John 5:20 Commentary - The Apologists Bible CommentaryThe Apologists Bible Commentary
20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel."
Commentary Jesus tells us that the reason that He does only what the Father shows Him - and everything the Father shows Him - is because the Father loves the Son. The Son submits to the Father in perfect love, being unable therefore to act independently of the Father, and the Father reciprocates this perfect love by showing the Son "all things" that He is doing. There is nothing that the Father does that He does not show the Son, and so we may trust that Jesus "explains" or "exegetes" the Father perfectly and completely (cf. John 1:18). God's revelation in His Son is perfect because the Son does "whatever" the Father shows Him, and the Father shows Him "all things He Himself is doing." Jesus' implicit claim to Deity is here quite striking, as is the statement that the Father will show the Son even greater works than the healings the Jews have already witnessed - that is, the works of judgment and raising the dead, which Jesus speaks of in the coming verses. Jesus says not only does He know everything the Father is doing, but that He knows what the Father will do. While it is certainly possible that the Father disclosed His future works to the Son, Jesus makes no such qualification here, as we might expect, had Jesus wished to convince his audience that He was not, in fact, "equal with God." It seems, instead, that the Son knows what the Father will do by virtue of the unity of their shared Will - yet another implicit and stunning claim to Deity. The very obedience and dependence that characterize Jesus' utter subordination to the Father are themselves so perfect that all Jesus does is what the Father wills and does, so it is nothing less than the revelation of God. Small wonder that Jesus will later declare, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (14:9; cf., Carson, pp. 146-162). In the immediate context, this means that Jesus' implicitly claimed 'equality with God' (vv. 17-18), as real as it is, must never be taken to mean (as the Jews apparently assumed) that God himself was compromised (if the claim were given any credence) or demeaned (assuming it were false). Far from it: the claim was true, but God was thereby revealed" (Carson
Grammatical Analysis kai panta deiknusin autw`a autoV poiei KAI PANTA DEIKNUSIN AUTФi hA AUTOS POIEI and all things shows him that which he does. PANTA ?All things, everything. In the absolute sense (BAGD
Other Views Considered Jehovah's Witnesses objection: Some Witnesses have argued that PANTA here and in other verses does not mean "all" in an absolute sense (cf., John 1:3; Col 1:16). response: While PANTA may be used in a hyperbolic sense in some verses, the word means "all" in the absolute sense, as the lexicons indicate. The burden of proof is on those who would argue against this meaning. There is nothing in the context, nor elsewhere in Scripture, that suggests that Jesus is using hyperbole here. Indeed, since Jesus says the basis of the Father showing Him "all things" is the Father's love for the Son, it would dilute the Divine Love if PANTA meant anything other than "all things" absolutely.
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The Apologists Bible Commentary
Author: Robert Hommel.