Short Meditations in John 5: 23. Bringing Honour
Jn 5:23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him
Observe that this is a follow-on to the previous two verses. Honour comes because the Son judges and his judgment involves giving life to whoever he pleases – to whoever will receive it. When they receive his life, they will honour him and through him honour the Father.
How does this work? I suggest in two ways. The first way is that “through the church the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 3:10) i.e. when another person is saved and added to the church, all the angels and powers and principalities will look and realise the wonder of God’s wisdom in making a form of salvation that transforms sinful men and women into children of God. He will be honoured and the Son will be honoured for the work he has done to accomplish this. In John’s Revelation we see this praise and honour: “To him who sits on the throne and to the lamb be praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever,” (Rev 5:13) and that after previous praise for God (Rev 4:11) for His creative work, and to the Lamb for his work of Salvation (Rev 5:9,10,12). Both Father and Son receive honour in heaven for their works of salvation.
The second way it works is in us individually. As we receive our salvation, we find it is natural to give thanks to God for what He has done in us and the more we realise just what has happened, the more we praise and honour both the Father and the Son. In fact, one might go as far as to say that if a person never gives thanks and never honours the Father and the Son, their salvation is in doubt, for the Holy Spirit within the true believer will naturally stir the believer to give thanks and give honour to them, for He seeks to bring glory to both Father and Son in line with all that is going on in heaven.
In addition to what we have just said, Jesus himself has just said that if you do not honour him you will not honour God. If you do not honour Jesus, you do not realize the wonder of what he has done in making our salvation possible. Indeed, I would suggest that as you spend time in his word and in these meditations, if praise and worship is not the outcome we miss the point and it does not touch us and suggests an absence of spiritual life and an absence of the Holy Spirit. At the end of every one of these meditations that I have written over the years, I find myself praising and giving thanks. The wonder of what we have been thinking about naturally stirs praise, worship and thanksgiving within me – it should do in you too. When we realise the wonder of it all, that should be the natural response – honour of Father and Son.