|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:24-29 Our Lord declared his authority and character, as the Messiah. The time was come when the dead should hear his voice, as the Son of God, and live. Our Lord first refers to his raising those who were dead in sin, to newness of life, by the power of the Spirit, and then to his raising the dead in their graves. The office of Judge of all men, can only be exercised by one who has all knowledge, and almighty power. May we believe His testimony; thus our faith and hope will be in God, and we shall not come into condemnation. And may His voice reach the hearts of those dead in sin; that they may do works meet for repentance, and prepare for the solemn day.
Verses 27-29. -
(2) Second "greater work" - judgment of the world. Verse 27. - And he gave him (i.e. the Son, the God-Man) authority to execute judgment, because he is Son of man. He has vindicated his power to confer life upon the dead by asserting the possession by "the Son" of the Divine Sonship. He now adds, so far as the relation to man is concerned, his fitness and authority to administer justice, to preside over the entire juridical process, to lift the scales, to determine the destiny of the human race. The fitness is seen in this, that he, "the Son," is "the Son of man." The one term, "THE SON," entirely covers the twofold Sonship. The proof of his humanity is assumed to be complete. The fact of it is the ground that he who knows what is in man should be the Judge of men. By personal experience of man's temptations and frailties; by knowing every palliation of our sins, every extenuation of our failures, every aggravation of our weakness; by gazing through human eyes with human consciousness upon our mysterious destiny, he is competent to judge; whereas by being Son of God as well as Son of man, he is entrusted with power to execute the judgment of the Eternal. The principle involved is based upon perfect justice. The honour thus conferred on the God-Man is infinite, the consolation thus held out to man unspeakable. We are being judged by Christ, not by impersonal law. The entire incidence upon every individual of the Law is in the hands of the Redeemer. The Saviour, the Life-giver, the Voice which quickens the dead, assigns the judgment. We must be careful, in any inference we draw from this grand utterance, to avoid all suspicion of schism or rivalry between the Father and the Son. The Son is not more merciful than the Father. For the Father of the Old Testament pitieth his children, and knoweth their frame (Psalm 103:13, 14), and the Father of Jesus Christ loves the world, and counts the very hairs of our heads. The Son will not exercise this judgment with less regard to the claims of eternal justice than the Father; but his knowledge of humanity is, by the nature of the case, a guarantee of such application of the justice of God to the case of every individual, that man's knowledge of himself will be able personally to justify and verify it. The Divine judgment will go forth from the heart of man himself.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And hath given him authority to execute judgment also,.... Both in his church and kingdom, in the present state of things, and at the last day, when all shall stand before his judgment seat: and that
because he is the son of man; truly and properly man; because though he was in the form of God, and equal to him, yet became man, and was in the form of a servant: and so reads the Ethiopic version, "because the Son of God is the son of man"; and therefore the authority of executing judgment, according to the council and covenant of peace, is committed to him; or that men might have a visible judge, or be judged by one in their own nature: agreeably the Persic version renders it, "because the Son himself is he who judges the sons of men"; or rather because he is that son of man spoken of in prophecy, especially in Daniel 7:13; by whom is meant the Messiah, as the Jews themselves allow (f), and who was not a mere man, but the man God's fellow; and so being omniscient and omnipotent, was equal to such a work, which otherwise he would not have been; See Gill on John 5:22. The Syriac version joins this clause to the beginning of John 5:28, and reads it thus, "because he is the son of man, marvel not at this"; let this be no obstruction to your faith of his quickening the dead, and having authority to execute judgment on all; since, though the son of man, he is not a mere man, but God over all, as what is next ascribed to him manifestly shows.
(f) Zohar in Gen. fol. 85. 4. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 13. fol. 209. 4. Jarchi & Saadiah Gaon in Daniel 7.13. & R. Jeshuah in Aben Ezra in ib.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. because he is the Son of man—This seems to confirm the last remark, that what Christ had properly in view was the indwelling of the Son's essential life in humanity as the great theater and medium of divine display, in both the great departments of His work—life-giving and judgment. The appointment of a Judge in our own nature is one of the most beautiful arrangements of divine wisdom in redemption.
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