Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg
Bible Study material on John 5:24-47
Introduction and Background
John 5:24-29 is situated in the larger context of John 5 where Jesus healed the man who had been invalid for 38 years at the pool of Bethesda. It thus forms essential part of Jesus’ response to the Jews and all who questioned his authority to heal on the Sabbath day. In our previous lesson, we learnt that as part of Jesus’ response, he demonstrated his equality with God the Father. Today’s lesson focuses on the theme of the passage which is about the equality of Jesus Christ, the Son of God with the Father. Coequal with God the Father, Jesus has authority to give eternal life to the spiritually dead persons. In John 5:24-29, three forms of resurrection which Jesus gives could be identified.
John 5:30-47 then presents three-fold testimonies about the deity of Jesus namely that of John the Baptist, Jesus’ own works and God’s word.
A. The threefold resurrection (John 5: 24-29)
1. The resurrection of dead sinners today (verses 24-27)
This is a spiritual resurrection (Ephesians 2:1-3) and takes place when sinners hear the Gospel of Jesus and believe. By way of illustration, the man the Messiah healed was really a “living dead man.” When he heard the Word and believed, he was given new life in his body. Jesus has life in himself, for he is “the Life” (14:6) and therefore can give life to others.
2. The Resurrection unto life (verses 28-29)
This is the future resurrection of believers, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58. The Bible does not teach a “general resurrection” any more than it teaches a “general judgment.” This “resurrection of life” is the same as “the first resurrection” in Revelation 20:4-6.
3. The resurrection of condemnation (verse 29)
This is described in Revelation 20:11-15 and takes place just before God makes the new heavens and earth. All who have rejected Jesus the Messiah will be judged, not to see if they get into heaven, but to see what their degree of punishment will be in hell. Hell is called “the second death,” separation from God. No believer will ever stand at the White Throne Judgment (John 5:24).
B. The threefold testimonies about Jesus’ deity (John 5: 30-47)
John the Baptist (verses 30-35)
The people listened to John and even rejoiced at his ministry but rejected him and his message. Read 1:15-34 and 3:27-36 to see how John pointed people to Jesus
Jesus’ works (verse 36)
Even Nicodemus admitted that Jesus’ miracles proved that He came from God (3:2).
The words of God the father (verses 37-47)
The Old Testament Scriptures are the Father’s witness to His Son. The Jews searched the Scriptures, thinking that their studies would save them, but they read with eyes that were spiritually blind. Moses wrote of the Messiah and would accuse them at the judgment. They refused the Word (verse 38).
They would not come to Him (verse 40). They had no love for God (verse 42). They would not receive him (verse 43). They sought honor from men and not from God (verse 44). And they would not listen to His Word (verse 47). No wonder they could not believe and be saved!
Conclusion and application
The concept of life and death in today’s passage does not necessarily describe the ending of human life. Instead, John 5:24 seems to point us beyond physical death. It is life that is obtained from spiritual rebirth that John had in mind. The promise of Jesus in John 5:24 gives assurance to all who hear, believe and obey God’s words. Jesus’ assurance could be found in three stages. First, to Jesus, they have eternal life (present tense) in that this eternal life is now. Second, those who hear God’s word and believe in Jesus will not be condemned. Significantly, that is in future tense. And thirdly, those who believe have already crossed over from death to life. This is then in perfect tense. The overall import of this analysis is that there is a guaranteed new life, or new birth for all who believe in Jesus. The reliability of Jesus’ ability to give eternal life is also seen in the testimonies proving that Jesus is God.
1. How can one be described as spiritually dead?
2. State three main forms of resurrection that Jesus gives.
3. Describe three assurances of Jesus in John 5:24 that proof the certainty of your eternal life.
4. State and explain three main witnesses to Jesus’ deity.