The Meaning of John 5:30 Explained

John 5:30

KJV: I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

YLT: 'I am not able of myself to do anything; according as I hear I judge, and my judgment is righteous, because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me.

Darby: I cannot do anything of myself; as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my will, but the will of him that has sent me.

ASV: I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

What does John 5:30 Mean?

Verse Meaning

This verse is transitional. It concludes Jesus" explanation of the Son"s equality with the Father ( John 5:19-29), and it introduces His clarification of the Father"s testimony about the Son ( John 5:31-47). Some translations consider it the conclusion of the preceding pericope (e.g, NIV), and others take it as the beginning of the next one (e.g, NASB).
Jesus" point was that He could not do anything independent of the Father because of His submission to Him. His judgment is the result of listening to His Father. His judgment is just because the desire for self-glory does not taint it. The Son"s will is totally to advance the Father"s will.

Context Summary

John 5:30-38 - Jesus' Works His Sufficient Witness
The one desire and purpose of our Lord was to do God's will. We cannot penetrate the mystery of His ineffable being, but clearly, so far as His human nature was concerned, he had a will which could be denied and subordinated to the Father's. See John 5:30; John 6:38; Luke 22:42. It meant shame, a breaking heart, a soul exceeding sorrowful, the cry of the forsaken, but he never swerved. He clung to it as to a hand rail down the steep dark staircase that led to Calvary. Let us live according to God's will. It feeds the spirit, John 4:34. It clears the judgment, John 5:30. It gives rest and tranquility to the heart, Matthew 11:29. It is the key of certain and assured knowledge, John 7:17. It introduces us into a great circle of others, who in the past and present, in heaven and on earth, are living with the same purpose. Our Lord cites as allies John the Baptist, John 5:6; the Scriptures, John 5:39; and Moses, John 5:45. Choose this life policy! There is no other way! Remember that God's will is goodwill, and that His love is endless and changeless. [source]

Chapter Summary: John 5

1  Jesus on the Sabbath day cures him who was diseased thirty-eight years
10  The Jews therefore object, and persecute him for it
17  He answers for himself, and reproves them, showing by the testimony of his Father,
31  of John,
36  of his works,
39  and of the Scriptures, who he is

Greek Commentary for John 5:30

I [Εγω]
The discourse returns to the first person after using “the Son” since John 5:19. Here Jesus repeats in the first person (as in John 8:28) the statement made in John 5:19 about the Son. In John εμαυτου — emautou is used by Jesus 16 times and not at all by Jesus in the Synoptics. It occurs in the Synoptics only in Matthew 8:8; Luke 7:7. Righteous As all judgments should be. The reason is plain (οτι — hoti because), the guiding principle with the Son being the will of the Father who sent him and made him Judge. Judges often have difficulty in knowing what is law and what is right, but the Son‘s task as Judge is simple enough, the will of the Father which he knows (John 5:20). [source]
Of the Father []
Omit. Rev., of Him that sent. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 5:30

