“‘For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes’” (John 5:21).
By asserting His equality with God, Jesus claimed that He had the parallel power with God to raise the dead—“just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life.” The Bible teaches that only God has the power to raise the dead (Deut. 32:39; Acts 26:8; Heb. 11:19), and the Old Testament records several instances in which He did so (1 Kings 17:17–24; 2 Kings 4:32–37; 13:20–21). Because His power is the same as the Father, Jesus Christ is able to raise the physically dead (John 11:25–44). Moreover, He has the power to give spiritual life to the spiritually dead. “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him,” Jesus promised, “shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
Unlike Elijah and Elisha, Jesus did not merely act as God’s representative when He raised the dead, but as God Himself. “The Son” Himself gives resurrection and spiritual “life to whom He wishes.” As God is the source of life, so Jesus Christ is the source of life. As God chooses when He gives life, so does the Son choose, in perfect agreement with the Father—a truth illustrated by the salvation of sinners. All whom the Father chose before the foundation of the world to give to the Son will come to him, and He will not reject any of them (John 6:37).
Is there anything you’ve given up for dead in your own life, barely considering that God could raise it to life again? Even the possibility of victory over sin or the presence of Christian joy can be regarded as hopeless—lost relics from the past. Pray that Jesus would help you experience life anew.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610