John 5:28
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
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(28) Marvel not at this—i.e., that He has Himself a source of life and authority to judge. There shall follow from this “greater works,” at which they shall marvel. There is an hour coming (here not with the addition “and now is,” verse .25) when the victory over physical death shall also make manifest this life, for “all that are in the graves” shall hear His voice, and the final judgment shall declare to the universe His authority to judge.

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.Marvel not - Do not wonder or be astonished at this.

The hour is coming - The "time" is approaching or will be.

All that are in the graves - All the dead, of every age and nation. They are described as "in the graves." Though many have turned to their native dust and perished from human view, yet God sees them, and can regather their remains and raise them up to life. The phrase "all that are in the graves" does not prove that the same particles of matter will be raised up, but it is equivalent to saying "all the dead." See the notes at 1 Corinthians 15:35-38.

Shall hear his voice - He will restore them to life, and command them to appear before him. This is a most sublime description, and this will be a wonderful display of almighty power. None but God can "see" all the dead, none but he could remould their frames, and none else could command them to return to life.

28. Marvel not at this—this committal of all judgment to the Son of man.

for the hour is coming—He adds not in this case (as in Joh 5:25), "and now is," because this was not to be till the close of the whole dispensation of mercy.

Do not marvel at this power which I tell you the Father hath given me, to execute in the world justice and judgment; to raise some particular persons from a natural death, and whom he pleaseth from the spiritual death of sin: for the hour is coming, when all those who are in the graves, shall, by an archangel, Matthew 24:31 1 Thessalonians 4:16, hear my voice, commanding them to arise; and they shall obey my command. Marvel not at this,.... Either at the cure of the man that had been diseased thirty and eight years, as some think; or at the Son of God being also the son of man, as the Syriac version suggests; or rather at the dead hearing the voice of the Son of God, and living upon it; and at his having authority to execute judgment upon all, to govern and defend his own church and people, and in the last day acquit them, and to take vengeance on his and their enemies, both now and hereafter:

for the hour is coming, in which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice. This respects the general resurrection; for there will be a resurrection both of the just and unjust, of all that are in their graves; and though all that are dead are not in graves, or interred in the earth, as some are in the sea; yet, because the greater part are in graves, this phrase is chosen to express the universality of the resurrection: and this is also a proof of the resurrection of the same body; for what else are in the graves but bodies? and what else can come forth from them but the same bodies? and the time is hastening on when these bodies shall be quickened, and hear the voice of the Son of God; which whether the same with the voice of the archangel in 1 Thessalonians 4:16; and whether an articulate voice, or a violent clap of thunder, which is the voice of God, or only the exertion of Christ's mighty power is intended, is not easy to determine, and may be needless to inquire. Certain it is, that this voice of Christ will be attended with almighty power, as the effect following upon it will show. The Jews observe (g), that

"there are three things which do not come into the world but "by voices"; there is the voice of a living creature, as it is written, Genesis 3:16, "in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children", and as it is written, Genesis 30:22, "and God hearkened to her"; and there is the voice of rains, as it is written, 1 Kings 18:41, "for there is a voice of abundance of rain", and it is written, Psalm 29:3, "the voice of the Lord is upon the waters"; and , "there is the voice of the resurrection of the dead", as it is written, Isaiah 40:3, "the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness";''

but that was the voice of John the Baptist. It will be the voice of the Son of God that will quicken and raise the dead.

(g) Zohar in Gen. fol. 70. 4.

{7} Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

(7) All will eventually appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged.

John 5:28-30. Marvel not at this (comp. John 3:7), viz. at what I have asserted concerning my life-giving and judicial power; for[218] the last and greatest stage of this my Messianic quickening work (not the work of the λόγος as the absolute ζωή, to whom Baur refers the whole passage, John 5:20 ff.; see, on the contrary, Brückner) is yet to come, namely, the raising of the actually dead out of their graves, and the final judgment.[219] Against the interpretation of this verse (see on John 5:21) in a figurative sense (comp. Isaiah 26:19; Exodus 37:12; Daniel 12:2), it is decisive that οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις would have to mean merely the spiritually dead, which would be quite out of keeping with οἱ τὰ ἀγαθὰ ποιήσαντες. Jesus Himself intimates by the words οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις that He here is passing from the spiritually dead, who thus far have been spoken of, to the actual dead.

ὅτι] argumentum a majori; the wonder at the less disappears before the greater, which is declared to be that which is one day to be accomplished. We are not to supply, as Luthardt does, the condition of faithful meditation on the latter, for the auditors were unbelieving and hostile; but the far more wonderful fact that is told does away with the wonder which the lesser had aroused, goes beyond it, and, as it were, causes it to disappear.

ἔρχεται ὥρα] Observe that no καὶ νῦν ἐστιν, as in John 5:25, could be added here.

