25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
Verse 25 gives the reason why the Father committed all judgment to His Son. It is more than His acting as judge or His giving eternal life. It involves the Father’s desire that people honor the Son as they honor the Father. This would be an outrageous purpose should the Son not be Almighty God Himself.
Verses 25-27 refer to spiritual resurrection or regeneration.
25 Most assuredly,
This section begins with another double amen indicating the importance of the following statements. This is the third time Jesus used “most assuredly” in this chapter and the seventh time so far in the gospel of John.
I say to you,
Jesus again asserts another solemn statement.
the hour is coming, and now is,
Jesus uses these phrases four times in this gospel (Jn 4:21, 23; 5:25, 28.)
The “hour” is the time when Jesus came on the scene of history. The promise is already fulfilled. This phrase makes it clear that the subject is spiritual regeneration and not physical resurrection.
The phrase “and now is” refers to the fact that before the person became a believer he was dead in his sins (Eph 2:1-6). “Now is” then refers to the time that Jesus gave eternal life during His ministry.
when the dead [spiritually] will hear the voice of the Son of God;
The “dead” here are the spiritually dead as we will see from verse 28. The “dead” then are those dead in their sins. They are people who heard the voice of the Son and lived.
“Hear” means to hear with appreciation. These are people who take heed to what Jesus says.
The phrase “Son of God” occurs three times by Jesus in the gospel of John (Jn 10:36; 11:4). Two other times the Jews use it (Jn 19:7; 20:31).
and those who hear will live.
Jesus will give spiritual or eternal life to those spiritually dead ((1:4; 3:15–16, 36; 4:14; 5:39–40; 6:27, 33, 35, 40, 47–48, 51, 54; 8:12; 10:10, 28; 11:25; 14:6; 17:2–3; 20:31). Hearing here is equivalent to believing (Jn 10:27).
Jesus saves people from spiritual death to spiritual life.
Job asked in Job 14:14, “If a man dies, will he live again?” Jesus’ answer to that question is “yes.” Either a person will rise to damnation or to eternal life. Everyone will live forever. Those who believe in Christ will be raised bodily to live forever. Later, Job answered his own question in Job 19:25-27.
Non-Christians will experience a physical resurrection but they will be sentenced at the Great White Throne to eternal damnation for unbelievers.
Presently Jesus calls people from a state of spiritual death to spiritual life, eternal life. Currently people without Christ are separated from God. When they believe in Christ they will share God’s life (Eph 2:1).