In John chapter 5, Jesus is in the thick of things with the Jewish leadership. He has just healed a man who had been sick for 38 years, which the Jewish leaders completely overlooked, because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath, thus breaking one of their rules. As they attacked Jesus for ‘breaking the Sabbath,’ he defended his healing by appealing to the fact that he was only participating in what his Father was doing (v. 17). At this the leadership’s attack on Jesus moves from ‘persecution’ to an intense desire to ‘kill’ him, "because he not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (v. 18). And so begins an argument, at the heart of which is an unstated question from Jesus, ‘who is really making themselves out to be equal to God here?’ In Jesus’ mind, he is only doing what he sees his Father doing, and thus living his life in submission to the Father. The Pharisees, however, have not heard the voice of the Father (v. 37), do not have His word abiding in them (v. 38), are unwilling to come to Jesus to have life (v. 40), do not have the love of God in themselves (v. 42), receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that is from the one, true God (v. 44), and do not even believe in Moses, the one in whom they have placed their hope (v. 46). It is a classic Jesus flip. He turns the accusation of the Jews back upon themselves, with withering, and hopefully, liberating exposure of the fact that they have no interest whatever in submitting to God. So who is making themselves out to be God?
In the midst of this storm there is a fascinating sequence on judgment. First, Jesus lays down a shocker—one that many people today cannot believe he actually said. “For not even the Father judges any one, but He has given all judgment to the Son” (v. 22). Relinquishing His own right to judgment, the Father has given all judgment to Jesus. I think this is related to v. 27: “And He gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.” It is as if the Father is saying, ‘look, Jesus, you are in the trenches here. I trust you completely. Whatever you say goes, in heaven and on earth.’ So much for hierarchy. The implicit point to the Jewish leadership is clear. ‘Be careful, boys, I don’t think you know who you are dealing with here, but you will.’
There is a play in Jesus’ words on two of the Greek words which we translate judge or judgment. One word is krino, which means to separate, discern, consider, or evaluate or to decide. The other is krisis, from which we derive the English word crisis. Jesus is saying, the Father judges (krino) no one, but has given all judgment (krisis) into the hands of His Son. Jesus has the authority to execute crisis, because he is personally present, and his personal presence means crisis (nowhere to hide exposure) for all in darkness, including religious darkness.
“Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear his (Jesus’) voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good, to a resurrection of life, those who did the bad, to a resurrection of judgment (krisis)” vv. 28-29. Jesus, of course, is not saying that salvation comes by works. He is saying, to the Jewish leadership, ‘the day is coming when the ones who gave themselves to participate in life will get what they wanted—life, the Father himself. And the ones who opposed life and participated in darkness (did not seek the glory of the one, true God) will rise to a rude awakening, a crisis, for they will rise and meet Me—again. I, the Father’s Son, the way, the truth and the life, the savior and salvation itself, will be standing on the other side of the end of all God-playing, religious nonsense.’ Jesus is the judgment.
It is “appointed for men to die once, and after this comes krisis” (Hebrews 9:27).