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20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.


The complete unity of action from verse 19 is justified by the Father’s love of the Son in this verse. The Son does not force His submission to the Father. It is based on the love of His Father.

20 For

The “for” explains the mutual fellowship of the Father and the Son, whose interests are one. Although there are distinctions in the persons of the godhead, they each have a role. Their partnership is seen in four explanatory clauses.

This second “for” gives the Father’s love for the Son as the basis for the Son’s dependence. The Son can do what the Father does because the Father loves Him. The Son does what He does out of this love.

the Father loves [keeps on loving] the Son,

The Father continuously loves the Son. The word for “loves” here is reciprocal love and not agapaw, which focuses more on choice. The term in this verse emphasizes personal love. This is the only time in the New Testament where the Father’s reciprocal love for the Son appears. However, the Father’s love for the Son never ceases. He never withholds love from the Son.

and shows [reveals to] Him all things that He Himself does;

The Father plans but the Son executed the plan in time in the human person of Jesus.

“All things” means that the Father exposes all His knowledge to the Son for all their existence. As infinite beings, they share omniscience. They share absolute equality of intelligence. This is not true of the finite humanity of Christ; finiteness cannot comprehend the infinite. Finiteness cannot know God exhaustively. Therefore, the Father had to reveal things to Jesus in His humanity.

The word “shows” means to point out. The Father’s showing corresponds to the seeing of Jesus in His humanity. Jesus needed to be shown because the humanity of Christ was finite. The Son never confounded His deity with His humanity. As man, Jesus lived as true or genuine man and voluntarily set aside the use of His incommunicable attributes as God in His humanity.

and He will show [reveal to] Him greater works than these [healing of the paralyzed man at the pool],

This second use of “show” reveals the intimate relationship between the Father and Jesus. The humanity of Christ received direct revelation from the Father.

The “greater works” are found in the next verses. The Son gives life to whom He pleases and He will also judge men personally on the Father’s behalf. Jesus would raise the physically dead, for example.

that you may marvel.

People would marvel because Jesus would do greater works than physical healing. He would assume the prerogative of God in giving life to the dead. The unbelieving Jews to whom Jesus spoke would reach a point where they would be astonished at what He did.


Everything that the Father and Son did, they did in unity of love.


Central to love is personality. It is persons who love each other. We cannot know that God loves us by examining creation. However, we can see it in the dynamics of the relationship between the Father and the Son.

The Father does not keep secrets from the Son. They both have common possession of infinite attributes. They possess co-equality in nature.

Jesus did not do what He did from mere human motivation. Everything He did came from divine revelation.