πάντες] Here it is as little said that all shall be raised at the same time, as in John 5:25 that all the spiritually dead shall be quickened simultaneously. The τάγματα, which Paul distinguishes at the resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:23-24, and which are in harmony with the teaching of Judaism and of Christ Himself regarding a twofold resurrection (Bertholdt, Christol. pp. 176 ff., 203 ff.; and see on Luke 14:14), find room likewise in the ὥρα, which is capable of prophetic extension.

οἱ τὰ ἀγαθὰ ποιήσαντες, κ.τ.λ.] that is, the first resurrection, that of the just, who are regarded by Jesus in a purely ethical aspect, and apart from all national particularism. See on Luke 14:14, and comp. John 6:39. It was far from His object here to dwell upon the necessity of His redemption being appropriated by faith on the part of the dead here spoken of; He gives expression simply to the abstract moral normal condition (comp. Romans 2:7; Romans 2:13; Matthew 7:21). This necessity, however, whereby they must belong to the οἱ τοῦ Χριστοῦ (1 Corinthians 15:23; comp. Matthew 25:31 sqq.), implies the descensus Christi ad inferos.

εἰς ἀνάστ. ζωῆς] they will come forth (from their graves) into a resurrection of life (represented as local), i.e. to a resurrection, the necessary result of which (comp. Winer, p. 177 [E. T. p. 235]) is life, life in the Messiah’s kingdom. Comp. 2Ma 7:14 : ἀνάστασις εἰς ζωήν; Daniel 12:2; Romans 5:18 : δικαίωσις ζωὴς.

κρίσεως] to which judgment pertains, and judgment, according to the context, in a condemnatory sense (to eternal death in Gehenna); and accordingly ἀνάστασις ζωῆς does not exclude an act of judgment, which awards the ζωή.

As to the distinction between ποιεῖν and πράττειν, see on John 3:20-21. John 5:30 further adds the guarantee of the rectitude of this κρίσις, and this expressed in a general way, so that Jesus describes His judgment generally; hence the Present, denoting continuous action, and the general introductory statement of John 5:19, οὐ δύναμαι, etc.

καθὼς ἀκούω] i.e. from God, who, by virtue of the continual communion and confidence subsisting between Him and Christ, always makes His judgment directly and consciously known to Him, in accordance with which Christ gives His verdict. Christ’s sentence is simply the declaration of God’s judgment consequent upon the continuous self-revelation of God in His consciousness, whereby the ἀκούειν from the Father, which He possessed in His pre-existent state, is continued in time.

ὅτι οὐ ζητῶ, κ.τ.λ.] “I cannot therefore deviate from the κρίνειν καθὼς ἀκούω; and my judgment, seeing it is not that of an individual, but divine, must be just.”

τοῦ πέμψ. με, κ.τ.λ.] as it consequently accords with this my dependence upon God.

[218] Ewald renders ὅτι that: “Marvel not at this, that (as I said in ver. 1) an hour is coming,” etc. But in ver. 25 the thought and expression are different from our text.

[219] It is not right, as is already plain from the text and ver. 27, to say that in John the judgment is always represented as an inner fact (so even Holtzmann, Judenth. u. Christenth. p. 422). The saying, “The world’s history is the world’s judgment,” only partially represents John’s view; in John the last day is not without the last judgment, and this last judgment is with him the world-judgment. See on John 3:18.John 5:28. And another reason for restraining surprise is ὅτι ἔρχεται ὥρα, etc. It has been proposed to render this as if ὅτι were explanatory of τοῦτο, do not wonder at this, that an hour is coming. But (1) τοῦτο usually, though not invariably, refers to what precedes; and (2) when John says “Do not wonder that” so and so, he uses μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι without τοῦτο; and (3) the ordinary rendering suits the passage better: Marvel not at this [that my voice gives life] because a time is coming when there will result from my voice that which if not really greater will strike you more sensibly. The bodily resurrection may be said to be greater than the spiritual as its consummation, completion, and exhibition in results. Besides, the Jews of our Lord’s time looked upon the resurrection as the grand demonstration of God’s power. But here the οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις shows that the surprise is to be occasioned by the fact that even the physically dead shall hear.—πάντεςκρίσεως. That the resurrection is alluded to is shown by the change from οἱ νεκροί of John 5:25 to οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις. Some rise to life, some to κρίσιν, which from its opposition to ζωήν must here be equivalent to κατακρίσιν. If it is asked with regard to the righteous, With what body do they come? much more may it be asked of the condemned. The entrance into life and into condemnation are determined by conduct; how the conduct is determined is not here stated. For the expressions defining the two types of conduct see on chap. John 3:20-21. That the present reception of life is the assurance of resurrection is put strikingly by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:5. The fact that some shall rise to condemnation discloses that even those who have not the Spirit of God in them have some kind of continuous life which maintains them in existence with their personal identity intact from the time of death to the time of resurrection. Also, that the long period spent by some between these two points has not been utilised for bringing them into fellowship with Christ is apparent. In what state they rise or to what condition they go, we are not here told. Beyond the fact of their condemnation their future is left in darkness, and was therefore probably meant to be left in darkness.28. Marvel not] Comp. John 3:7. Marvel not that the Son can grant spiritual life to them that believe, and separate from them those who will not believe. There cometh an hour when He shall cause a general resurrection of men’s bodies, and a final separation of good from bad, a final judgment. He does not add ‘and now is,’ which is in favour of the resurrection being literal.

all that are in the graves] Not ‘whom He will;’ there are none whom He does not will to come forth from their sepulchres (see on John 11:7). All, whether believers or not, must rise. This shews that spiritual resurrection cannot be meant.

