, but discover that there is no power within them to do so (Romans 7:24). The solution to that misery is to renounce oneself and look to the Lord Jesus (Romans 7:25) and to what God has done in Him (Romans 8:3). “The Law was given through Moses”, but “grace and truth was realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). The man is going to experience this when he is healed by the Lord.

Then the Lord speaks the liberating word with in it the power to obey it and experience its blessing. As with the son of the royal official in the previous chapter, the word of the Lord is a word of Spirit and life. The word of the Lord is full of life and power. When He speaks a word, always something happens. One single word of Him puts aside thirty-eight years of illness forever and undoes its consequences. The man becomes healthy.

The Lord not only heals, but also gives the man the strength to take up what he has been lying on, and he actually does that. The pallet that has carried him all this time, he now takes under his arm and he walks away. On the word of the Lord there is an immediate result. As already indicated, this is a wonderful illustration of the power of the Son of God who does what is impossible for the law because of the powerlessness of the flesh (Romans 8:3).

In this third sign we see that healing cannot be found on the basis of the law, but only in Him Who is full of grace and truth. The teaching that the Lord connects to this event in the course of this chapter goes much deeper. He makes Himself known as the Son of God Who brings the dead to life. Reason for this is the comment that the Jews have on this healing.

Verses 10-13

The Jews and the Cured Man

It is Sabbath when the Lord heals the man. The first time there is mention of the Sabbath in the Word of God, without mentioning that name, is in creation (Genesis 2:2). There we see the basic meaning. It is the rest of God after He created the first creation. The sin of man put an end to that rest (John 5:17). The Jews do not realize this. They can only think in the line of the law and tradition. They want to rest in their God-given ordinances, which they do not keep, but which they still hold on to.

They do not see how hopelessly they are condemned by God’s ordinances, but instead boast of them. They have no sense of grace, as people who use the law as the norm for their own lives and the lives of others always lack the sense of grace. It is the harshness of people who have no idea of their own inability to keep the law. Otherwise they would rejoice that a human being has become healthy and have seen the Sabbath as a day of God’s grace. But they have made the Sabbath a yoke. This can only lead to a conflict with the Lord Jesus.

Every time the Sabbath is mentioned in connection with Christ, He deprives the Sabbath of the meaning the Jews gave it (Matthew 12:1-1 Chronicles :; Mark 1:21-Obadiah :; Mark 2:23-Hosea :Mark 3:2-Joshua :; Luke 4:31-Haggai :; Luke 6:1-1 Kings :Luke 13:10-Nehemiah :; Luke 14:1-Joshua :; John 5:1-Job :; John 7:22-Isaiah :John 9:14-Nehemiah :). It seems that He deliberately performs so many healings on the Sabbath to make it clear that the condition to keep it is lacking. By acting on the Sabbath, He shows that the whole system of which the Sabbath is the main characteristic, the system of the law, has been set aside by Him.

The man does not allow to be bound by these Jews for a walk under the law. He keeps the word of the Lord and appeals to it. Because He has said it, it is good. For us as well, this is the only right reaction to legislative thinking of ourselves or others. The answer of the man is at the same time a rejection of the self-satisfied observance of the Sabbath by the Jews which reveals that they are turning against their Messiah.

The reaction of the Jews to the answer of the man shows their contempt for the Lord. They speak with contempt of “the man”, even though they probably knew Who that “man” was, for the Lord had already done many signs in Jerusalem. Because of his powerlessness the healed man has not yet been able to meet Him, bound as he was to his place at the pool. The Lord had not revealed Himself to him either, as he had done with the Samaritan woman (John 4:26). He deals with every human being differently because He takes a different path with every human being He connects with Himself.

The Lord Himself has left because He does not want publicity for Himself. He has not called the man as one of His disciples who follow Him on His way.

Verses 14-18

No Rest for the Father and His Son

With the healing the work of the Lord is not yet finished. He still wants to point out something important to the man for the rest of his life. He does not do that immediately, but some time later. For that He seeks the man again. Again the initiative comes from Him.

He finds him in the temple. There the man undoubtedly wanted to thank God for his healing. It is also the appropriate place for further education. Because no matter how great it is to be healed by the Lord Jesus, the underlying problem was still there. That problem is a certain sin that was committed by the man which gave him this disease. He must judge that sin and never allow it into his life again. For that the Lord will also give him the strength if he remains dependent on Him.

