Scripture Notes.


John 5:21, 26.

A great difference, we apprehend, is to be found between these two verses. In reply to the persecution of the Jews, the Lord asserted His sovereign co-equality with the Father (v. 17), and on this drawing forth their further enmity, He declared His entire and perfect communion with the Father, and the Father's intimate and perfect communion with Himself, adding, moreover, His sovereign right, exercised in this mutual communion, to quicken whom He would, even as the Father raised up the dead and quickened them. "Here we have," as another has said, "the first proof of His divine rights. He gives life, and He gives it to whom He will." But when we come to verse 26, while the glory of His person is equally manifested, the Son, become incarnate, is seen in another way. Our attention is now directed to the mediatorial character of life, rather than to life-giving power, sovereignly flowing forth from a divine Person. Hence it is that, after the solemn announcement, "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live," the Lord says, "For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given the Son to have life in Himself." It is characteristic of this gospel, that, while the glory of the eternal Son - of the Word that was with God and that was God - and His oneness and equality with the Father shine forth in every page, yet He is always seen as receiving everything from the Father. In redemption in that new world which God was forming for the glory of His beloved Son, where eternal life will be in full display and enjoyment, the Father is the fount and source, and the Son become man is the medium or channel, in virtue of His death and resurrection, of all the blessings of the redeemed. He thus says, in John 17, "The glory which Thou gavest me I have given them." For this end it was necessary that the corn of wheat should fall into the ground and die; but having died, and received all from the Father, He shares all He receives with His people!

"Yet it must be. Thy love had not its rest
Were Thy redeemed not with Thee fully blest.
That love that gives not us the world, but shares
All it possesses with its loved co-heirs."