21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.
Verse 21 is an example of the principle found in verses 19 and 20.
The third (here) and fourth “for” (5:22) assert the Son’s delegated authority from the Father.
This third “for” illuminates the working of the Father in the life of Jesus. If Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it is the Father who did it.
as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them,
A prerogative of deity is the right to issue life and death.
even so the Son gives life to whom He will.
The Son will give spiritual or eternal life. Both the Father and the Son have sovereign rights. The Son shares the same prerogatives with the Father. They share joint action. The Son in His humanity imparts life like the Father.
It was no issue to the Jews that the Father would give life but it was astonishing to them that the Jesus would give life.
Jesus was the unique representation of the Father on earth.
Jesus’ ability to raise the dead is equal to the Father. Only God has the power to give life (2 Co 1:9; He 11:19). He can give either spiritual life or physical life to the dead. As the Father is the source of life so Jesus can give life. Giving of life is the sole prerogative of God.
Unlike Elijah in the Old Testament, Jesus was not an instrument of raising someone from death but the originator of life from the dead (Jn 5:22).
The work of our Lord was not imitating the Father but it was the work of the Father; it was the Father’s work. To charge Him with breaking the Sabbath was to charge the Father with breaking it.