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5. Life Through the Son

After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

10The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. 11He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 12Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? 13And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. 14Afterward 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. 15The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18Therefore 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. 19Then 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. 20 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. 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. 24 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. 25 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. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 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. 30 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. 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

36 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. 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41 I receive not honour from men. 42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43 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. 44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

30. I can do nothing of myself. It would be superfluous here to enter into abstruse reasonings, whether the Son of God can do any thing of himself or otherwise, so far as relates to his eternal Divinity; for he did not intend to keep our minds employed about such trifles. Consequently there was no reason why the ancients should have given themselves so much anxiety and distress about refuting the calumny of Arius. That scoundrel gave out that the Son is not equal to the Father because he can do nothing of himself The holy men reply, that the Son justly claims for himself all that can be ascribed to the Father, from whom he takes his commencement, with respect to his person. But, in the first place, Christ does not speak of his Divinity simply, but warns us that, so far as he is clothed with our flesh, we ought not to judge of him from the outward appearance, because he has something higher than man. Again, we ought to consider with whom he has to deal. His intention was, to refute the Jews who were endeavoring to contrast him with God. He therefore affirms that he does nothing by human power, because he has for his guide and director God who dwells in him.

We ought always to keep in remembrance that, whenever Christ speaks concerning himself, he claims only that which belongs to man; for he keeps his eye upon the Jews, who erroneously said that he was merely one of the ordinary rank of men. For the same reason, he ascribes to the Father whatever is higher than man. The word judge belongs properly to doctrine, but is intended also to apply to the whole of his administration, as if he had said, that he acts by the Father’s direction in all things, that the Father’s will is his rule, and therefore that He will defend him against all adversaries. 105105     “Il sera son protecteur et garent contre tous adversaires.”

And my judgment is just. He concludes that his actions and sayings are beyond the risk of blame, because he does not allow himself to attempt anything but by the command and direction of the Father; for it ought to be regarded as beyond all controversy that whatever proceeds from God must be right. This modesty ought to be held by us as the first maxim of piety, to entertain such reverence for the word and works of God, that the name of God would alone be sufficient to prove their justice and rectitude; but how few are to be found who are ready to acknowledge that God is just, unless they are compelled to do so! I acknowledge, indeed, that God demonstrates his righteousness by experience; but to limit it to the perception of our flesh, so as to have no opinion respecting it but what our own mind suggests, is wicked and daring impiety. Let us, therefore, set it down as certain and undoubted, that whatever is from God is right and true, and that it is impossible for God not to be true in all his words, just and right in all his actions. We are likewise reminded that the only rule for acting well is, to undertake nothing but by the direction and commandment of God. And if after this the whole world should rise against us, we shall still have this invincible defense, that he who follows God cannot go astray.

Because I seek not my own will. He does not here make his own will and that of his Father to clash with each other, as if they were contrary things, but only refutes the false opinion which they entertained, that he was impelled by human presumption rather than guided by the authority of God. He affirms, therefore, that he has no disposition which is peculiar to himself and separate from the command of the Father.


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