John 5:30
I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.
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(30) For “the will of the Father which hath sent Me,” in the last clause, read, with nearly all the best MSS., the will of Him that sent Me. (Comp. John 5:36-37.)

The verse is the expression, once again, but now with special reference to judgment, of the thought with which the discourse opened, and which runs as a current through the whole. (Comp. Notes on John 5:19; John 5:22). As in all His works (John 5:19), so in the greater works of life-giving (John 5:26) and of judgment, the Son cannot act apart from the Father. The judgment must be just, because it is not one of an isolated will, but one in accord with the eternal will of God. He seeth the Father’s works (John 5:19), and in like manner doeth them; He heareth the Father’s will, and that alone He seeketh.

The tenses in this verse are present, and the judgment is therefore to be interpreted without limitation of time. It is one which He is evermore passing on every act and word and thought. (Comp. John 9:39.)

5:30-38 Our Lord returns to his declaration of the entire agreement between the Father and the Son, and declared himself the Son of God. He had higher testimony than that of John; his works bore witness to all he had said. But the Divine word had no abiding-place in their hearts, as they refused to believe in Him whom the Father had sent, according to his ancient promises. The voice of God, accompanied by the power of the Holy Ghost, thus made effectual to the conversion of sinners, still proclaims that this is the beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleased. But when the hearts of men are full of pride, ambition, and the love of the world, there is no room for the word of God to abide in them.Of mine own self - See John 5:19. The Messiah, the Mediator, does nothing without the concurrence and the authority of God. Such is the nature of the union subsisting between them, that he does nothing independently of God. Whatever he does, he does according to the will of God.

As I hear I judge - To "hear" expresses the condition of one who is commissioned or instructed. Thus John 8:26, "I speak to the world those things which I have "heard" of him;" John 8:28, "As the Father hath taught me, I speak those things." Jesus here represents himself as commissioned, taught, or sent of God. When he says, "as I 'hear,'" he refers to those things which the Father had "showed" him John 5:20 - that is, he came to communicate the will of God; to show to man what God wished man to know.

I judge - I determine or decide. This was true respecting the institutions and doctrines of religion, and it will be true respecting the sentence which he will pass on mankind at the day of judgment. He will decide their destiny according to what the Father wills and wishes - that is, according to justice.

Because I seek ... - This does not imply that his own judgment would be wrong if he sought his own will, but that he had no "private" ends, no selfish views, no improper bias. He came not to aggrandize himself, or to promote his own views, but he came to do the will of God. Of course his decision would be impartial and unbiased, and there is every security that it will be according to truth. See Luke 22:42, where he gave a memorable instance, in the agony of the garden, of his submission to his Father's will.

30-32. of mine own self do nothing—that is, apart from the Father, or in any interest than My own. (See on [1784]Joh 5:19).

as I hear—that is, "My judgments are all anticipated in the bosom of My Father, to which I have immediate access, and by Me only responded to and reflected. They cannot therefore err, as I live for one end only, to carry into effect the will of Him that sent Me."

I can of mine own self do nothing; neither considered as God, nor as Mediator. As God, the Father and Christ were one, and what one Person in the Holy Trinity doth, all do; so that has did nothing in that capacity separately from his Father. As Mediator, he did nothing of himself; he finished the work which his Father gave him to do.

As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just; as the Father revealed his will to him, for the administration of his mediatory kingdom in the world, so he judged; and therefore his judgment must necessarily be just and true.

Because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me; for his will was not a will proper to himself, so as it was not also common to his Father, but diverse from the will of his Father; but as his essence, so his will, was the same with his Father; and he being by the Father sent into the world to do his will, accordingly did nothing as Mediator but what was his Father’s will as well as his own, in nothing diverse from his Father’s. I can of mine own self do nothing,.... This is the conclusion of the matter, the winding up of the several arguments concerning the Son's equality to the Father, and the application of the whole to Christ. He had before been chiefly speaking of the Son, in relation to the Father, as if he was a third person; but now he applies what he had said of the Son to himself: and it is as if he had said, I am the Son that can do nothing separate from the Father, and contrary to his will, but do all things in conjunction with him; who sees all that he does, by being in him, and co-operating with him, and do the selfsame. I am the Son to whom the Father shows, and by whom he does, all he does; and to whom he will show, and by whom he will do, as a co-efficient with him, greater works than what, as yet, he has done: I am the Son that quickens whom he pleases, and to whom all judgment is committed, and have the same honour the Father has: I am he that quickens dead sinners now, and will raise all the dead at the last day; and have authority to execute judgment on all mankind: and,

as I hear, I judge; not as he hears men, or, according to the evidence men will give one of another; for it is denied of him, that he will proceed in judgment in this manner, Isaiah 11:3, but as he hears his Father; for being in his bosom, and one with him, as he sees, and knows all he does, his whole plan of operations, and acts according to them; so he hears, knows, and is perfectly acquainted with all his counsels, purposes, and rules of judgment, and never deviates from them. Hearing here signifies perfect knowledge, and understanding of a cause; and so it is used in the Jewish writings, in matters of difficulty, that come before a court of judicature (h):

"there were three courts of judicature; one that sat at the gate of the mountain of the house; and one that sat at the gate of the court; and another that sat in the paved chamber: they go (first) to that which is at the gate of the mountain of the house, and say, so have I expounded, and so have the companions expounded; so have I taught, and so have the companions (or colleagues) taught: , "if they hear", they say; (i.e. as one of their commentators explains it (i), if they know the law, and hear, or understand the sense of the law; in such a case they declare what they know;) if not, they go to them that are at the gate of the court, and say (as before).--And, "if they hear", they tell them; but if not, they go to the great sanhedrim in the paved chamber, from whence goes forth the law to all Israel.''

