This Week's Focus Passage

John 5:25 ‘The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son.’


This Week's Focus Passage: John 5:25

‘The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son.’


    The blessed context, in which this statement is to be found, may be thought of as verse 20 through verse 25, which we duplicate below:

For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and greater works than these will he show him, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth the dead and giveth them life, even so the Son also giveth life to whom he will. For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgement unto the Son; that all may honor the Father that sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgement, but hath passed out of death and into life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live.

God, the Holy Spirit, has through the writings of Mark, Luke, and John, given to us examples of three resurrections. We will refer to them as physical resurrections, although there is reason to understand that they each involved, or led to, spiritual resurrection in the instances of Jairus’ daughter, in Mark 5; of the son of the widow of Nain, in Luke 7; and in the instance of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, in John, chapter 11. These are, of course, which demonstrate that our Lord and Savior is the Lord of life. We see a progression in the three deaths. We will consider them in that very progression; it may be that this is according to chronological order as well. The first that we will bring before our thoughts, is that of Jairus’ daughter. Both Mark and Luke record this miracle, clearly demonstrating to Peter, James, and John, as well as the parents of the twelve-year old daughter, Jairus and his wife, that He is precisely that One who declared Himself, in John 14:6, to be the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. While friends, family, and professional mourners, mocked Jesus and laughed when He told them that ‘she was not dead, but sleepeth.’ In spite of that un-belief, our Lord went in where the child was. And taking the child by the hand, he saith unto her, Talitha cumiAnd taking the child by the hand, he saith unto her, Talitha cumiAnd taking the child by the hand, he saith unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise. And straightway the damsel rose up, and walked. We are not told whether spiritual life was imparted to this child or only physical life, but the power to bring about the one, proves the power to do the other as well. We are reminded of the man in the second of Mark, who was being lowered into the house where Jesus was that he might be healed. Jesus, we are told that, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven. Certain of those legalistic scribes said to themselves, who can forgive sins, but God? Our Savior responded, Which is easier, to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven; or to say, Arise, take up thy bed and walk? The Son of man has authority to heal the sick just as well as to forgive sins. Many of the healings of which we may read in the Scriptures may have been spiritual as well as physical healings.

    Again, we may read the account, in Luke 7:11, of the body of a young man being carried to burial, upon Jesus’ ‘coincidentally’ happening on the site. Luke tells us in this account, that He, Jesus, went to a city called Nain; and his disciples went with him, and a great multitude. Now when he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, there was carried out one that was dead, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. Luke continues the account when he relates that Jesus had compassion on the woman, telling her to weep not. He approached the bier and speaking, said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And this young man arose, and began talking. Jesus thereupon gave this son to his mother.

Here in this particular situation, related only by Luke (the physician), is a young lad already dead and on his way to burial, when Jesus ‘appeared’ and revived him, giving credence to the asseveration of Christ in John 5:21, For as the Father raiseth the dead, and giveth them life, even so the Son also given life to whom he will. Indeed, He is God; He is the God-man; He is Emmanuel, God with us.

    The third occasion of the Living Word speaking life into one dead, is the best known of all the accounts, that found only in John, and chapter eleven. Lazarus had died; his sisters Mary and Martha had sent for Jesus to come and heal him, but Jesus did not arrive until Lazarus had been dead four days. When our Lord told those nearby to remove the stone away from the tomb, Martha protested, saying, by this time his body decayeth—some translations possibly setting aside decorum, translate rather than ‘decayeth’ that his body ‘stinketh’ by now; he has been dead four days. But Jesus directive prevailed and the stone was rolled away. 

So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou heardest me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the multitude that standeth around I said it, that thou didst send me. And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. He that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes; and his face was bound with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

Is this not confirmatory fulfillment of this week’s focus passage? Jesus declared, we happily iterate, Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. This case of Lazarus, we might easily say, was the ultimate example of Jesus the Christ having the power of life and death. Lazarus had been dead four days. Martha had uttered her complaint to Jesus, If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Yet we must admit the apparent retention of her faith, for she went on to say to Jesus, And even now, I know I know that, whatsoever thou shalt ask of God, God will give thee. Even more glorious is the manner of the raising of her brother, Lazarus. Jesus gave thanks to His Father, and then, turning to the tomb, cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ And he that was dead came forth. What was it that Jesus asked of His Father; thanking Him that He heard His prayer. Was the answer not, likely, that the Father enabled Lazarus to hear that cry; Lazarus, come forth? For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son also to have life in himself.

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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