3

John 5:

20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
...
28 Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

Should the disciples be amazed or not?

2

The "amazement" that Jesus discusses in John 5 has two separate referents:

Verse 20

In V20, Jesus is saying - do not be amazed at this - the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda. We can confirm this by Jesus' reason for those listening to not be amazed - Jesus says He will do even greater things than this, ie, greater miracles (eg, the raising of Lazarus).

Verse 28

V28 is slightly trickier but is again about the greater miracles that Jesus would do. The immediate context is is V25-27 which says:

25 Truly, truly, I tell you, the hour is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted the Son to have life in Himself. 27 And He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

Jesus says this as supporting evidence that He has power to raise the dead. Recall that Jesus is talking to unbelieving Jews at this point (see V18); thus, it is not clear whether the amazement that Jesus tries to quell is:

  • the resurrection that Jesus will accomplish at the last day (V25)
  • Jesus having life in Himself (V26)
  • Jesus' authority to Judge (V27)

It is almost certainly that they would be amazed at all these claims. The fact that Jesus is telling this to unbelieving Jews who are trying to kill Him (V18) makes it unsurprising that they would be amazed at Jesus claims to have quite astonishing power and authority - and this in someone they believed was "merely a man" (John 10:33).

1

I prefer the KJV here:

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

The word here is thaumazo, which has a gloss "to marvel, be astonished". From BDAG[1]:

to be extraordinarily impressed or disturbed by someth., act. ⓐ intr. wonder, marvel, be astonished (the context determines whether in a good or bad sense)

Whereas "amaze" in modern english has taken on a somewhat softer meaning and can be used to refer to everything from an impressive display of fireworks to the more traditional notion of being astonished or surprised. E.g. we are not surprised by an impressive fireworks display on the fourth of July because we expect it, even though the experience itself is still amazing. It is precisely this element of surprise that Jesus was addressing, telling us not to be surprised because he will call out the dead from their graves, and thus the power of God working through Christ should not be something that surprises the disciples, although we are free to continue being impressed by this power.

[1] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 444). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

1

Should the disciples be amazed or not at the coming resurrection?

In John 5:20, Jesus is plaining telling his disciples that they will be amazed at the miracles that will soon come to pass.

Verse 21, Jesus is describing how Jehovah God, using his prophets, has raised dead ones in the past (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:32-37; 13:20, 21)

The disciples knew about these events and believed them. But now in verse 28, Jesus is describing a future time when "all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out". So Jesus is comparing a few individuals to billions upon billions of people.

In essence, Jesus is saying "You knew this could happen and were amazed, but just wait until the future. That will blow your mind!"

0

John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.

This is a general statement about great works that when performed the disciples will be amazed.

28 Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.

This is a specific statement about the miraculous work of resurrection which Jesus has already told them about, so they should not be amazed when it happens.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.