This is the sermon I will be preaching Wednesday January 2nd, 2008.

John part 17
Jesus defends Himself
John 5:19-29.

I have never been any good at defending myself. I don’t consider myself a good debater, or even someone who is good at disussions. There are several factors: (1) I get very nervous and start to stammer; (2) I’m very emotional and can get very mad; (3) Most of the time I think what I, or others as well, have to defend themselves about are very petty, silly things.

I can think of one time in particular. Laura and I weren’t married, though we were engaged. I was driving in Tyler Texas. I drove by this church on the loop, which was building this huge building, that come to find out was going to be a gymnasium. I looked over at what they were doing just for a second, when I looked back, everyone was stopped, but me – and I hit a police car right in the back. The officer got out and was irate. He started yelling at me, cussing at me, and threatening to sue me. He wanted to see my license and I couldn’t find it. He wanted to seem insurance and I couldn’t find it either. So he got me out of the car and told me to sit down on the curb until his supervisor would come. I thought I was going to jail. Other police starting stopping by and were laughing about it and telling stories of how this happen to them and they got money from the people, so I thought I was going to jail plus being sued. The supervisor showed up and asked me why I was driving without license and proof of insurance. I told him I wasn’t, but that I was so nervous I couldn’t remember where they were. I asked if I could have some time by myself to collect my thoughts and he said yes. It was when I settled down, that I remembered they were in my billfold, where I always keep them. I was lousy at defending myself on this occasion.

Let me ask you the same question. How are you at defending yourself? Are you calm, cool and collected, or do you go into panic mode?

This lesson really does not have much to teach us on how to defend ourselves, but it does show us that Jesus went through the same things: He was accused and had to defend Himself from the accusation.

Last time we saw the religious bring up some accusations concerning Jesus. They are angry that He healed on the Sabbath. And their anger just gets aroused even further when He states in verse 17 – My Father is still working, and I am working also. In verse 18 it states – This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal to God.

Let’s look at this passage and see how Jesus defends Himself.

1. Jesus – the submissive Son.

John 5:19-20 CSB – 19 Then Jesus replied, ” I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him everything He is doing, and He will show Him greater works than these so that you will be amazed.

A. Notice first off that Jesus does not backtrack from His saying earlier about the Father and Him both working.

He just goes to explain what He meant by this statement.

B. In verse 19, He explains that He is submissive to the Father. In what way?

Well, He isn’t working on His own authority, or I believe own power, He is working under the Father’s authority. Jesus is the perfect example of a life that was completely devoted to the Father and His will, and work.

Jesus left us a brilliant, yet on the surface, an impossible example. Are our lives so devoted to Him, in the same way? The answer is quite honestly no, but we can be more devoted than we are. Not in our own devotion, but as we continue to abide in Christ and let Him rule and work in our lives.

C. In verse 20a, Jesus explains the Father’s motivation for Him and Jesus working.

This motivation is because the Father loves the Son, and because He loves the Son, He shows Him (Jesus) everything that He is doing. His complete will, plans, and purposes. Now the Greek word for love here, is one that describes a special relationship. It is a family type love. This type love between the Father and the Son has always been, throughout eternity.

D. Notice in verse 20b, the greater works that the Father will show is too Jesus, and the world will stand amazed.

I personally feel that these greater works would be the raising from the dead, with the ultimate resurrection – Jesus Christ Himself.

2. Jesus – the honored Son.

John 5:21-22 CSB – 21 And just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son also gives life to anyone He wants to. 22 The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son,

A. Verse 21 is why I think that Jesus is talking about resurrection, and in particular His resurrection.

B. In the first point, Jesus states that He is in complete submission to the Father.

Now we are going to see the result of this submission will be honor.
How do these verses state that Jesus receives honor:

C. First, they show that the power to give life to whomever the Father wishes, has been given to the Son (verse 21).

These Jews would have understood what Jesus is stating here, because of what Scripture says concerning the Sovereignty of God.

Deuteronomy 32:39 CSB – See now that I alone am He; there is no God but Me. I bring death and I give life; I wound and I heal. No one can rescue [anyone] from My hand.

These same Jews would have also understood again, Jesus is claiming equality with God here by stating that the Father raises the dead and gives life, and so does the Son.

D. The second way that these verses show that honor has been given to Jesus is that all judgment has been given to the Son (verse 22).

He is claiming to be equal with God in judgment. He even goes further that that. He states that it isn’t God who judges, but the Son.

E. Jesus then really gets there goat when He tells them that in order to honor God, they have to honor the Son.

John 5:23 CSB – so that all people will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

In my opinion, this is probably the most powerful statement of divinity that Christ Jesus makes. He claims equal honor with the Father. He also makes sure they are aware of this one fact: To honor the Son is too honor the Father. Or you cannot honor the Father if you do not honor the Son.

3. Jesus – the bringer of life.

John 5:24-25 CSB – 24 ” I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life. 25 ” I assure you: An hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

A. Here Jesus states that those who really listen to Him (hear His Word) and believes in Him and the one who sent Him (the Father) will have eternal life and not come under the judgment of the Son.

B. Now there are two kinds of dead who will come to life:

The physically dead at the last trumpet, when they hear His voice and are resurrected. The spiritually dead. All those who are lost and dead in their trespasses and sins. They will hear His voice (His call to come and follow Him). And those who hear and obey the call will live, have eternal life.

4. Jesus – the judge with full authority.

John 5:26-29 CSB – 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And He has granted Him the right to pass judgment, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come out—those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.

A. This saying really had to throw these Jews off.

They believe that the judgment of God is coming on the Romans when the Messiah comes, and that because they are Jews they are safe from this coming judgment.

B. But Jesus states that this judgment has been given to Him (claims of divinity and messiahship) and that the judgment that He makes will be at the last days, when those in their graves hear His voice – some to resurrected life – some to resurrected judgment.

Those to resurrected life – those who have done good things. Followed after Jesus, allowed His word to abide in Him. Those to resurrected judgment – those who have refused to follow after Him, which is the ultimate wickedness. He says something similar in Matthew 25:31-46.

Matthew 25:31-46 CSB – 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungryand you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me. ‘ 41 Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me.’ 44 “Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’45 “Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either. ’46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


Is there anything from this passage that we can take and apply to our lives today?

• Know this one thing: God has given Jesus all authority, honor, and judgment, no one else.
• Becoming a Christian is serious business – it is following Jesus.
• And when we become followers of Him, His life changes us and makes us new.
• We must at times give warnings to those who continue to refuse to follow Him, one day judgment is coming and they will have no excuse.


God has given Jesus all honor and authority and judgment. Let’s live our lives in such a way that we give the Lord honor.