John 5:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

New Living Translation
So Jesus explained, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.

English Standard Version
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.

New American Standard Bible
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Jesus replied, "I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way.

International Standard Version
Jesus told them, "Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the Son can do nothing on his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing, What the Father does, the Son does likewise.

NET Bible
So Jesus answered them, "I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But Yeshua answered and said to them: “Timeless truth I tell you: The Son cannot do anything of his own will, but the thing that he sees The Father is doing; for those things that The Father does, these also The Son does like him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus said to the Jews, "I can guarantee this truth: The Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing. Indeed, the Son does exactly what the Father does.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself but what he sees the Father do; for all that he does, this also the Son does together with him.

King James 2000 Bible
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for whatsoever things he does, these also does the Son likewise.

American King James Version
Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.

American Standard Version
Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then Jesus answered, and said to them: Amen, amen, I say unto you, the Son cannot do any thing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doth, these the Son also doth in like manner.

Darby Bible Translation
Jesus therefore answered and said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself save whatever he sees the Father doing: for whatever things *he* does, these things also the Son does in like manner.

English Revised Version
Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then answered Jesus, and said to them, Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing by himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for whatever things he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Weymouth New Testament
"In most solemn truth I tell you," replied Jesus, "that the Son can do nothing of Himself--He can only do what He sees the Father doing; for whatever He does, that the Son does in like manner.

World English Bible
Jesus therefore answered them, "Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.

Young's Literal Translation
Jesus therefore responded and said to them, 'Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son is not able to do anything of himself, if he may not see the Father doing anything; for whatever things He may do, these also the Son in like manner doth;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:17-23 The Divine power of the miracle proved Jesus to be the Son of God, and he declared that he worked with, and like unto his Father, as he saw good. These ancient enemies of Christ understood him, and became more violent, charging him not only with sabbath-breaking, but blasphemy, in calling God his own Father, and making himself equal with God. But all things now, and at the final judgment, are committed to the Son, purposely that all men might honour the Son, as they honour the Father; and every one who does not thus honour the Son, whatever he may think or pretend, does not honour the Father who sent him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 19-29. -

(b) Christ vindicated his equality with the Father. Verse 19, 20a. -

(a) He declares himself to be "the Son Verse 19. - Jesus therefore answered and said to them; i.e. replied to their secret thoughts, and to the sentiments of animosity and hostility which they did not conceal. He spake in language of extraordinary solemnity and august claim. The Verily, verily, with which he prefaced the opening sentence, and which he repeated (cf. vers. 24, 25, as in John 3:3 and elsewhere) on subsequent occasions, denoted the high ground of authoritative revelation on which he took his stand. He proceeded, without a break or interruption, to assert, on the authority of his own consciousness, the true relation subsisting between the Son and the Father - the deep, eternal, sacred link between them; in essence and in affection, in work and function; and gave several illustrations of these matters, the verification of which was not beyond the capacity of his hearers. These he made the basis of the argument of ver. 23, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." What did he wish "the Jews" to understand by "the Son"? Did he identify himself with the Son of whom he here speaks? Surely this is unquestionably the case, for the "answer" here given is one addressed to those who were seeking to slay him because he claimed for himself that God was "his own Father." He had said," My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." He justified the true reverence he felt for the Father when using this language, by describing in various ways the functions, privileges, and work of "the Son." Is "the Son," however, here the Eternal Son, the Logos, before and independently of his incarnation? and are the doctrines here announced an appeal to a pre-existing belief in such a sonship on the part of his enemies, so that he is dealing, at least from vers. 19-23, with the internal relations of the Godhead? The references to the recent ἔργον, and the moral effects which are to be produced upon his hearers by further activity, make this view doubtful. Does he here speak simply of "the Son of man" in his purely dependent, servile capacity, and earthly manifestation? (Watkins). We think not; for the deeds and functions of "the Son" are here so lofty and far reaching that this interpretation is inadmissible. Therefore we conclude, with Meyer and others, that by "the Son" he did mean "the whole subject, the God-Man, the incarnate Logos, in whom the self-determination of action independently of the Father cannot find place." This view of "the Son" involves the continuity of the Logos-consciousness, and not its obliteration; nor is this (as Reuss urges, and even Godet appears in part to concede) incompatible with the Logos-doctrine of the prologue. The Son is not able to do anything from himself, in the great work of healing, life giving, and redemption, except that which he seeth the Father doing. The Logos made flesh, the Son who has taken humanity up into his own eternal being, is ever in full contemplation of the Father's activity. He is in intimate and continuous and affectionate relations with the Father, who in this capacity has sent his Son to be the world's Saviour. He sees the Father's healing grace and omnipresent energy and ceaseless activity in regions where "the Jews" fail to discern them. The incarnate Son does not set up a rival throne or authority. He moves, lives, has his being, from the Father and not from himself.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then answered Jesus, and said unto them,.... They charged him with blasphemy for calling God his Father, and making himself equal to him: and his answer is so far from denying the thing, or observing any mistake, or misrepresentation of his words, that he allows the whole, and vindicates himself in so saying:

