John 5:22-24 NKJV
22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
This week our Bible texts come from John 5 and 6. Today’s text (5:22-24) is actually a portion within Tuesday’s text (5:18-30), so we will have to focus.
Today we focus on two phrases: 1) “the Father judges no one” and 2) “passed from death to life.” We will let St. Augustine help us with both.
1) “The Father judges no one.” Scripture certainly speaks of both the Father and the Son as judging, but here Jesus is making a distinction of which judgment. Augustine explains, “How can it be said, ‘The Father judges no one’? …It is as if it was said: No one will see the Father in the judgment of the living and the dead, but everyone will see the Son, because he is also the Son of man so that he can be seen even by the ungodly” (On the Trinity I.13.29, NPNF 1 3:34). Jesus is telling us here that God the Father has committed to Him the judgment of the living and the dead.
2) “Passed from death to life.” Just as Scripture speaks of two deaths (the first death and the second death), it also speaks of two resurrections (Rev 20:6). Augustine explains, “Hence a resurrection does take place now, and men pass from a death to a life; from the death of infidelity to the life of faith… There is, therefore, that which is a resurrection of the dead… The Lord Jesus, then, was willing to make known to us a resurrection of the dead before the resurrection of the dead (Tractates on the Gospel of John 19:8-9, NPNF 1 7:125). Note here that there is a resurrection before the resurrection: the first resurrection is conversion (passing from spiritual death to spiritual life), and the second resurrection is glorification (passing from this world to the next). Praise to Christ because through faith in Him we have passed from death to life and look forward to heaven.
Let us pray: O God, by the humiliation of your Son you raised up the fallen world. Give your faithful people constant gladness, deliverance from the danger of eternal death, and make us partakers of eternal joys; through the same Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.