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Jesus demands radical obedience from us but also brings good news. No one is shut out from God.

  • All are welcome.
  • Jesus does not shut anyone out.
  • God does not do it either.

No one is shut out, ever.

For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.[1]

John 5:23

There is an exception to the cooperation between Father and Son. The Father does not judge anyone. He has given all judgment to the Son. Together, they raise the select to eternal life. But the resurrection to judgment—that is the business of the Son by himself, alone.

  • Why has the Father delegated judgment to the Son alone?
  • “In order that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father” (5:23).
  • So, it isn’t only that Jesus makes himself equal with God, as 5:18 says. God himself makes Jesus his equal!

So important is Jesus’ equality of honor with God that failure to give him such honor means failure to honor God. For God is the Father who sent his Son Jesus. It’s therefore troubling to hear Christians talk a lot about God without talking very much about Jesus, as happens among Christians who try to be politically correct.

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In summary of this paragraph (5:19–23), it begins with a leading statement to the effect that Jesus the Son cannot do anything unless he sees God his Father doing it. After that comes a series of four explanations that unpack the leading statement. Each explanation starts with the conjunction “For”:

  1. For the Son imitates the Father’s actions.
  2. For the Father shows all his actions, present and future, to the Son.
  3. For the Father and the Son cooperate in making certain people alive.
  4. For the exception to their cooperation is the Father’s having given all judgment to the Son.[2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Jn 5:22–23.

[2] Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 376.