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John 5:17-47 - Jesus Christ's relationship with His Father

"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only?" (John 5:39-44 KJV)

Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
1. Jesus Christ performed his third miracle, by healing the impotent man at Bethesda. Afterward, Jesus warned the healed man to sin no more as he spoke to the Jews in the temple about the miracle.

2. Afterward, Jesus warned the healed man to sin no more because a worse condition would come upon him if he reverted back to his old ways.

3. The healed man departed the presence of Jesus Christ, and went to the Jews and told them that it was Jesus Christ who had made him whole.

4. The Jews began their persecution of Jesus, and wanted to kill him, because he had done the healing miracle on Sabbath Day.

It was the Jewish practice to do no labor on Sabbath Day, as they were commanded by the LORD God to keep the day holy...

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates: For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11 av)

When Jesus Christ healed the impotent man on Sabbath Day, it went against the tradition and law that the Jews had kept according to the Commandment of the LORD God. His disregard for this law was a great affront to the Pharisees and worthy of the punishment of death.

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
5. When the Jews confronted Jesus, He told them that His Father worked on Sabbath, so he worked also.

6. This infuriated the Jews that much more because not only had he broken the law of Sabbath Day, but Jesus Christ had also declared that the LORD God was his Father. This comparison made Jesus Christ to be equal with God.

An important, important, important fact to remember concerning the miracles of Jesus Christ...


If that one detail could be remembered in personal Bible studies, then the deeper mysteries of God would be easier to understand. It is the misinterpretation of miracles that often brings false doctrine and false practice in the midst of congregations, as they attach their worldly, carnal, emotional reasons for the miracles of God.

While the first miracle of Jesus Christ began the ministery of Jesus Christ, and brought the water of God's Grace to full maturity in the making of wine, and the second miracle showed signs and wonders for the establishment of belief in the Word of Jesus Christ, the third miracle was accomplished for the very specific reason to establish the relationship of Jesus Christ to His Father. Each miracle was different from the other, and each revealed a new depth of the things of God that were to be accomplished through His Son in human form.

1st miracle - Making water into wine in Cana of Galilee - Works (The Grace of the LORD GOD made into Works to glorify Him)

2nd miracle - Healing the Nobleman's son in Cana of Galilee - Word (The spoken Word of Jesus Christ, received in faith, brings healing)

3rd miracle - Healing the impotent man at Bethesda - Will (The Son Jesus Christ does the Will of his Father always)

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
The Nature of Jesus Christ and His Ministry revealed

(1)  Everything that Jesus Christ does, he has seen his Father, the LORD God do.

(2)  Whatever the LORD God does, Jesus Christ does also.
For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
(3) The LORD God is the Father of Jesus Christ, and He loves him.

(4) Jesus Christ will be doing even greater miracles, that the LORD God has shown him, so those who see will be amazed.
For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
(5) The Father of Jesus Christ raises up the dead and gives them life.

(6) Jesus Christ, His Son, will also give life to those he chooses.
For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.
(7) The Father LORD God will not judge any man, but has instead given His authority to judge men to His Son Jesus Christ.

(8) His Father gives Jesus Christ this power to judge, so all men will honor him, as they do the LORD God.
He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
(9) Those that do not honor the Son of the LORD God, do dishonor to his Father also, because He sent Jesus Christ to the world.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
(10)Those that hear the Word of Jesus Christ and believe on the LORD God who sent him, will have everlasting life. They will not be condemned to death for sin, but will pass from death to life.

(11) The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they will live!
For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
(12) The Son of God receives life in himself from his Father, who also has life in Himself.

The LORD God has life within Him, and as a part of Him. His Creation is possible because life exists within Him, and His authority derives from the life that is sustained through Him. He has given Jesus Christ life inside himself also, thus, there are two that Create and Sustain the life that flows outward from them. When LORD God gave Jesus Christ this life inside him, He was giving His Son the same power to create and sustain life that the omnipotent, omniscient LORD God possessed and established.