verily verily, I say unto you; nothing is more certain; it may be depended on as truth; I who am truth itself, the "Amen", and faithful witness, aver it with the greatest assurance:

the Son can do nothing of himself; or he does do nothing of himself, nor will he do anything of himself; that is, he neither does, nor will, nor can do anything alone or separate from his Father, or in which he is not concerned; not anything without his knowledge and consent, or contrary to his will: he does everything in conjunction with him; with the same power, having the same will, being of the same nature, and equal to each other: for these words do not design any weakness in the Son, or want of power in him to do anything of himself; that is, by his own power: for he has by his word of power spoke all things out of nothing, and by the same upholds all things; he has himself bore the sins of his people, and by himself purged them away, and has raised himself from the dead; but they express his perfection; that he does nothing, and can do nothing of himself, in opposition to his Father, and in contradiction to his will: as Satan speaks of his own, and evil men alienated from God, act of themselves, and do that which is contrary to the nature and will of God; but the Son cannot do so, being of the same nature with God, and therefore never acts separate from him, or contrary to him, but always co-operates and acts with him, and therefore never to be blamed for what he does. The Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions render it, "the Son cannot do anything of his own will"; so Nonnus; as separate from, or contrary to his Father's will, but always in agreement with it, they being one in nature, and so in will and work. He does nothing therefore

but what he seeth the Father do; not that he sees the Father actually do a work, and then he does one after him, as the creation of the world, the assumption of human nature, and redemption of man, or any particular miracle, as if upon observing one done, he did the like; but that he being brought up with him, and lying in his bosom, was privy to the whole plan of his works, and saw in his nature and infinite mind, and in his vast counsels, purposes, and designs, all that he was doing, or would do, and so did the same, or acted agreeably to them; and which still shows and proves their unity of nature, and perfect equality, since there was nothing in the Father's mind but was known to the Son, seen, and observed, and acted up to by him: so Philo the Jew (e) says of the

"Father's most ancient Son, whom he otherwise calls the firstborn; that being begotten, he imitates the Father, and seeing, or looking to his exemplars and archetypes, forms species;''

that is, being conversant with the original and eternal ideas of things in the divine mind, acts according to them, which he could not do if he was not of the same nature with, and equal to his Father. Moreover, the Son sees what the Father does by co-operating with him, and so does no other than what he sees the Father do, in conjunction with him: to which may be added, that the phrase shows, that the Son does nothing but in wisdom, and with knowledge; and that as the Father, so he does all things after the counsel of his will:

for whatsoever things he doth, these also doth the Son likewise; the Son does the selfsame works as the Father does, such as the works of creation and providence, the government both of the church, and of the world; and he does these things in like manner, with the same power, and by the same authority, his Father does, and which proves him to be equal with him; the very thing the Jews understood him to have asserted, and which they charged him with: and this he strongly maintained. The Syriac version reads, "for the things which the Father does, the same also does the Son"; and the Persic version, "whatsoever God has done, the Son also does like unto it".

(e) De Confus. Ling. p. 329.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19, 20. the Son can do nothing of himself—that is, apart from and in rivalry of the Father, as they supposed. The meaning is, "The Son can have no separate interest or action from the Father."

for what things, &c.—On the contrary, "whatever the Father doeth that same doeth the Son,"

likewise—"in the like manner." What claim to absolute equality with the Father could exceed this: not only to do "the same things," but to do them as the Father does them?

John 5:19 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Father and the Son
18For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. 19Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20"For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.…
Cross References
Matthew 26:39
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

John 5:30
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

John 6:38
For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

John 8:28
So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

John 12:49
For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.

John 12:50
I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."

John 14:10
Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Treasury of Scripture

Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.

Verily.

John 5:24,25 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on …

See on ch.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except …

The Son.

John 5:30 I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment …

John 8:28 Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, …

John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night …

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he …

John 14:10,20 Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the …

for.

John 14:16-23 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, …

Genesis 1:1,26 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth…

Isaiah 44:24 Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the …

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that …

Compare

John 5:22 For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son:

Psalm 50:6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge …

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every …

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three …

John 10:18 No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power …

Acts 2:24 Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because …

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like …

1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some …

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, …

and.

John 5:21,25,26 For as the Father raises up the dead, and vivifies them; even so …

with.

Ephesians 1:18,19 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know …

Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, …

and.

John 5:28,29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that …

John 11:25,26 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes …

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you…

2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us …

Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to …

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also …

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your …

Psalm 138:3 In the day when I cried you answered me, and strengthened me with …

Isaiah 45:24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: …

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength …

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to …

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, to …

Exodus 4:11 And the LORD said to him, Who has made man's mouth? or who makes …

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries …

Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every …

Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall …

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