John 5:20
For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
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(20) For the Father loveth the Son.—Do men deny His divinity? God is His Father. There is, therefore, oneness of essence. The unity of His work with God’s work has for its basis the Eternal Love, which showeth to the Son all that the Father doeth. As the relation of Son implies moral inability to do anything apart from the Father, so the relation of Father implies moral necessity to impart all to the Son.

Greater works than these.—The works which He had done could only be explained by the unity of His work with that of the Father; but in the development of His own human nature and His mediatorial work, there will be shown to Him, and He will show to man by doing them in their midst, works of which these are but as the first signs. The “ye” is emphatic, and the word “marvel” should also be noticed. “Ye who seek to kill Me shall yourselves see works which, against your will, shall be wonders to you; but against your will they cannot be signs. Ye will marvel, but ye will not believe!”

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.The Father loveth the Son - This authority he traces to the love which the Father has for him - that special, ineffable, infinite love which God has for his only-begotten Son, feebly and dimly illustrated by the love which an earthly parent has for an only child.

Showeth him - Makes him acquainted with. Conceals nothing from him. From apostles, prophets, and philosophers no small part of the doings of God are concealed. From the "Son" nothing is. And as God shows him "all" that he does, he must be possessed of omniscience, for to no finite mind could be imparted a knowledge of "all" the works of God.

Will show him - Will appoint and direct him to do greater works than these.

Greater works than these - Than healing the impotent man, and commanding him to carry his bed on the Sabbath day. The greater works to which he refers are those which he proceeds to specify - he will raise the dead and judge the world, etc.

May marvel - May wonder, or be amazed.

20. Father loveth … and showeth him all, &c.—As love has no concealments, so it results from the perfect fellowship and mutual endearment of the Father and the Son (see on [1782]Joh 1:1; [1783]Joh 1:18), whose interests are one, even as their nature, that the Father communicates to the Son all His counsels, and what has been thus shown to the Son is by Him executed in His mediatorial character. "With the Father, doing is willing; it is only the Son who acts in Time" [Alford]. Three things here are clear: (1) The personal distinctions in the Godhead. (2) Unity of action among the Persons results from unity of nature. (3) Their oneness of interest is no unconscious or involuntary thing, but a thing of glorious consciousness, will, and love, of which the Persons themselves are the proper Objects.

show him greater things, &c.—referring to what He goes on to mention (Joh 5:21-31), comprised in two great words, Life and Judgment, which Stier beautifully calls God's Regalia. Yet these, Christ says, the Father and He do in common.

For the Father loveth the Son; both as his Son by eternal generation, Matthew 3:17, and also as the Messiah sent by him into the world, to finish the work the Father had given him to do: and look, as a father will make his son acquainted with all that he doth; and not only so, but communicates all his power and skill to his son, so far as he can: so the Father communicates all his power to the Son, working all things in him, and by him; and he will in and by him work greater things than this, healing this poor man; he will by him raise the dead, &c.

That ye may marvel: Christ knew that they would not believe, and all the effect that his miracles had upon the generality of the Jews, was but causing in them a stupefaction, amazement, and admiration, as John 11:47; whereas it was their duty, not only to marvel, but to have believed also, without which their admiration did but cause that they had no cloak for their sin. For the Father loveth the Son,.... As being his Son, his image, the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person; as being of the same nature, and having the same perfections, and so equal to him; See Gill on John 3:35;

and showeth him all things that himself doth; not as if he was ignorant of them, since he lies in the bosom of his Father, is the wisdom of God, is the omniscient God, that knows all things; not only all things in men, but all things in God, even the deep things of God: but this is said of the Father, as consulting with him, communicating his designs to him, as his equal; doing nothing without him, as he never did in the works of nature, or of grace: he drew the plan of peace, reconciliation, and salvation in him; he made the worlds by him; and he does nothing in the government of the world without him; and indeed he shows him all things he does, by doing all things; and by him he shows himself, and his works, to men:

and he will show him greater works than these, or he will do greater works by him than these: either than the works of creation; namely, the redemption of the elect, the justification of their persons by his righteousness, and pardon of their sins through his blood, and the regeneration and conversion of them by his Spirit and grace; either of which is a greater work than the making of the world: or greater than he has done under the Old Testament dispensation; than the redeeming of Israel out of Egypt, leading them through the wilderness, and settling them in the land of Canaan; giving them the law, the statutes, and ordinances of God, and working miracles among them: for the redemption of God's people, by Christ, from sin, Satan, the world, the law, death, and hell, the publishing of the Gospel, the effusion of the Spirit, and setting up of the Gospel dispensation, are greater works than these; and more and greater miracles were wrought by Christ than by Moses, or any prophet under the former dispensation. Though rather the sense is, that greater miracles would be shown, and done by Christ, than these he had now done, in curing a man of his disorder, who had had it eight and thirty years, and bidding him take up his bed and walk; such as raising Jairus's daughter to life, when dead, and the widow of Naim's son, when he was carrying to the grave, and Lazarus, when he had been dead four days:

that ye may marvel; this was not properly the end of these greater works shown to, and done by Christ, which were to prove his divine sonship, his proper deity, his true Messiahship, to confirm the faith of his followers in him, and for the glory of God; but this eventually followed upon them: some wondered at them, and believed in him; and others were amazed at them, and confounded by them.

