5:19 So Jesus answered them, 1 “I tell you the solemn truth, 2 the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, 3 but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father 4 does, the Son does likewise. 5
1 tn Grk “answered and said to them.”
2 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
3 tn Grk “nothing from himself.”
4 tn Grk “that one”; the referent (the Father) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 sn What works does the Son do likewise? The same that the Father does – and the same that the rabbis recognized as legitimate works of God on the Sabbath (see note on working in v. 17). (1) Jesus grants life (just as the Father grants life) on the Sabbath. But as the Father gives physical life on the Sabbath, so the Son grants spiritual life (John 5:21; note the “greater things” mentioned in v. 20). (2) Jesus judges (determines the destiny of people) on the Sabbath, just as the Father judges those who die on the Sabbath, because the Father has granted authority to the Son to judge (John 5:22-23). But this is not all. Not only has this power been granted to Jesus in the present; it will be his in the future as well. In v. 28 there is a reference not to spiritually dead (only) but also physically dead. At their resurrection they respond to the Son as well.
6 tn Or “works.”
7 tn Grk “complete, which I am now doing”; the referent of the relative pronoun has been specified by repeating “deeds” from the previous clause.