Last week during the Sunday morning lesson we looked at the idea of authority from Mark 11, and we saw that Jesus asked the most important question that men can answer, “. . . was it from heaven or from men?” Jesus emphasized that authority comes from either heaven or from men, hence, we need to examine what we do and why.
We pointed out that God has given authority to Jesus (Matthew 28:18) and Jesus gave the Holy Spirit unto the apostles (John 14-16) to guide them into all truth. The apostles had the authority to pass on miraculous gifts to aid the church (1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-16); and the Spirit guided these men to write down God’s word (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:3).
The governments of men have been given authority to “execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:1-7). We have to consider to what extent God has given authority to governments, and whether or not governments have overextended their authority among men.
Jesus had a lot to say about the authority he had and where it came from in John 5. Note these points:
- Jesus made it clear that he did nothing on his own—he submitted to the authority of God (John 5:19). Is there a lesson for us in this, not to go beyond what God has said, or come short of what God says?
- The son does what the Father does (John 5:19). We would do well to consider that we should do what the Father does as well. That means we must know the Father and his will.
- The Father loves the Son—isn’t it amazing that they planned our salvation and it is done by and for love? The Father loves the Son—Jesus never doubted that, even on the cross. Do you doubt the Father’s love at times?
- All judgment is given to the Son—did this include judgment while Jesus lived? (Compare John 3:16-17). We do know that Jesus will have authority on the day of judgment—he is the one who will judge the world on that final day (Acts 17:30-31).
- When we honor the Son we honor the Father (John 5:23).
- Eternal life comes from hearing the words of Jesus and believing in them (John 5:24). He has the words of eternal life (John 6:60-71). His words bring us eternal life. Many of the disciples did not believe and walked away from Jesus in John 6. Do we believe? Does his words make a difference in our lives (Matthew 7:24-27). And we need to understand that this is not “faith only”—but believing enough to obey! Faith motivates obedience. Do we hear his voice, as is clearly revealed in his word? The spiritually dead (not physically dead) who hear his voice and obey him will live (John 5:25).
- The Father has given judgment to the Son; likewise he has granted life in the Son (John 5:26-27). Hence, it is important that we be in Jesus to enjoy the abundant life he offers to us all (John 10:10).
- Jesus goes on to explain that one day ALL that in the tombs shall hear his voice, those that have DONE GOOD to the resurrection of life; those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29). The spiritually dead who hear Jesus and obeys his will has the promise of eternal life—one day the physically dead will hear his command to come forth, and ALL will come forth to be judged. If he has the authority to resurrect the dead and judge them (and he does as is clearly seen in this passage) he has the authority to tell us how to live and what God requires of us.
- Jesus does nothing on his own—as he hears, he judges (John 5:30-31). Jesus judges because the Father has given him that right because of Jesus’ perfect obedience to the words of God.
- Jesus judgment is righteous—why? Because he seeks not his own will but the will of the Father. We can know, in no uncertain terms, that the judgment that Jesus will pronounce on all men will be righteous—it is will be just!
We must remember that judgment day is coming; thankfully, we know about God because he has chosen to reveal himself to us in his word, and in his son Jesus Christ (John 1:18). WE DO NOT HAVE TO GUESS WHAT GOD WANTS FROM US—he has given us his revelation on how to be saved and how to live the Christian life.
Have we submitted to his authority when telling us how to be saved? Are we continuing to listen to him and obey him in obedience? Do we really take this as seriously as we should? Are we continuing to work out our salvation, with God who works in us (Philippians 2:12-13).
Think on these things! Love, Tommy