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Like Father, Like Son

Families often exhibit striking similarities, with traits and characteristics passed down from one generation to the next. We see this in how sons resemble their fathers, not just in appearance but in mannerisms, habits, and even ways of thinking. Daughters often mirror their mothers in their expressions and behaviors. Siblings share quirks and idiosyncrasies that unmistakably mark them as family.

This natural resemblance within families highlights a deeper connection and shared identity. It is this concept of likeness and unity within families that we see profoundly reflected in today’s passage from John 5:18-29, where Jesus reveals His divine unity with God the Father, emphasizing His role as the giver of life and judge of all.

The Context

Jesus’s words in this passage would have been alarming to the Jews. They were already angry with Him for healing an invalid man on the Sabbath. Instead of backing down, Jesus boldly stated that He was doing the work of His Father. Imagine how this went over with the Jews: John 5:18.

Unity with the Father

Jesus’s claim placed Him in utterly reprehensible territory with the Jews. He proclaimed the authority given to Him by God as His Son. John recounts this so his audience would believe in Jesus as the Son of God, existing in unity with God the Father, and acting as the giver of life and judge of all. The synergy between God the Father and Christ the Son is evident here, embodying the phrase, “Like Father, Like Son.”

Jesus’s Perfect Submission

Jesus uses the phrase “Truly, truly” three times in this passage to emphasize His points. In John 5:19, we see Jesus’s perfect submission to His Father, doing only what His Father does. This obedience stems from their loving relationship: John 5:20. Jesus’s miracles, like healing the invalid, were just the beginning. He tells the Jews that they haven’t seen anything yet. They were witnessing the very heart, mind, and power of God at work through Jesus.

Revealing God’s Nature

As God’s Son, Jesus reveals God’s very nature and essence. To understand God, we must look at Jesus. The actions, words, and thoughts of Jesus are those of God. This perfect unity calls us to honor Jesus as the giver of life and judge of all.

Jesus, the Giver of Life

Jesus then explains the authority given to Him as the giver of life: John 5:21. In the Old Testament, only God could raise the dead. Jesus points out that He, too, can give life, urging the Jews to recognize Him as the source of eternal life. John 5:24 shows that those who hear and believe in Him pass from spiritual death to life.

Jesus, the Judge

Not only does Jesus give life, but He also executes judgment: John 5:22-23. To honor God, one must honor Jesus. John 5:27 references Daniel 7:9-14, identifying Jesus as the prophesied Son of Man with authority to judge. Jesus is the standard by which all will be judged.

Final Judgment

In John 5:28-29, Jesus speaks of the resurrection and final judgment. Everyone will stand before Him, either in faith-filled awe or fearful judgment. The Jews’ refusal to believe in Him led to their increasing hostility, culminating in His crucifixion. Yet, His story did not end there; He was resurrected and now intercedes for believers, awaiting His return as Judge.


Your story is still being written. When your earthly chapter closes, what will matter most is who Jesus is to you. C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity said, “You must make a choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.”

Who is Jesus to you?

Donny Yarbrough

Donny Yarbrough


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