28, 29. The intimacy between the Father and the Son further proved by the power committed to the Son of causing the bodily resurrection of the dead.John 5:28. Μὴ θαυμάζετε τοῦτο, marvel not at this) They are great things which He spake all along from John 5:21, and worthy of marvel; but greater and more marvellous are the things which follow: τοῦτο, this, is to be referred to what goes before. Jesus knew the feeling of wonder which had been just now raised in the mind of the Jews.—ὥρα, the hour) See note on ch. John 5:21. [It is termed an hour, not because that whole time is short, but because its beginning is near.]—φωιῆς, the voice) 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.”Verses 28, 29. - It is impossible not to draw a distinction between the theme of these verses and that of vers. 24, 25. The Lord announces an event which is in the future altogether. The "and now is," which characterized the first resurrection of which he spoke, is here omitted. The description of the subjects of the resurrection as those "in their graves," contradistinguishes them from "the dead" of ver. 25 - a phrase which will suffer several interpretations. The universality of the summons, and the impossibility of neglecting it or ignoring it, form another marked contrast to the resurrection already referred to. Marvel not at this! At what? Clearly at the entire statement that the resurrection of dead souls will be the undoubted issue of accepting Christ's word and identifying it with the word of God. Marvel not that the judgment of the world is entrusted to "the Son," because he is both Son of man as well as Son of God. "Marvel not" is a relative word. It means obviously that there is a greater marvel still in store. Because the hour is coming; always coming, though it seemeth long - coming swiftly, measured on the great clock face of the universe. Geological time, astronomical aeons, should before this have rebuked our impertinence about the delays of God, and our shallow criticism of the fulness of the times. "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." As compared with geological annals, still less with God's eternities, it is only the day before yesterday when Adam fell; it is only yesterday that Jesus died and rose again, and tomorrow that he will come in his glory. The hour is coming when all who are in the graves shall hear his voice. The same voice that wakes the spiritually dead shall pierce the clods, shall find the buried dead, shall bring once more into the world of the visible and tangible the long forgotten lived. Every solitary life lives with him and before him. The organic clothing of the spirit, which goes on, as St. Paul suggests (2 Corinthians 5:1) from the death of the physical body till the coming of the Son of God with glory, does not render this statement more difficult, but more comprehensible. As far as this world is concerned, those who are clothed upon with the house not made with hands - those who are with Christ, are to all appearance dead, and in their "graves," in their memorial places; but they will all hear the voice of the Son, and they will come, forth; they that have done good things, to the resurrection of life; they that have practised evil things, to the resurrection of judgment. They will come forth from these hiding places of fading memories. Even tombs of prophets and kings are themselves buried, covered by the graves of the many generations that have followed. The grave hidden will come forth into what we call the reality, visibility, tangibility, of things. The hour is coming on apace when Death himself shall be dead, and the mystery of time be finished. They that rise will divide themselves into two classes. The anastasis will have two forms. There is a "resurrection of life" and a "resurrection of judgment." Those who have indeed passed from spiritual death to life will not come into "judgment" (not κρίμα or κατάκριμα, but κρίσις) when their anastasis is complete, their judgment is over, their life is secure. When those who have not heard the voice of the Son of God, have not come to the light, who are not of God nor of the truth - men who have deliberately practised "evil things" without compunction or amendment, - when these are called from their tombs, from their shadowy hiding places, into the presence of him who executes judgment, it will be to undergo the (κρίσις) judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10). We must, indeed, all be made manifest before the judgment throne of Christ, to receive the consequences of "the doing of well" and "the practice of evil." The issue of the one is life, and of the other is judgment. The suggestion seems to be that such judgment may issue unfavourably, but the thought is centred upon the process of the judgment. The effort of Reuss and others to draw a marked distinction between the eschatology of the synoptists and of John fails. Christ does not represent the spiritual resurrection as "greater work" than the physical resurrection. On the contrary, white he speaks of the marvelling of his hearers at his claim to quicken the spiritually dead, yet the ground of their marvel is emphatically arrested (see ver. 28) until they should recognize to the full the fact that, as Son of God and Son of man, he would call all the dead from their graves. Thoma finds admirable justification for this representation by the Johannist of the Messianic Judge, alike in the Book of Daniel, in the synoptic Gospels, in the Pauline Epistles, and Apocalypse! The graves (τοῖς μνημείοις)

Rev., better; tombs. Two words are used in the New Testament for the place of burial, τάφος, and μνημεῖον or μνῆμα. The former emphasizes the idea of burial (θάπτω, to bury); the latter of preserving the memory of the dead; from μιμνήσκω, to remind.

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