By what the Lord says to the man, it becomes clear to him Who made him well. That is what he is going to tell the Jews, because they wanted to know Who made him well. The man seems to act unsuspectingly, out of love for the Lord Jesus, for others to get to know Him as well. He has no suspicion of their enmity. This innocence is beautiful and worthy of imitation.

Through the testimony of the man the Jews get the certainty of what they already suspect. Now they have the evidence in their hands as a weapon to persecute the Lord. We do not read that the Jews said anything to Him, but that they are persecuting Him for what He did on the Sabbath. Yet we read that He answers them. That is because He knows perfectly what is in man. He knows their murderousness because of His mercifulness granted on the Sabbath.

His answer is overwhelming and profound. For faith there is great glory in it, but to unbelief it provides an extra argument to hate Him. He speaks about His fellowship with the Father in the work He and the Father have done so far. What do the Jews know about fellowship with the Father? What do they know about the desires of the Father? He knows the Father and knows that the Father cannot rest in sin, nor can He. It is a wonder of grace that He did not come to judge, but to work.

The works He does are not works of judgment. His works of judgment will surely come on those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge their sins and who will complete the measure of their sin by rejecting Him. It is not that far yet. He is still busy making His Father known in love and grace. As the Son He has perfect, uninterrupted fellowship with the Father and works together with the Father.

The Jews draw the right conclusion from what He says as far as His being equal to God is concerned. Only the Lord Jesus does not make Himself equal to God, He is equal to God, for He is God (John 1:1). Instead of acknowledging that truth, it only increases their murderousness.

Although Christ has taken a subordinate place by coming to earth as a dependent and obedient Man, it is important to hold on to the fact that He never ceases to be the eternal Son of God. As the eternal Son, He never has a subordinate place in relation to the Father, but is one with the Father (John 10:30).

What the Lord says here is considered worse by the Jews than what He has done. Like the breaking of the Sabbath, also this statement leads to an outburst of the depraved mind of the Jews.

Verses 19-21

The Works of the Father and the Son

Precisely His perfect unity with His Father, precisely His being equal with God, means that the Lord Jesus as the Son can do nothing unless He sees the Father doing something. He doesn’t do anything independent of the Father because He is completely one with the Father. He acts from the perfect unity with the Father. It is the establishment of His unlimited Godhead and not of subordination, let alone incompetence.

The fact that He cannot do anything without seeing the Father doing something means that there can in no way be a will separate from the will of the Father. The perfect unity in works is shown not only by the fact that the Son does what the Father does, but also by the fact that He does it in the same manner. What perfect fellowship with the Father and what personal glory of the Son radiate from these words!

The Son’s action in perfect unity with the Father finds its basis in the Father’s love for the Son. Earlier John the evangelist testified of the Father’s love for the Son (John 3:35). Now we hear the Son Himself say it. Nothing is hidden in that love, but everything is perfectly transparent. That the Son’s actions are so perfectly in accordance with the will of the Father is because the Father shows the Son everything He Himself does.

If we may see a distinction between the three Divine Persons, we can say that the Father makes the plans, that the Son carries them out, and that the Son does so by the power of the Holy Spirit. Although there is nothing the Father does that the Son does not know, we see here that the Father shows the Son what He does. This is a presentation of matters that makes us understand slightly the relationships in the Godhead, although its inner being will always remain unfathomable to us creatures. This does not prevent faith from accepting these things, but is precisely a reason to worship the Father and the Son.

The Father’s love for the Son will lead the Father to show the Son greater works than the healing of the lame man. The healing of the lame man is done by the Son because the Father has shown Him that. The greater work is to raise the dead and make them alive. One of those greater works we see in the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11. What the Jews will see of this will lead them to marvel, but not to faith.

Only the Father can raise the dead and give them life as well as the Son, because the Son is God. He is God the Son. Please note that this does not mean that the Father through the Son, as an instrument, gives life. No, the Son Himself does that. The Son is the Giver of life and gives life according to His sovereign will, whereby His will is in full harmony with the will of the Father. That He has a sovereign will is further proof that He is God.

