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…
That our Saviour was perfect God and perfect man is a truth which cannot be denied and Christianity not fall to the ground. But this very combination will cause apparent inconsistencies in the way in which He is spoken of. And it should be remembered that what holds good of Him in one capacity may be inapplicable to Him in another. As God judgment could not be committed to Him. He had it by Divine necessity and right. But it is as Mediator, a Being in which the two natures combine, that He is entrusted with the authority as Judge.
I. HE WILL JUDGE AT THE LAST DAY. What are the qualifications requisite for such an office?
1. Obviously no mere creature can fulfil that function. There must be acquaintance with secrecies of character as well as open actions. Hypocrisy must not pass undetected, nor unobtrusive merit fail of recompense. Angels cannot be judges of human character, nor possess themselves of all the necessary evidence. Omniscience alone will suffice.
2. But if we cannot approach an angelic judge with confidence, how approach omniscient Deity? A created judge is immeasurably nearer than the Creator, though of a different nature.
3. You ask, therefore, for one who shall have a thorough fellow feeling with those brought to his bar, i.e., a man. But how can you hope to have a man who, qualified by sympathy, should yet possess the qualification of omniscience?
4. This combination, however, does exist. A man sits on that "great white throne," "bone of our bone," but God to whom all things are naked and open.
II. HE JUDGES NOW, for all judgment is committed to Him.
1. To this we are indebted for that tenderness which characterizes God's present judgments. Afflictions are not allowed to come together; "the rough wind" is restrained till "the east wind" has passed away. Chastisement is very different conceived as inflicted by God and inflicted by the Mediator.
2. If this be so how heavy will be the final judgment! There will be no pleading that our case was not thoroughly understood. All along we have been drawn by the cords of a man; then the impenitent will be judged by the Man who died for them and tried by every possible means to turn them from enemies into friends. His presence itself will condemn, and they will call to the rocks, etc., to hide them from not the thunderbolts of avenging Deity, but from the face of Him who became man for their salvation. Anything might be better borne than the glance of this face so eloquent of rejected mercies.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.