NOTE: I am making these entries a bit briefer for the purpose of letting a few central ideas stand out and be meditated upon, rather than giving too much to chew on without any real time to really take it in.
1. John 5:19-23 (ESV) 19So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
RAF: What is it that Jesus sees the Father doing that He is imitating here? Showing mercy. Just above, he had healed the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath. And it is ALWAYS appropriate to be showing mercy. Not only that, instead of judging men for their sin now – God is showing mercy abundantly. The day of judgment will come. It is committed into the hands of the Son. But the day of mercy is here now. Hence His healings, and hence the giving of the Gospel to the world. The day of grace will end soon enough, but He works as the Father does in sustaining all life – even of His most wicked enemies while the Gospel is still being preached. He is a God of such mercy and grace.
Note: See vs. 22 & 23 in conjunction with 2 Cor. 5:18-19.
2. John 5:34 (ESV) 34Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.
RAF: This is a most intriguing statement. Notice that in this verse (34), Jesus tells the very ones who in v16 were seeking to persecute Him, and in v18 who were seeking to kill Him – that He was saying what He was saying to them, “so that you might be saved.” We must wrestle with the implications of such an announcement. Especially in light of the fact that these very same ones are then rebuked for refusing to come to Him that they might have life in v40. Here is the startling dynamic of Christ’s own statement of purpose – speaking in order that they might be saved, and yet they are not. And then, calling them into account because they refused to come to Him and have the life He declared to them. God is indeed sovereign. And man is indeed – truly responsible.
3. John 6:15 (ESV) 15Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
RAF: This occurs in the direct aftermath of the feeding of the 5,000. And it builds off of the words of Jesus in vss. 41-44 in the previous chapter. The lesson is this: When everyone is praising you, seek even more to be alone with God. It is one of the heaviest temptations of all to begin to love man’s praise more than God’s.
4. John 6:19-20 (ESV) 19When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. 20But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”
RAF: Jesus’ walking on the water wasn’t grandstanding. He doesn’t do it when there is a crowd around. He isn’t seeking gawkers. He comes to them by night, in the midst of the storm, to His own disciples, and then for the purpose of ministering to them. How contrary to the showmanship of the modern miracle workers. They want lights, camera and action. He wants to be of the most service He can in obeying the Father and rescuing His own from danger. That is where His glory is most seen – in rescuing us. He is a God of mercy and grace.