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Jesus distinguishes between two different resurrections in 5:28–29, just as Revelation 20:4–6, 11–15 does. But 5:24 shows that his talk about making certain people alive refers not only to bodily resurrection in the future. It refers also to the possession of eternal life even before bodily resurrection: “has eternal life” (present tense), “has transferred out of death into life.”

The body may die, but eternal life remains, so that the resurrection will be a resurrection of life, not a resurrection of judgment: “isn’t going into judgment” (5:24).

To whom do these words apply? To the person who hears Jesus’ word and believes the one who sent him.

It is Jesus himself. In John’s Gospel Jesus is constantly talking about himself, presenting himself in his words. God sent me, he says. I am his one-and-only Son. I am the Son of Man, who came from heaven. I’m the bread of life, light of the world, good shepherd, the resurrection, the life, the way, the truth, and so on and on. In the other Gospels Jesus talks constantly about the kingdom of God; in this Gospel, about himself.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has transferred [passed] out of death into life.

John 5:24

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  • Romans 5:9 — 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:32 — 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Master so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
  • 1 John 4:17 — 17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

Bonus Content: Check out this supplemental content about Judgement. It adds context to this article. If you like it, please consider subscribing to the channel on YouTube.

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