Jehovah Witness and John 5:30


#1

John 5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I can judge only as I am told to judge, and my judging is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

Jehovah Witnesses like to throw this verse at me saying this proves Jesus is not equal to the Father.

What is jesus saying here?

Is He talking about His humanity rather than His Divinity?

Thanks.


#2

But He is not saying that he did nothing! :wink:

On the contrary, He did exactly what the Father would have Him do… because He is one with the Father. :shrug:

They read but do not understand. Jesus was showing that His nature was in perfect union with the Father.

He is talking about His humanity, yes. As a son who descended from above, He was made flesh, and so He spoke of His flesh being obedient to the divine Will of God. The will He spoke of as ‘His own’ is a bit more complicated to me. This seems to imply two seperate desires, yet one being rejected. I think again, He refers to His human desires and needs, which He sacrificed to embody God in the flesh, and even His own!


#3

The following is from the Haydock commentary for John 5:19 but I think it answers your question:

Ver. 19. The Son cannot do any thing of himself,[5] but what he seeth the Father do. In like manner, (ver. 30.) Christ says, I can do nothing of myself. As I hear, so I judge. Again (Chap. viii. 28.) I do nothing of myself; but as the Father hath taught me, I speak these things. All these, and the like expressions, may be expounded, with Maldonatus and Petavius, (lib. ii. de Trin. chap. 4.) of Christ, as man. But the ancient Fathers commonly allowed them to be understood of Christ as God, and as the true Son of God proceeding from him from all eternity; as when it is said, the Son cannot do any thing of himself, it is true, because the eternal Son is not of himself, but always proceeds from the Father. 2. Because the works of all the three Persons, by which all things are produced and preserved, are inseparable. 3. When it is said, that the Son doth nothing, but what he seeth the Father doing: that he heareth, as the Father hath taught him, or shewed to him: these expressions bear not the same sense as when they are applied to men, or to an inferior or a scholar, who learns of his master, and follows him; but here, says St. Augustine, to see, to hear, to be taught by the Father, is no more than to proceed from him, to do and produce by the same action, all that the Father doth and produceth. This is the general interpretation of the ancient Fathers: St. Athanasius, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Chrysostom, St. Cyril, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine. The words immediately following, confirm this exposition, when it is said: For what things soever he (the Father) doth, these also in like manner the Son doth, i.e. the very same things by an unity of nature, of will, and of action: nor could these words be true, unless the Son was the same true God with the Father. (Witham) — This must be understood, that he cannot do any thing contrary to the will of the Father. He does not say, “The Son does nothing of himself, but the Son can do nothing of himself, in order to shew their likeness and perfect equality.” For by saying this, he does not betray any want of power in the Son; but, on the contrary, shews his great power. For when we say that God cannot sin, we do not esteem it a want of power; so when the Son says he cannot do any thing of himself, his meaning is, that he cannot do any thing contrary to the will of the Father; which certainly is a great perfection. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxvii. in Joan.


#4

Thank You for the replies.


closed #5

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.