John 5:16-30 (Equal with the Father)


Scene: Healing at the Pool of Bethesda !

A)Man lame for 38 yrs is healed when Jesus tells him to take up his bed and walk –


B) Religious leaders see him and are not – stoked that he was healed – but agitated that he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath.

1) They had a rule – it was unlawful to carry a burden on the Sabbath


C) When they found out that Jesus had healed him – again they were not rejoicing in the fact that a miracle had happened –

1) Instead they were mad that Jesus had performed a miracle on the Sabbath – Again that was a violation of their Sabbath day rules


D) God made the Sabbath for man – A day of rest ! – A day to focus on the Lord

1)Day of thanks – Satisfied in the Lord / day for family


E) They reversed the purpose – Man existed for the Sabbath!


F) Holy day that man had to try extra hard to not break one of the Sabbath day laws

1) This day that was meant to be a blessing to God’s people – they turned it into a Burden!


For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.   John 5:16



Well they really get thrown for a loop when Jesus begins to discuss with them why He did what He did!

A)In V.17-30 Jesus make 6 statements that speak of his equality with God!


B) If you are ever in a conversation with someone who doubts the Deity of Christ – this is a great passage to bring them too.

1) Jesus clearly and directly speaks of His equality with the Father


C) Break down these six Principles this morning.


#1 Equal in His works:

17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 


A)While it is true that God rested on that first seventh day from all His creative work.


B)He has never rested from His governmental work, His providential work, supplying the needs of His creatures.

1)The sun rises and sets, the tides ebb and flow, the rain falls, the wind blows, the grass grows on the weekly Rest Day as well as on any other.


C) God the Father is very active on the Sabbath day as He is on any other day – Sustaining the Universe.

1)Furthermore, God’s Sabbath was “broken” in Genesis 3:8 when He went on a rescue mission to track down Adam and Eve after they had eaten the forbidden fruit.


D) In order to help them, the Father broke the Sabbath He Himself had established


The Implication that Jesus is making is that the Power of God was flowing thru Him to heal this man.

A)Jesus is saying  “The reason I do what I do is not based on doctrine, philosophy, or tradition.


Aa) The issue is singular: My Father works on the Sabbath and I simply reflect Him.


B)Immediately the religious leaders knew what he was getting at! – They did not misunderstand him one bit!


18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.


C) When anyone tries to tell you that Jesus never claimed to be God – or equal with God show them this passage.

1) The religious leaders Knew Exactly what He was saying.


#2 Equal in His Will:

V. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner


Now This is a verse that is used often by the enemies of Christ to deny His Deity !


But Does this mean that His ability was limited? or that His power was restricted?

A)Does it mean that he was some how reduced to all the limitations of human nature? – The answer is no.


B) In fact when this verse is clearly understood – we realize it is not pointing to any imperfection or limitation in Christ ability

1)But rather it really magnifies His Power and ability !


C) Rule of interpretation of Scripture: Interpret scripture with scripture.

1) Well in this case we don’t need to go far to understand what Jesus is saying V.30


30 I can of Myself do nothing. [Repeats what he said in v.19 but in the closing words of v.30 he explains what he means by giving a reason ] As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, [because ] I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.


D)In the Garden: Let this cup pass – not my will but yours!


E)"The Son can do nothing of himself," literally, "nothing out of himself," that is, "nothing" as proceeding from or originating with Himself.

1) In other words, the force of what He said was this: ‘I cannot act independently of the Father.’


Now was that a limitation which amounted to a defect? Indeed no; the very opposite.

A)Example: Do the words "God that cannot lie" (Titus 1:2)


"God cannot be tempted with evil" (James 1:13) point to a blemish in the Divine nature or character?


B)No, they only affirm Divine perfections. It is the same here in the words of Christ.


C)Basically saying this: Here is the Point – The Son is so much like the father and in such unison with the Father – He cannot & will not act independently.

1) it would be completely out of his character to act Independently of the Father or in a way that was contrary to the father!


D) If He IS God the Son then His will must be in perfect unison with that of God the Father,

1)otherwise, there would be two absolute but conflicting wills. Or two God’s opposing each other


The very terms used in the text only serve to solidify the interpretation:

A)V.19 The son only does what he sees the father do. – Sees is Blepo in the grk -  signifies to contemplate, to perceive, to know.


B)Meaning when the Son exerts His Divine power, it is always in the conscious knowledge that it is the will of the Father it should be so exerted.


C) Like manner: Not only does He do what the Father does, but as He does it, He does it in a manner absolutely consistent with the absolute perfections of the Divine nature!


This you see is the great mystery and absolute wonder of the incarnation.

A)Jesus as a member of Humanity – was Fully man and yet Fully God.


B) As a man – He allowed his Glory to be hidden in his Humanity. This is what Paul means in


Philippians 2:5-8

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, [Exact representation] did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, [Didn’t consider that exact representation a thing to be held on to at all cost]


7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. [Glory was not held on to – hidden in His Humanity- Looked humble, normal, instead of glorious and majestic]


8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.