Christ was now before the great sanhedrim, and speaks to them in their own language, and as a superior judge to them:

and my judgment is just; in the administration of the affairs of his church, which are done in the strictest justice; just and true are all his ways, as King of saints; and in the execution of the last judgment, which will be in righteousness and truth; the judgment he passes must be right, since it is according to that perfect knowledge he has of his Father's will, which is an infallible rule of judgment:

because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me; that is, he did not seek to gratify his own will, as distinct from his Father's, or in opposition to it; for he had no private end to answer, or separate interest, or advantage to pursue; and seeing therefore he acted according to his Father's will, and not his own, as contrary to that; his judgment must be just, and the sentence he passes right; since the will of God is indisputably such. The Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, the Alexandrian copy, and two of Beza's copies, leave out the word "father", without altering or hurting the sense at all.

(h) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 10. sect. 2.((i) Maimon. in ib.

{9} I can {n} of mine own self do nothing: {o} as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

(9) The Father is the author and approver of all things which Christ does.

(n) See above in Joh 5:22.

(o) As my Father directs me, who dwells in me.

John 5:30. This judgment claimed by Jesus is, however, engaged in, not in any spirit of self-exaltation or human arbitrariness, nor can it err, because it is merely as the executor of the Father’s will He judges.—οὐ δύναμαιοὐδέν. The first statement of the verse is a return upon John 5:19, “The Son can do nothing of Himself”; but now it is specially applied to the work of judgment.—καθῶς ἀκούω κρίνω. As He said of His giving life, that He was merely the Agent of God, doing what He saw the Father do: so now He speaks what He hears from the Father. His judgment He knows to be just, because He is conscious that He has no personal bias, but seeks only to carry out the will of the Father. In John 5:31-40 Jesus substantiates these great claims which He has made in the foregoing verses. He refers to the μαρτυρία borne by John the Baptist, by the works given Him by the Father, and by the Father in Scripture.30. The Son’s qualification for these high powers is the perfect harmony between His will and that of the Father.

I can of mine own self] Change to the first person. He identifies Himself with the Son. It is because He is the Son that He cannot act independently: it is impossible for Him to will to do anything but what the Father wills.

as I hear] From the Father: Christ’s judgment is the declaration of that which the Father communicates to Him. And hence Christ’s judgment must be just, for it is in accordance with the Divine Will; and this is the strongest possible guarantee of its justice. Comp. Matthew 26:39.John 5:30. Ποιεῖν, do) Understand, and judge.—καθὼς ἀκούω, as I hear) from the Father. Comp. John 5:19, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do:” seeth: [ch John 16:13, The Spirit of truth shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak.]—κείνω, I judge) Understand, and do.—ἀλλὰ τὸ ζέλημα, but the will) which is a just will.Verses 30-40. -

(c) The witness borne to these claims. Verse 30. - The Lord, still preserving the consciousness of his own ego, continues to speak through human lips to human ears. He deprecates the criticism, "Who and what canst thou be, that thou shouldst execute judgment, or bring us to thy bar, or compel us to come from our hidden places to thy judgment seat?" It is not as mere man that he will judge the world; God will judge through trim. Moreover, the equality of "life" and "honour" and "authority" that he has with the Father, as the veritable Son of God, is nevertheless a life derived, a being generated, an honour given. He here opens up on this basis a new class of instruction, and proceeds to explain the threefold nature of the testimony borne to his present claim to be the Representative and coAgent of the Father. He goes back in these words to the great text of the discourse, viz. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (ver. 19). I (the ἐγώ is very emphatic, the individual standing before them associates himself, and is identified, with the one Being who, as Son of God and Son of man, has done, is doing, and will yet do, wonderful things) - I can of mine own self, from any separate or self-originating source in myself, apart from the Father, do nothing. He subsequently said to his disciples, "Without me ye can do nothing." He claims a higher source than himself for all his own power (δύναμις). When referring to the same subject (vers. 19, 20), he drew his illustration from the sense of sight. The Father "shews" to him, and he "sees" all things that the Father doeth. Here he adds, with special reference to the last and consummating manifestation of relation with the Father, As I hear, I judge: and my judgment of men is righteous; because I seek not my own will, but the will of him who sent me. Christ refers to his judgments of absolution or condemnation upon things or men, positively declaring them to be either right or wrong; e.g. he claimed the power to say, "Thy sins be forgiven;" "The faith hath saved thee;" "It is better for this man that he had never been born;" "Come unto me;" "Depart from me;" "I never knew you." These and all his other judgments on scribes and Pharisees, on devils and hypocrites, on Pilate and Herod, on Jerusalem and the world, are revelations of the Father's mind - are in themselves just judgments, absolutely free from any selfhood, from any reflex influence or reaction from men to himself. They are the true and infallible expression of the Divine will. Because of the entire conformity of his will and himself to the Divine will, the judgment must correspond to that which is, in its very nature, right and true. If this be so, we can scarcely refrain from asking, "Wherein, then, lies the consolation and encouragement derivable from the fact that the execution of judgment is placed for man's sake in the hands of the Son of man?" It lies here, that the Incarnation is perfect; that the manhood has not obliterated the Divinity, nor the Godhead absorbed the manhood, of the Christ. The human consciousness of the Son becomes the basis for the Father's judgment, which is uttered thus absolutely and finally through human lips. It is impossible to imagine thoughts like these arising in the mind of some thinker of the second century. Great as the prologue to this Gospel unquestionably is, this unveiling of the heart of the Son of God incarnate is immeasurably greater. The consciousness of Christ is unique. Neither legend nor imagination, to say nothing of history, has ever transcended it. Here, too, the enormous difference between the Johannine Christ and the Philonic Logos comes into startling prominence. Of the Father

Omit. Rev., of Him that sent.

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