Honour the Son

“All should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. Whoever does not honour the Son, does not honour the Father which sent Him.”

John 5 v 23

It would be easy to assume that Jesus’ words opposite are just words of possibility and choice, as if He were saying, ‘all should honour the Son’, but it’s up to you. Take a Bible and read from John chapter 5 v 17-23, and you will understand this is not the case. Jesus is speaking of a certain end when ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’ (Phil 2v11).

ALL should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.

These words come as part of a conversation beginning with the charge that Jesus, by claiming God as His Father, was “making Himself equal with God” (v18).  If Jesus was just a man or prophet, all He simply needed to say was “I am not God”, but He didn’t. Instead, He makes three statements that describe the inner workings of our triune God, confirming that He is God. Jesus says that:

  • He cannot act as an independent Being (v19) for He is God and equal with the Father in essence. Elsewhere He says, “I and my Father are one” (John 10v30).
  • He is free to act according to His own will in harmony with the Father to raise the dead and give life to “whom He will” (v21). Father and Son are separate, though One in Being.

These two points are not illogical. Listen to any orchestra or band and you will hear one unified, harmonious sound. Listen carefuly, and you will hear that within the unity are separate melodies played by different musicians. Sometimes these parts are orchestrated, sometimes improvised.

  • This orchestrated aspect is also seen with God: for Jesus, as the Son, also acts with fully delegated authority from the Father in the area of judgment (v22). Why is this?

God the Father has ultimate authority in judgment, but in verse 24 Jesus is saying that the reason why the Father has delegated all judgment to the Son is so that His eternal Son should be honoured by all. If you have any desire to honour God today, you must honour the Son as your Saviour and Lord. If you will not honour the Son today, do not think that you honour God the Father. However, know that on the Day of Judgment it will be Jesus Christ that you stand before. He will have your honour, but then there will be no grace for you – no salvation. Justice will be dispensed to the rebel.

Bow before the Son as Saviour, or you will bow before Him as your Judge.

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