[He submitted Himself to the will of the Father – even though it meant death.]


Hebrews 5:8 tells us that he learned what was involved in obedience through what He suffered

A)Obedience to God involves the complete surrender of the will – even to the point of suffering or death.


B) As God He knows all things – He knew that principle.  But as a man He was able to experience it.

1) He experienced what was involved in obedience – by humbling himself to the point of dying on the Cross.


C) This is what makes Jesus the perfect Savior and High Priest.

1) See a person might dare to make the claim of God the Father – you are distant / sheltered – Can’t possible Know how I feel.


D) But Jesus God the son – will say: “ I know exactly how it is – I walked in your shoes – I experienced what was needed to walk in holiness / righteousness


E)So the thing that Jesus is explaining in v.19 of John 5 is – Because of His oneness with God – the Union of their will – hearts purpose

1) He can not or would not act in a way contrary to the will of the father


Now before passing on to the next verse let us pause for a brief moment to make application to ourselves.

A)"The Son can do nothing of himself."


B) Oh that I would be able to say that- See there is still far too much in my life –

1) Where I act independently of God – Still do what I think is best


C) But that is where the Father is seeking to bring us to that point of absolute reliance

1) I only want to be doing what the Father does


D) His heart / His will / His way / His time / His plan

1) That is the way to live!


So Equal in Works / Equal in Will

#3 He is equal in His Knowledge or Intelligence!

20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.


A)Now once again this is a verse that has been confusing to some who argue if Christ is really equal with God – why does he need to be shown anything.

B) When we "show" a child something it is because it is ignorant.

1) When we "show" the traveler the right road, it is because he does not know it.


C)At first glance what seems to point to an imperfection or limitation in Christ’s knowledge

1) A closer look reveals that which only brings out once more His matchless excellency.


D) Avery simple interpretation of this verse would be – The Father has no secrets from the son.

1) Perfect equality and union in their Knowledge.


Think of it this way: You wouldn’t teach Calculus to a 5 yr old- He wouldn’t be able to grasp it.

A)Nor would you try and teach a first grader how to drive a car- He is not ready for such an assignment.


B) Well the Father shows all things to the Son – because there is no limitations in his ability to understand the heart and mind of God.


C) There is a perfect intimacy in their co-equality!


D)APP The day is coming when we will know all things 1 John 3:2 / 1 Corinthians { Carl die is gain

1) Better Fellowship -  Loves the son/ Loves us


E)So they are Equal in works / In will /

in Knowledge or intelligence.


#4  Equal in His ability to Impart life and raise the dead  V.21

21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.


A)For Jesus to claim to have power to raise the dead was a blasphemous thing in the eyes of the Jewish leaders;

1) they gave that power to God alone.


B)They said that Jehovah held the three great keys:

1)the key to open the heavens and give rain (Deut. 28:12);  {Rebellion skies like  iron}


2) the key to open the womb and give conception (Gen. 30:22);


3) and the key to open the grave and raise the dead (Ezek. 37:13).


C) At this point Jesus had not yet raised the Dead – Lazarus or the widow of Nain’s Son /Jairus daughter

1)So this further intensified their frustration that he would claim to have power to raise the dead.


D) Power over the grave! – – a statement that makes Him equal with the Father !


E) But He doesn’t stop there! – V.22

22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,


#5 Equal in His authority to Judge.V.22  

A)They strictly believed that only God judged – this statement – blow a casket


B) Not only is He claiming equality with God – He is claiming to be the only Judge.


C) Why does the Father let Jesus do the judging? Because Jesus walked in the same places we walk.

1) He was tempted in all points like you and me!


2 Corinthians 5:10-11

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;


D) Persuade men How? – Trust Christ

1) Terror of the Lord – Right now age of grace

   NONE should perish!


E) But We will see on Wed nite – V.24-30 Judgment seat of Christ.

1) Issue: Men see Him His wounds – I died for you / I went to cross took your punishment { Didn’t believe


#6 Equal in Honorv.23  

23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.


A)What Jesus is saying here is that He deserves the same honor and worship and adoration that the Father deserves.


B)And that if you don’t honor the Son, then you are

not honoring the Father.

1) “ Well I believe in God –Problem with Jesus” – Boaz

    Kinsmen redeemer man


C) What Jesus is saying here is that the only way to honor God is through Him. Period!


Now is this narrow? Oh you bet it is.

A)This excludes all others – No other name thru which men can be saved.


B) Not Buddha / Krishna – Mohamed / Gandhi


C) Now that is not the politically correct thing to say Jesus only – but it is the truth!

1) Marvel isn’t that Jesus is the only way – the marvel is that there is a way Period.


D) Give Him Honor by believing in Him – Make Him your King

1) When you do that you honor God the Father too!

Revelation 19:16 – Jesus returns – this name is written on His robe – King of Kings and Lord of Lords


Philippians  2:9-11

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.