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
(13) The dead within their graves will one hour hear the voice of Jesus Christ. When they hear Jesus, they will come out of their graves and face his Judgement Throne, where the good will be rewarded with the resurrection of life, and the evil be cursed to the resurrection of damnation.
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
(14) Jesus Christ cannot judge anything himself. He seeks only to do the Will of his Father, and not his own will when he makes judgement on the things he hears.
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
(15) Jesus Christ cannot bear witness of himself, because it would not be accepted as truth.

(16) John the Baptist was sent to bear witness of Jesus Christ.

(17) John the Baptist was a burning and shining light that witnessed truthfully of the nature and being of Jesus Christ.

Although men became enamored with John the Baptist for a while, and rejoiced in his enlightened leadership, the real purpose for his existence was as a witness of truth to the things of Jesus Christ. His popularity among seekers of God, allowed for his testimony to be heard and trusted, as he spoke about Jesus Christ to believers.

But I have greater witness than [that] of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me.
(18) Jesus Christ has even a greater witness than John the Baptist, through the works which his Father gave him to finish.

(19) Every work that Jesus Christ accomplishes, bears witness to both him and his Father, which sent him to complete His Work.
Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
7. The Pharisees had neither heard the voice or seen the shape of the LORD God.

8. Proof of their blindness to the Word of God was witnessed through their refusal to believe in Jesus Christ who was sent by the LORD God as His True Word.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is [one] that accuseth you, [even] Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:39-47 av)
9. Scriptures also testify of Jesus Christ and his giving of eternal life.

10. Jesus Christ told the gathered Pharisees that they will not come to him that they might receive eternal life.

It is not for all men to receive eternal life from Jesus Christ, but rather, those who come to him and receive him.

The third miracle of Jesus Christ was accomplished when he healed the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda on Sabbath. When the Pharisees desired to kill him because He had worked this miracle on their holy day of Shabbat, Jesus Christ revealed His relationship with His Father to explain and order the progression of the LORD God's Will. It was at this very moment, when Jesus Christ identified the Will of the LORD God and established his role in fulfilling his Father's desires in all things.

A few years back, we spoke with many denomination leaders who had advanced theological degrees and large ministries that they were responsible for teaching and leading. They were a friendly bunch of believing shepherds, for the most part, and readily answered our questions and stated their specific doctrine views in response. To a person, however, two questions caused them to freeze, stutter, bluster, panic, talk around and show apparent distress at a question that would seem to be easy for these knowledgeable leaders.

"Does your denomination believe that Jesus Christ is God?" "Can you explain your denominations belief concerning the Trinity concept of God?"

Almost all of them started their nervous explanation by stating that it is a deep and difficult theological concept that is not easily explained.

Let us make it easy on ourselves, and understand the relationship of Jesus Christ to his father, the LORD God, by examination his own Words that explain exactly that in John 5:17-47. Jesus Christ makes it clear that he is the Son of God, and unable to do anything without emulating and receiving the guidance of His Father LORD God. In eloquent and simple Words, Jesus explains to mankind who he is, and what his relationship is to his Father. These words make it easily apparent that he is receives the approval, authority, power and will directly from the LORD God, and does not do one thing without his Father's moving.


Holy Bible. The King James Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1988.

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:
McFarland, Kathy L. "John 5:17-47 - Jesus Christ's relationship with His Father." Becker Bible Studies Application Sept 2008.   <>.

APA Style Citation:
McFarland, Kathy L. (2008, September) "John 5:17-47 - Jesus Christ's relationship with His Father." Becker Bible Studies Applications Retrieved   from

Chicago Style Citation:
McFarland, Kathy L. (2008) "John 5:17-47 - Jesus Christ's relationship with His Father." Becker Bible Studies Applications (September), (accessed )

About the Author

Kathy L. McFarland is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She has received her Bachelor of Science degree in Religious Studies from Liberty University, and is currently seeking her Master of Divinity (Professional Ministries Track) degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary & Graduate School. Kathy is a noted expert on Old Testament exegesis, Christian apologetics, and Bible typology and mysteries.

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