Jesus On Trial

Life in His Name – Part 12

Jesus on Trial – John 5:19-47

Crosspoint – Dave Spooner – April 30th, 2023


  • Last week we saw Jesus heal a man at the pool of Bethesda intentionally and strategically to reveal our hearts, show us our greatest need, and proclaim that He was equal to the Father. He was also picking a fight with and confronting the self-righteous religious leaders of His day and ours.
  • That event spills into and sets up our passage for today, where Jesus further establishes and defends His identity, then turns the table and prosecutes those persecuting, opposing, and prosecuting Him.
  • This morning I will point out for us a number of significant statements Jesus says about Himself, the witnesses He brings forth to verify His statements, and the charges He levels against those coming against Him.
  • My aim is that when you walk away from this service, you will esteem Jesus more, love Jesus more, and honor Jesus more. That your faith will be built up and that you will continue to follow Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Now here is the first statement Jesus gives in defense of saying that He is equal to the Father (John 5:18).

I am the Son of the Father

John 5:19-23 ESV

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

  • The Father does, so I do – Just like every good apprentice (sons apprenticed to their fathers), Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing – like Father, like Son.
  • The Father loves me – This was vocalized for all to hear at His baptism (Matt. 3:17) and again stated at the transfiguration (Mark 9:7). Jesus is not only the Son of the Father, but He is also loved by the Father.
  • The Father shows me all He is doing – Jesus is saying that He does not have just limited access to God, but He is shown ALL the Father is doing. There is an intimacy in emotion and knowledge. None could claim this.
  • The Father does marvels; I do marvels – You have seen this in me and my life. You will see greater and greater things because this is what the Father will do. Not only do I know all that He is doing, but I also know all that He will do. And these marvels will be seen (and verified by you).
  • The Father gives life, I give life – The Jews knew from the Scriptures that the Father gives life (Gen. 1, Eze. 37). Jesus also gives life to those He chooses to do so.
  • The Father has given me the authority to judge – The Father is the one who has all authority, and He has given me the authority to judge.
  • The Father is honored through honoring the Son – If you don’t honor the Son, then you don’t honor the Father. This is a HUGE statement.
  • The Father sent me – Jesus was sent by the Father; He did not come on His own accord. He has come from the Father because the Father sent the Son.

I am the life-giver and judge

  • Here is how Jesus sets this up:

John 5:24 ESV

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

  • Whoever believes what I say and believes that the Father sent me, that person will have eternal life. That person will not have to face the judgment. They have gone from death to life.

John 5:25-30 ESV

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. 30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

  • The Father has life in Himself, and the Son has life in Himself. The final day will come when those who are dead and hear my voice will live. Even now, this is happening (think of the girl that was raised in Matthew 9:19-26, and Lazarus in John 11:38-44). It is at the voice of Jesus that people will respond. Either people will receive life from His voice or hear the pronouncement of judgment from His voice. The judgment will be handed down to Jesus from the Father, so it will be Jesus’s voice also as the judge.
  • After these statements of His identity, Jesus then calls witnesses to give their testimony as to the truthfulness of what Jesus has claimed.

I am who the witnesses say I am

John 5:31-35 ESV

If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

  • The witness of John the Baptist – You religious leaders investigated John, and you know what John said about me. John said that Jesus was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29), that Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:34), that Jesus is from above, sent from the Father, and that those who believe in Him will have life and those who don’t will be condemned (John 3:31-35).

John 5:36 ESV

But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.

  • The witness of my works – All of the works that Jesus did and will do, bear testimony that He is the Son of God. What the Jews attested to the word of God in the Old Testament, Jesus was doing, including showing that He has the power of and over creation, over sickness, over demons, over death. He knew what happened in the past and what would happen in the future. All of these “works” give evidence that He is who He claims to be.

John 5:37-38 ESV

And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.

  • The witness of the Father – This was again pointing to the voice of the Father and what He said about His Son. “And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him’” (Mark 9:7-8), and “a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’” (Matt 3:17-4:1).
  • Jesus also indited them, saying you don’t know the Father, you have not seen Him, you have not heard Him, and His words are not in you, because you do not believe me.

John 5:39-40 ESV

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

  • The witness of Scriptures – The Scriptures cannot grant eternal life, but they point you to the one who can give you eternal life—Jesus. The Old Testament points to Jesus, from the snake crusher, to the ark, to the lamb, to the manna, to the bronze snake, to the water from the rock, to the lion of Judah, to the eternal priest, to the fourth man in the fire (with Daniel), to the dry bones coming to life, to the good shepherd, to the mighty warrior, to the suffering savior, to the glorious King. All of these things are talking about Jesus. But you refuse to come to Him so that you may have life.
  • Now Jesus goes from presenting His defense to going on the offense. Saying, you guys think you are prosecuting me, but in reality, I am the prosecutor.

I am the prosecutor 

John 5:41-44 ESV

I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

  • Here Jesus is saying that ou don’t love God because you don’t love me, but you will receive others who are trying to make a name for themselves. I am not trying to make a name for myself or to get glory from people, but to bring glory to my Father.
  • He goes on to say that n contrast, you seek glory from people, but you don’t seek glory from God. You don’t receive God’s glory because you seek man’s glory. You can’t believe me because you care more about what people think about you than what I am saying to you.

John 5:45-47 ESV

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?

Here, Jesus questions them by saying, you look to Moses to deliver you? Moses looked to me to deliver him. You appeal to Moses, Moses appeals to Me. I don’t have to judge you, because the one you look to to justify yourself, he will accuse you. You don’t hear Moses, so you can’t hear me.


  • In this trial, Jesus was speaking truth and spitting fire. This was the ultimate “mic drop,” and it is a lot to take in. Let me remind you what Jesus is saying in this passage:
    • I am the Son of the Father
    • I am the life-giver and judge
    • I am who the witnesses say I am
    • I am the prosecutor
  • Think about these things; let them be planted in the soil of your soul. Honor Him for who He is, esteem Him higher than any other, and love Him more than anyone or anything. Trust yourself fully to Him. Praise Him, for He is worthy of all our praise.