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.
John 5:20. Moral necessity in God for the aforesaid ἃ γὰρ ἂν ἐκεῖνος, etc. Comp. John 3:35.

γὰρ refers to the whole of what follows down to ποιεῖ, of which καὶ μείζονα, etc., gives the result.

φιλεῖ] “qui amat, nil celat,” Bengel. The distinction between this and ἀγαπᾷ (which D., Origen, Chrysostom here read), diligit (see Tittmann, Synon. p. 50), is to be retained even in John, though he uses both to denote the same relationship, but with varying definiteness of representation. Comp. John 3:35, John 21:15. Φιλεῖν is always the proper affection of love. Comp. John 11:3; John 11:36, John 16:27, John 20:2, et al. But this love has its basis in the metaphysical and eternal relation of the Father to the Son, as His μονογενὴς υἱός (John 1:14; John 1:18), and does not first begin in time. Comp. Luthardt.

πάντα δείκνυσιν] He shows Him all, permits Him to see in immediate self-revelation all that He Himself doeth, that the Son also may do these things after the pattern of the Father. Description of the inner and essential intimacy of the Father with the Son, according to which, and indeed by virtue of His love to the Son, He makes all His own working an object of intuition to the Son for His like working (comp. John 5:17),—the humanly conditioned continuation of what He had seen in His pre-human existence, John 3:11, John 6:46.[207]

καὶ μείζονα, κ.τ.λ.] a new sentence, and an advance in the discourse, the theme of all that follows down to John 5:30 : and greater works than these (the healings of the sick spoken of) will He show Him; He will give Him His example to do them also.

ἵνα] the divine purpose of this,—not in the sense of ὥστε (Baeumlein).

ὑμεῖς] ye unbelievers. Jesus does not say πιστεύητε; He means the surprise of shame, viz. at the sight[208] of His works.

[207] This intimate relationship is to be regarded as one of uninterrupted continuity, and not to be limited merely to occasional crises in the life of Jesus (Gess, Pers. Chr. p. 237), of which there is not the slightest indication in John’s Gospel. Comp. John 1:51. This very continuous consciousness depends upon the continuance of the Logos consciousness (John 8:29, John 8:59, John 17:5, John 16:32),—a view which is to be maintained against Weizsäcker, who introduces even visions (evang. Gesch. p. 435) in explanation of this passage, in the face of the known history of Jesus.

[208] For the astonishment connected with the θεᾶσθαι is implied in the context. See Nägelsbach, z. llias, p. 200, ed. 3.John 5:20. And the Son is enabled to see what the Father does, because He loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself does. The Father is not passive in the matter, merely allowing Jesus to discover what He can of the Father’s will; but the Father δείκνυσιν, shows Him, inwardly and in response to His own readiness to perceive, not mechanically but spiritually, all that He does; πάντα apparently without limitation, for ποιεῖ is habitual present as φιλεῖ in previous clause, and cannot be restricted to the things God was then doing in the case of the impotent man. Besides, a merely human sonship scarcely satisfies the absolute ὁ πατήρ and ὁ υἱός of this passage.—καὶ μείζοναθαυμάζητε, the Father through the Son will do greater works than the healing of the impotent man; cf. 14:12; “that ye may marvel”; this seems an inadequate motive, but John 5:23 explains it. In the following passage, spiritual quickening is meant in John 5:21-27, while in John 5:28-29, it is the bodily resurrection that is in view.20. For the Father loveth the Son] Moral necessity for the Son’s doing what the Father does. The Father’s love for the Son compels Him to make known all His works to Him; the Son’s relation to the Father compels Him to do what the Father does. The Son continues on earth what He had seen in heaven before the Incarnation.

