“‘For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son’” (John 5:22).
Jesus’ authority to grant spiritual life to whomever He chooses is consistent with His authority to judge all men on the last day (cf. 3:18–19; 12:48). Since God is the “Judge of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25), the fact that the Father judges no one, but “has given all judgment to the Son,” further attests to Christ’s deity. Because their wills are in perfect harmony, all judgment can be given to Christ in the assurance that His judgment will be, in fact, the very same as the Father’s judgment.
Although judgment was not the primary purpose of Christ’s first coming to earth (3:17; 12:47), it remains the inescapable final result of rejecting the salvation He offers (3:18).
In the future, “the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:7–8), because God “has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31). On that final, terrible day of judgment, those who rejected Jesus will hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23).
Take the time right now to examine your relationship to Christ. Make sure you are depending on His grace and mercy for salvation, not on your own sincere efforts.
Knowing ourselves and our tendency to sin, our view of God’s power is perhaps most clearly seen, not in His ability and authority to judge but in His willingness to continually restrain it. That He doesn’t begrudge His sacrifice but keeps applying it to our need is evidence of the highest form of mercy. Thank Him heartily for this today.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610