Raising the dead and giving them life are two different aspects of the same event. To be raised is about a change in our position. We change territory. When Christ was raised from the dead, He also entered a different realm. He no longer had to deal with the domain before His death and resurrection, but with the world of the resurrection, the world of the Father. Giving life is about a change in our condition. We were dead and have received new life. The latter is especially the work the Son did for us when we came to faith in Him.

Verses 22-27

Judgment and Life Given to the Son

There is something that not the Father, but the Son does. He does it alone, not together with the Father. That concerns the exercise of judgment. He does not do this independently of the Father, because the Father has given it to Him. We can say that in this the Son acts for or on behalf of the Father. The Son gives life together with the Father and He judges alone. The Son is the Creator and He has the right to judge what He has created and what has rebelled against Him.

The judgment given by the Father to the Son is done with an explicit purpose. The Father wants His Son to be honored by all people. For this the Son has the power to give life as well as to judge. Honoring the Father is impossible without honoring the Son. Many people talk about God the Father, but they do not intend to bow down before the Son. The Father takes no honor from such people.

To be able to truly honor the Son and therefore the Father, the condition is to hear the word of the Lord Jesus, the Son, and to believe that the Father has sent Him. Hearing and accepting the word of the Son and believing in the Father as the One Who sent Him are inextricably linked. We believe in the Father through the word of the Son (cf. 1 Peter 1:21).

There is a triple result connected to this for the believer:
1. He is given eternal life and thus complete peace for his conscience.
2. This means that he is completely freed from judgment. Not only does it bypass him, but he does not enter it at all.
3. He has passed from death into the realm of life filled with the light of the knowledge of the Father. He has therefore not only received new inner life, but he has also entered an area characterized by life, where everything speaks of life as opposed to the world in which he used to live and where everything speaks of death.

This triple result is the part of all the dead who have heard the voice of the Son of God and therefore received life. By these dead the Lord means the spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). Every human being is dead, until the moment he is born of God. This new birth, this partaking of the life the Son gives, takes place by listening to the voice of the Son of God.

The ‘hour’ of speaking of the Lord Jesus whereby someone who listens to Him is given new life began when He was on earth and this hour still continues. Over the centuries, the Son’s voice has sounded in the hearts of countless people, bringing life because they have heard that voice and listened to it. He who hears will live. This is so true to this day.

The Son has been given as a Man by the Father as the source of eternal life for man. As the eternal Son, He gives life to whom He wills, and as the Man in humiliation, the Father has given Him to have life in Himself. What He possesses as a Divine Person, He has received as a Man from the Father.

Life is from eternity in Him (John 1:4) and related to His eternal existence as God. If He had not come as a Man, we would never have been able to receive that life. Now we hear the Son say that the Father gave life to the Son as a Man. Therefore He can give this life to people. Again, this is proof that the Lord Jesus did not cease to be God when He came into the flesh. He became Man in order to be able to share with people what He possessed as God, while He remained God. All those who believe, possess the life that comes from Him and He can pass it on to others, because also as Man He possesses the life according to His Being.

Then the Lord Jesus again returns to the power He was given to exercise judgment. In John 5:22 we see that He has the right to exercise the judgment because He is the Creator. But here, in John 5:27, we read that He also has the right to exercise judgment because He is Man. He is the perfect Man Who glorified God in everything and therefore obtained the right to exercise judgment. It is not the Father Who became Man and was rejected, but the Son became Man and was rejected as the Son of Man. Therefore He is given the right to judge as the Son of Man. He will exercise this right by first removing all evil and next in governing the world in right and righteousness.

Verses 28-30

The Future Judgment

The Lord sees in their minds their marvel about what He is saying. It doesn’t have to be all that marvelous. From the Old Testament they may know that God has given the control of creation to a Son of Man (Psalms 8:5-Judges :; Daniel 7:13-2 Chronicles :). But the authority of the Lord goes further. His overall authority over all things He also exercises over the dead in the tombs.

The Lord also spoke of an ‘hour’ in John 5:25. With that He means the present period, which He indicates by saying that it is “now”. The hour of which He speaks here, in John 5:28, is a future hour. It is not the hour of giving life, but of the resurrection of the corporeal dead from the tombs. In the first “now” His voice sounds amidst the spiritually dead, and only those who believe hear His voice. In the second ‘now’ all those in the tombs hear His voice and without exception they will all rise from the tombs.