he will shew him, &c.] Or, Greater works than these will He shew Him. ‘The Father will give the Son an example of greater works than these healings, the Son will do the like, and ye unbelievers will be shamed into admiration.’ He does not say that they will believe. ‘Works’ is a favourite term with S. John to express the details of Christ’s work of redemption. Comp. John 5:36, John 9:4, John 10:25; John 10:32; John 10:37, John 14:11-12, John 15:24.John 5:20. Φιλεῖ) He who loves, hides nothing [from the object of his love].—δείκνυσιν, showeth) in heaven. Comp. βλέπῃ, seeth, John 5:19. He showeth that [the Son] may do so also. This showing is the part of intimate unity. They compare with this the passage of the Psalm 45:5, Thy right hand shall SHOW [Engl. Vers., John 5:4, teach] thee wonderful [terrible] things.—αὐτός) Himself.—δείξει) shall show, by doing them. The Father at once showeth and doeth, and the Son seeth and doeth; not at different times.—ἔργα, works) Jesus more often calls them works than signs, because in His own eyes they were not miracles.—ἵνα) even to that degree that.—ὑμεῖς, ye) who now hate, will honour with admiration and belief. This effect was wrought especially at the resurrection of Lazarus [John 11:43; John 11:45, Many of the Jews, which had seen the things that Jesus did, believed on Him].Verse 20. - For - the Lord introduces a reason, states a fact, which is calculated to make this vision of the Father's activity apprehensible to his hearers - the Father loveth (φιλεῖ expresses strong personal, natural affection, amat rather than the ἀγαπα or diligit of many other passages. See notes, John 21:15 and John 3:35) the Son, and he loveth him to such an extent that he showeth him, making it therefore possible for him "to see" - all things that himself doeth. The Son has been from eternity and is now, notwithstanding his incarnate lowliness, the continuous Spectator of all the Father's doing in all hearts and lives, in all places of his dominion. "O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee." So stupendous a claim was never exceeded or transcended. "All things that himself doeth," shown and visible to One walking this world. The mind either rebels against or succumbs before such sublime and all-embracing knowledge. No neutrality is possible. If these were his words, then there is justification for the generalizations of the prologue. Verses 20b-29. -

(b) The greater works. Verse 20b. - And greater works than these works of healing will he show him. Here the term ἔργα is used for the first time in this Gospel. It becomes the recognized phrase by which Christ describes what the world regards as "signs and wonders," "miracles" of power or grace; but it actually connotes the simple activity of God, the normal operation of his hand. Greater manifestations than physical quickening or revival namely, the mighty changes of thought and life, the gifts of grace and peace, eternal life itself, are evermore proceeding. The Father will so show them that the Son will see and do them, and so bring them by revelation to your consciousness that ye may marvel. Christ will not say here that ye may believe, but that ye may look on confounded and astonished. This was the first effect of Christ's work - Christ's revelation of the Father's heart, Christ's demonstration of the Father's nearness and character. Westcott quotes the apocryphal saying of our Lord preserved by Clement of Alexandria, 'Str.,' 2:9. 45, "He that wonders shall reign, and he that reigns shall rest." The wonders of grace will never be exhausted. New combinations, new transformations, new discoveries, new insight into the eternal love, will be effected by him whom God hath sent, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world (but see ver. 28). Loveth (φιλεῖ)

To love is expressed by two words in the New Testament, φιλέω and ἀγαπάω. Ἁγαπάω indicates a reasoning, discriminating attachment, founded in the conviction that its object is worthy of esteem, or entitled to it on account of benefits bestowed. Φιλέω represents a warmer, more instinctive sentiment, more closely allied to feeling, and implying more passion. Hence ἀγαπάω is represented by the Latin diligo, the fundamental idea of which is selection, the deliberate choice of one out of a number, on sufficient grounds, as an object of regard. Thus φιλέω emphasizes the affectional element of love, and ἀγαπάω the intelligent element. Socrates, in Xenophon's "Memorabilia," advises his friend Aristarchus to alleviate the necessities of his dependents by furnishing means to set them at work. Aristarchus having acted upon his advice, Xenophon says that the women in his employ loved (ἐφίλουν) him as their protector, while he in turn loved (ἠγάπα) them because they were of use to him ("Memorabilia," ii., 7, 12). Jesus' sentiment toward Martha and Mary is described by ἠγάπα, John 11:5. Men are bidden to love (ἀγαπᾶν) God (Matthew 22:37; 1 Corinthians 8:3); never φιλεῖν, since love to God implies an intelligent discernment of His attributes and not merely an affectionate sentiment. Both elements are combined in the Father's love for the Son (Matthew 3:17; John 3:35; John 4:20). Ἁγάπη is used throughout the panegyric of love in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, and an examination of that chapter will show how large a part the discriminating element plays in the Apostle's conception of love. The noun αγάπη nowhere appears in classical writings. As Trench remarks, it "is a word born within the bosom of revealed religion."'Εράω, in which the idea of sensual passion predominates, is nowhere used in the New Testament. Trench has some interesting remarks on its tendency toward a higher set of associations in the Platonic writings ("Synonyms," p. 42).

Greater works will He show Him

As Jesus does whatever He sees the Father do (John 5:19), the showing of greater works will be the signal for Jesus to do them. On works, as a characteristic word in John, see on John 4:47.

Ye may marvel

The ye is emphatic (ὑμεῖς) and is addressed to those who questioned His authority, whose wonder would therefore be that of astonishment rather than of admiring faith, but might lead to faith. Plato says, "Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder" ("Theaetetus," 105); and Clement of Alexandria, cited by Westcott, "He that wonders shall reign, and he that reigns shall rest." Compare Acts 4:13.

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