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John 5:17

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

My Father worked hitherto, and I work - Or, As my Father worketh until now, etc., καθως being understood. God created the world in six days: on the seventh he rested from all creating acts, and set it apart to be an everlasting memorial of his work. But, though he rested from creating, he never ceased from preserving and governing that which he had formed: in this respect he can keep no sabbaths; for nothing can continue to exist, or answer the end proposed by the Divine wisdom and goodness, without the continual energy of God. So I work - I am constantly employed in the same way, governing and supporting all things, comforting the wretched, and saving the lost; and to me, in this respect, there is no sabbath.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

My Father - God.

Worketh hitherto - Worketh “until now,” or until this time. God has not ceased to work on the Sabbath. He makes the sun to rise; He rolls the stars; He causes the grass, the tree, the flower to grow. He has not suspended His operations on the Sabbath, and the obligation to “rest” on the Sabbath does not extend to Him. He created the world in six days, and ceased the work of creation; but He has not ceased to govern it, and to carry forward, by His providence, His great plans on the Sabbath.

And I work - “As God does good on that day; as he is not bound by the law which requires his creatures to rest on that day, so “I” do the same. The law on that subject may be dispensed with, also, in my case, for the Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.” In this reply it is implied that he was equal with God from two circumstances:

1.Because he called God his Father, John 5:18.

2.Because he claimed the same exemption from law which God did, asserting that the law of the Sabbath did not bind him or his Father, thus showing that he had a right to impose and repeal laws in the same manner as God. He that has a right to do this must be God.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Divine power of the miracle proved Jesus to be the Son of God, and he declared that he worked with, and like unto his Father, as he saw good. These ancient enemies of Christ understood him, and became more violent, charging him not only with sabbath-breaking, but blasphemy, in calling God his own Father, and making himself equal with God. But all things now, and at the final judgment, are committed to the Son, purposely that all men might honour the Son, as they honour the Father; and every one who does not thus honour the Son, whatever he may think or pretend, does not honour the Father who sent him.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 261

Men of the greatest intellect cannot understand the mysteries of Jehovah as revealed in nature. Divine inspiration asks many questions which the most profound scholar cannot answer. These questions were not asked that we might answer them, but to call our attention to the deep mysteries of God and to teach us that our wisdom is limited; that in the surroundings of our daily life there are many things beyond the comprehension of finite minds; that the judgment and purposes of God are past finding out. His wisdom is unsearchable. 8T 261.1

Skeptics refuse to believe in God because with their finite minds they cannot comprehend the infinite power by which He reveals Himself to men. But God is to be acknowledged more from what He does not reveal of Himself than from that which is open to our limited comprehension. Both in divine revelation and in nature, God has given to men mysteries to command their faith. This must be so. We may be ever searching, ever inquiring, ever learning, and yet there is an infinity beyond. 8T 261.2

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1062

1-3. See EGW on 2 Timothy 3:14, 15. 6BC 1062.1

14 (2 Corinthians 8:12). Light for Those Who Are Willing—God's Spirit can only enlighten the understanding of those who are willing to be enlightened. We read that God opened the ears of Lydia, so that she attended to the message spoken by Paul. To declare the whole counsel of God and all that was essential for Lydia to receive—this was the part Paul was to act in her conversion; and then the God of all grace exercised His power, leading the soul in the right way. God and the human agent cooperated, and the work was wholly successful (Letter 150, 1900). 6BC 1062.2

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Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 287

Links With Workers in Heaven—If children were taught to regard the humble round of everyday duties as the course marked out for them by the Lord, as a school in which they were to be trained to render faithful and efficient service, how much more pleasant and honorable would their work appear! To perform every duty as unto the Lord throws a charm around the humblest employment and links the workers on earth with the holy beings who do God's will in heaven.18 AH 287.1

Work is constantly being done in heaven. There are no idlers there. “My Father worketh hitherto,” said Christ, “and I work.” We cannot suppose that when the final triumph shall come, and we have the mansions prepared for us, that idleness will be our portion, that we shall rest in a blissful, do-nothing state.19 AH 287.2

Strengthens Home Ties—In the home training of the youth the principle of co-operation is invaluable.... The older ones should be their parents’ assistants, entering into their plans and sharing their responsibilities and burdens. Let fathers and mothers take time to teach their children; let them show that they value their help, desire their confidence, and enjoy their companionship; and the children will not be slow to respond. Not only will the parents’ burden be lightened, and the children receive a practical training of inestimable worth, but there will be a strengthening of the home ties and a deepening of the very foundations of character.20 AH 287.3

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Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 350

My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. John 5:17. Mar 350.1

Heaven is a place of interested activity; yet to the weary and heavy laden, to those who have fought the good fight of faith, it will be a glorious rest; for the youth and vigor of immortality will be theirs, and against sin and Satan they will no longer have to contend. To these energetic workers a state of eternal indolence would be irksome. It would be no heaven to them. Mar 350.2

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