However, there is a distinction between those who rise. Those who have heard His voice in the hour of John 5:25 stand up to live. They had the strength, the capacity, to do good because they possessed the life of the Son of God. That life manifested itself in doing good. The second group consists of those who did evil because they refused the life of the Son of God. Without that life only evil is done.

It is important to understand that there is no such thing as a general resurrection of believers and non-believers simultaneously. There are two resurrections. There is a resurrection of the living and a resurrection of the dead. Between the resurrection of the living and the resurrection of the dead there is a period of a thousand years. This is evident from Revelation 20, which speaks of “the first resurrection”, indicating the resurrection of all believers (Revelation 20:4-Joshua :).

That ‘first resurrection’ has several phases:
1. Christ, Who is to take first place in all things, is the First Who is resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Corinthians 15:23).
2. When He returns, the resurrection of those who believe takes place.

His return for the believers also takes place in phases.
1. First He comes into the air and then catch up all the believers from Adam until that moment to Himself (1 Thessalonians 4:14-Job :). He takes them all to heaven.
2. Shortly thereafter He comes to earth and raises up all the believers who died in the time between the being caught up of the Old and New Testament believers and His coming to earth (Revelation 20:4-Deuteronomy :).

In what the Lord says here, He does not speak about the time between the various resurrections. What matters to Him is to indicate the totally different relationship of the two groups with respect to Him as the Son of God and the Son of Man.

After emphasizing his authority to exercise the judgment as given to Him by the Father, he immediately points out again that He does not exercise it independently from the Father. When He says that He cannot do anything of Himself, it means again that He is acting in perfect agreement with the Father. That is why it is a perfect judgment. His personal will is always perfectly attuned to the will of the Father.

As Man on earth He has taken place before the Father every morning as a disciple and the Father has opened His ear (Isaiah 50:4). Therefore His judgment is righteous. He did not let himself to be deceived by anything because He did not seek His own will, but the will of the Father. He describes His Father as “Him who sent Me”, which points to the mission he received from the Father as well as to doing the will of the Father.

Verses 31-32

Testimonies About the Lord Jesus

Precisely doing the will of the One Who sent Him makes the Lord Jesus say that He does not want to testify about Himself. He, as a Man, occupies a position on earth that is dependent on the Father. When He says that His testimony is not true, He says this as a concession to the Jews who follow the law, which states that the testimony of one person is not valid (Deuteronomy 19:15). It is not about the reliability or the truth of the testimony, because everything the Lord says about Himself is perfectly reliable and the truth. It is about its acceptability.

He wants to do everything he can to convince the Jews that He is what they deny: the Son of God. He points to “another who testifies of Me”, which is the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). The testimony of the Holy Spirit is a fourfold testimony that the Lord Jesus presents to the Jews in the following verses. It is the testimony of
1. John (John 5:33-Habakkuk :),
2. the works of the Lord Himself (John 5:36),
3. the Father (John 5:37-Zechariah :) and
4. the Scriptures (John 5:39).

Verses 33-35

First Testimony: of John

John is the first of the four witnesses the Lord gives to give testimony of Him. They themselves had sent priests and Levites to John to hear from him whether he was the Christ (John 1:19-Hosea :). From them, they heard John’s testimony concerning Him, but they did not believe. As God the Son, He does not need the testimony of the man John. Never does God depend on a man’s testimony to prove Himself. But in referring to the testimony of John, the Lord meets them as much as possible.

As a human being there has been no clearer witness than John. As a “burning” lamp, John was a fiery witness. It points to his inner drive. As a “shining” lamp, John radiated the truth. It points to what people saw and heard of him. His performance caused a stir and the Jews rejoiced for a while because they felt it pointed to something special. But they did not submit to the message of repentance that John preached. That is why it was only a temporary experience and they are now revealing themselves as opponents of Him Whom John pointed out.

John was a lamp. He brought light and warmth as a weak forerunner of Him Who shines like the sun. Once the sun shines, he does not need a lamp to shine on him. The Lord Jesus shines for them like the sun in his power (cf. Malachi 4:2).

Verse 36

Second Testimony: the works

Then the Lord speaks of a second testimony. These are the works that He does and that He has received from the Father to accomplish them. The works are, as it were, the rays of the sun that the sun emits as proof that he shines. His works are a more powerful testimony than John’s preaching, for these works are undeniably Divine. They prove that He comes from the Father. They are works that prove that grace and truth have appeared in Him from God.

