SUMMARY.--At Bethesda. The Man with the Infirmity Healed. The Jews Complain That the Sabbath Was Broken. The Jews Seek to Slay Jesus. He Rebukes Them. Predicts His Own Death and Resurrection. Also the Resurrection of All. The Testimony of John; of Moses.
17. My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. The answer of Jesus to his accusers goes to the very root of the matter. The basis on which the Sabbath rested was that God had ceased his creative labors on the seventh day. Jesus shows that God's rest was not idleness. The Father had continued his works of love and mercy. He worked in these works right on till Jesus came; "now," says the Son, "I work as my Father works. There is no suspension on the Sabbath of works of benevolence and mercy." The Father's example is the pattern given to direct man.
18. Because he not only had broken the Sabbath. The Pharisees were horrified, not only at what they deemed the breaking of the Sabbath, but at the high ground on which the Lord placed his defence. But said also that God was his Father. This high claim seemed to them blasphemous.
19-21. Then answered Jesus. To their charge of blasphemy. He shows that there is the closest co-operation between the Father and Son. What the Father does the Son will do, even to the extent of giving life to the dead.
22, 23. That all men should honour the Son. Three "fors" occur in the 20th, 21st and 22d verses , all stating the exaltation given to the Son.
24. Hath everlasting life. The conditions of eternal life are: (1) Knowledge of the Son; (2) belief upon him; trust in him. These are necessary before he can be accepted.
25-27. The dead shall hear the voice. Those spiritually dead, as well as those in their graves. They shall hear, and the Son will bestow upon them eternal life. For the Son hath, by the will of the Father, life in himself and can bestow it. He is also judge, because he is the Son of man, a judge who shares the nature of the judged.
28-31. Marvel not at this. That he should execute judgment. Those in the graves shall hear his voice and come forth to judgment; the good, to the resurrection of life; the evil, to the resurrection of damnation; the one to life eternal, the other class to condemnation. Can do nothing of myself. Apart from the Father.
32. There is another that beareth witness of me. John is meant.
33. Ye sent to John. See 1:19-38 .
36-38. I have greater witness. His works given of the Father, the Father's voice at baptism, and the Scriptures, which are the Father's word. Have not his word abiding in you. If they had they would believe upon him of whom that word did speak.
39-41. Search the scriptures. Rather, as in the Revision, "Ye search the Scriptures" for eternal life. Yet they were full of testimony of Christ. Yet they turned away from him who is the life of whom their Scriptures spoke. I receive not honour from men. This perhaps is a reply to some expression of disapproval on their part.
42, 43. I know you. He read their hearts. If another shall come. Some false Christ.
44. How can ye believe? This verse shows that unbelief is due to the moral condition.
45-47. There is one that accuseth you. Moses, whose testimony they failed to accept. If they rejected the testimony of Moses, whom they professed to reverence, how could they believe him of whom Moses spoke?