Welcome back to another installment of what I have named the “Verily, verily” Series. Here, I go through the “Verily, verily” statements that Jesus made as recorded in the Gospel of John. There are 25 of them, and I go one by one through them. Some of them go with another, and for those, I search out the connection between the two as well as the meaning behind them. The “verily, verily” wordage comes from the King James Version. However, in other versions of the English Bible, the rendering could be “truly, truly”, “most assuredly”, “most certainly”, or “yes, indeed”. It could be something else like these. Really, the words here in Hebrew are Amen, Amen (Greek amane, amane). The point is that Jesus is attempting to get the listener to understand that this is something important so “listen up”.
Here chapter 5 begins with Jesus healing a man that had been an paralyzed for 38 years. This man had not been able to walk for 38 YEARS! And Jesus asked him if he wanted to be healed. Jesus was a gentleman. He asked before He did anything to anyone. He is not going to do anything against your will.
As we keep reading, we notice that the ones seeking Jesus out were noted here as the “Jews” (meaning the religious, pious ones in authority that felt threatened by Jesus, not all Jewish people because obviously Jesus and His disciples were all Jews). However, they did not seek Him for teaching and instruction. No. They wanted to kill Him. Jesus called God His own Father making Himself equal with God (5:18), which is the big idea of this passage. Knowing the hearts of these men, Jesus responded with a “verily, verily” statement, which I will use the ESV which renders the statement as “truly, truly”.
19 So 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. 20 For 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. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that 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. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice. 29 And come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment."
Phew! That is a lot of words. As I am sure you noticed, there was more than one “truly, truly” statement in there. However, we need to look at this as a whole before we dissect the single statements out. When I first read this, I didn’t understand what was really being said here as it pertains to the Hebrew mindset of that time. Since, I’ve read this many times, I see it as just “normal” statements. However, the Jews of that time, with all of the training and instruction they would have received, all of which came from what they called the “Scriptures” and what we call the “Old Testament”, they would have readily understood that there were two ways to see this. One way is accepting Jesus as the Son of God and should be followed. And the other is that He is a blasphemer and should be done away with.
Many of the Jews in authority, like the Pharisees and the Sadducees took the later position. The Pharisees were the synagogue authority, and the Sadducees were the Temple authority. They were threatened by His teachings, following, and mere presence in some instances. He was gaining more and more popularity, and surely more questions were raised to them to explain their stance for or against this Man who equals Himself with the Father and is doing all kinds of miracles. They continued to conspire as to what they were going to do to catch “this guy” doing something against Torah. If they could just catch Him doing something wrong. But ultimately, and hopefully I am not spoiling any ending for you, but Jesus is perfect. So there was no “catching” Him doing anything wrong.
Jesus was, is, and always will be perfect. He is the Son of God. And throughout this passage, we see statements reflecting the Scriptural prophecies being fulfilled in the Messiah. The people of this time saw Jesus as a “Holy Man”. That is, He was another prophet with the God-given ability to heal the lame, deaf and dumb. However, Jesus was telling them, by using parables and the Scriptures, that He is the Son of God.
In the next post, we’ll get into the individual “verily, verily” statement.
Gotta go fill up my cup…..