Verses 37-38

Third Testimony: the Father

The third testimony the Lord Jesus points to is the testimony the Father has given of Him. This happened at His baptism (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). The Jews also missed this testimony because they were looking for something that appealed to their natural senses. As a result, they were deaf to the voice of the Father and blind to the form of the Son in Whom the Father manifests Himself. They heard the voice of the Father, but did not understand its meaning.

They see the Son, but are blind to His glory because of the humble form He has taken (Isaiah 53:2). For faith He possesses the glory of an Only Begotten of the Father, but they do not believe in Him Who was sent by the Father. He was sent by the Father, but they reject Him. Therefore, the word of the Father that He spoke about the Son does not dwell in them. It bounces off a hardened conscience that has closed itself off to faith. They do not want to believe.

Verses 39-40

Fourth Testimony: the Scriptures

As the fourth and final testimony, the Lord Jesus points to the Scriptures. The Scriptures give an ongoing testimony of Christ. When people are led to Christ through the searching of the Scriptures, they have eternal life. The Scriptures do not give eternal life separate from Him. This is evidenced by these Jews who search the Scriptures.

They search the Scriptures not to discover Christ in them, but to see how they can earn eternal life. They read the Scriptures only with their minds, while their conscience is not shined by the light of God, as is the case with so many unbelieving theologians today. They read the Scriptures, but they do not want to come to the Son. It is a matter of their corrupt will, for it is not to deny Who He is.

Verses 41-44

The Glory From Men

The Lord Jesus knows on what conditions they would accept Him. If only He would caress their glory, if only He would fulfill their human, carnal expectations, they would honor Him. But He does not seek glory from men. He Who knows He has been sent by the Father does not want glory from men. Glory from men is what the world is all about. Not only does He not seek it, but He does not desire it at all, not even if it were offered to Him.

The difference between what He seeks and what these Jews seek is the love of God. They lack the love of God and He is full of it. They do not have the love of God in themselves, because they are full of self-love. Therefore there is no place for the love of God in them. Those who do have this love in themselves only seek the honor of God. He allows himself to be guided by that love, a love that flows back to its source. His coming in the Name of His Father means that He seeks to glorify Him, His Father. This is completely strange to them, they have no connection whatsoever with it and therefore they reject Him.

The Lord Jesus then says that this mind and attitude of them towards Him opens the way for the coming of another who will come in his own name. By this He means the antichrist. They will accept him. In the antichrist the self-glorification of man finds its climax. This most wicked and lawless of all men who have ever lived, declares himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

The antichrist forms a complete contrast with Christ Who never sought or seeks His own honor, but with Whom it has always been and always will be about the Name of His Father. In Him God comes too close and therefore they reject Him. The search for people’s honor is opposite to the search for the honor that comes from the only God Who came in Christ. The search for the glorification of man prevents them from believing. As long as someone still has expectations of man and as long as he still boasts in something of man, it is impossible for him to come to faith. The tribute to a human being blocks faith in Christ as the Only One in Whom God has come to man.

If the honor of Christ is sought as the Son Who came from God, it is no longer about the honor of people, but rather life is lived out of faith. Boast in men is also a danger for believers. Paul warns against this (1 Corinthians 3:21).

Verses 45-47

The Writings of Moses

They must not think that the Lord Jesus will accuse them before the Father. He can leave that to Moses. In their blindness they believe that in Moses they have everything that supports them in their rejection of the Son. Precisely his testimony will prove fatal to them. Already in the first books of the Bible, written by Moses, it appears that Christ is the main theme. Rejecting the first books of the Bible means rejecting the speaking of the Son of God. Whoever believes in Moses must also believe in the Son, otherwise it is self-deception and hypocrisy.

Conversely, whoever does not believe the writings of Moses cannot believe in Christ. If the love of God is in us and the glory of man means nothing to us, we will accept and believe the Scriptures and by faith they will lead us to Christ.

It may seem that the Lord Jesus takes the written Word higher than His spoken words, but there is no difference in level. As far as authority is concerned, of course, they are on an equal level. The difference is that the written words are a fixed testimony about Him and therefore the necessary condition for believing His spoken words.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op John 5". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/john-5.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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