John 7:17 Of myself [ἀπ ' ἐμαυτοῦ]
Of myself is misleading, being commonly understood to mean concerning myself. Rev., correctly, from myself; without union with the Father. Compare John 5:30. [source]
John 15:9 In my love [ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τῇ ἐμῇ]
Literally, in the love, that which is mine. Not only the love of the disciple for Christ, nor the love of Christ for the disciple, but the Christ-principle of love which includes both. See the same form of expression in the joy that is mine, John 15:11; John 3:29; John 17:13; the judgment (John 5:30; John 8:16); the commandments (John 14:15); peace (John 14:27). [source]
John 10:27 My sheep [τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἐμὰ]
Literally, the sheep, those that are mine. A characteristic form of expression with John. Compare John 3:29; John 5:30; John 14:15, etc. [source]
John 12:44 Cried and said [εκραχεν και ειπεν]
First aorist active indicative of κραζω — krazō to cry aloud, and second aorist active of defective verb ερω — erō to say. This is probably a summary of what Jesus had already said as in John 12:36 John closes the public ministry of Jesus without the Synoptic account of the last day in the temple on our Tuesday (Mark 11:27-12:44; Matt 21:23-23:39; Luke 20:1-21:4). Not on me, but on him “Not on me only, but also on,” another example of exaggerated contrast like that in John 12:30. The idea of Jesus here is a frequent one (believing on Jesus whom the Father has sent) as in John 3:17.; John 5:23, John 5:30, John 5:43; John 7:16; John 8:42; John 13:20; John 14:1; Matthew 10:40; Luke 9:48. [source]
John 4:34 To do the will [ινα ποιησω το τελημα]
Non-final use of ινα — hina and the first aorist active subjunctive as subject or predicate nominative as in John 6:29; John 15:8; John 17:3. The Messianic consciousness of Jesus is clear and steady (John 5:30; John 6:38). He never doubted that the Father sent him. And to accomplish his work ινα — Hina understood with τελειωσω — teleiōsō in like idiom, first aorist active subjunctive of τελειοω — teleioō (from τελειος — teleios), to bring to an end. See John 5:36. In John 17:4 (the Intercessory Prayer) he will say that he has done He will carry through the Father‘s programme (John 3:16). That is his “food.” He had been doing that in winning the woman to God. [source]
John 5:19 The Son [ο υιος]
The absolute use of the Son in relation to the Father admitting the charge in John 5:18 and defending his equality with the Father. Can do nothing by himself True in a sense of every man, but in a much deeper sense of Christ because of the intimate relation between him and the Father. See this same point in John 5:30; John 7:28; John 8:28; John 14:10. Jesus had already made it in John 5:17. Now he repeats and defends it. But what he seeth the Father doing Rather, “unless he sees the Father doing something.” Negative condition It is a supreme example of a son copying the spirit and work of a father. In his work on earth the Son sees continually what the Father is doing. In healing this poor man he was doing what the Father wishes him to do. For what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner Indefinite relative clause with αν — an and the present active subjunctive Note εκεινος — ekeinos emphatic demonstrative, that one, referring to the Father. This sublime claim on the part of Jesus will exasperate his enemies still more. [source]
John 6:38 I am come down [καταβεβηκα]
Perfect active indicative of καταβαινω — katabainō See note on John 6:33 for frequent use of this phrase by Jesus. Here απο — apo is correct rather than εκ — ek with του ουρανου — tou ouranou Not to do “Not that I keep on doing” (final clause with ινα — hina and present active subjunctive of ποιεω — poieō). But the will Supply ινα ποιω — hina poiō after αλλα — alla “but that I keep on doing.” This is the fulness of joy for Jesus, to do his Father‘s will (John 4:34; John 5:30). [source]
John 7:16 Mine [εμη]
Possessive pronoun, “not mine in origin.” Jesus denies that he is self-taught, though not a schoolman. But his that sent me Genitive case of the articular participle (first aorist active of πεμπω — pempō). His teaching is not self-originated nor is it the product of the schools (see the Talmud in contrast with the New Testament). Jesus often in John uses this idiom of “the one who sent me” of the Father (John 4:34; John 5:23, John 5:24, John 5:30, John 5:37; John 6:38-40, John 6:44; John 7:16, John 7:18, John 7:28, etc.). The bold claim is here made by Jesus that his teaching is superior in character and source to that of the rabbis. [source]
John 7:28 And I am not come of myself [και απ εμαυτου ουκ εληλυτα]
Και — Kai here = “and yet.” Jesus repeats the claim of John 7:17 and also in John 5:30; John 8:28; John 12:49; John 14:10. Whom ye know not Jesus passes by a controversy over the piece of popular theology to point out their ignorance of God the Father who sent him. He tersely agrees that they know something of him. Jesus says of these Jews that they know not God as in John 8:19, John 8:55. [source]
John 8:16 Yea and if I judge [και εαν κρινω δε εγω]
“And even if I pass judgment.” Condition of third class again. True (ale4thine4). See John 1:9 for αλητινος — alēthinos genuine, soundly based (cf. δικαια — dikaia in John 5:30), “satisfying our perfect conception” (Westcott), not merely true For I am not alone Jesus now takes up the technical criticism in John 8:13 after justifying his right to speak concerning himself. But I and the Father that sent me See John 16:32 for a like statement about the Father being with Christ. It is not certain that πατηρ — patēr is genuine here (omitted by Aleph D, but in B L W), but the Father is clearly meant as in John 7:18, John 7:33. Jesus gives the Father as the second witness. [source]
Hebrews 5:5 So Christ also [ουτως και ο Χριστος]
Just as with Aaron. Jesus had divine appointment as high priest also. To be made First aorist passive infinitive of γινομαι — ginomai High priest Predicate accusative agreeing with εαυτον — heauton (himself) object of εδοχασεν — edoxasen But he that spake unto him Ellipsis of εδοχασεν — edoxasen to be supplied from preceding clause. God did glorify Jesus in appointing him priest as we see in Psalm 2:7 quoted already as Messianic (Hebrews 1:5). Jesus himself repeatedly claimed that the Father sent him on his mission to the world (John 5:30, John 5:43; John 8:54; John 17:5, etc.). Bruce holds that Christ‘s priesthood is co-eval with his Sonship. Davidson thinks it is merely suitable because he is Son. Clearly the Father nominated (Dods) the Son to the Messianic priesthood (John 3:16). [source]

What do the individual words in John 5:30 mean?

Not am able I to do of Myself nothing as I hear I judge and the judgment - of Me just is because I seek the will - of Me but of the [One] having sent Me
Οὐ δύναμαι ἐγὼ ποιεῖν ἀπ’ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐδέν καθὼς ἀκούω κρίνω καὶ κρίσις ἐμὴ δικαία ἐστίν ὅτι ζητῶ τὸ θέλημα τὸ ἐμὸν ἀλλὰ τοῦ πέμψαντός με

δύναμαι  am  able 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 1st Person Singular
Root: δύναμαι  
Sense: to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.
ποιεῖν  to  do 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Active
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
ἐμαυτοῦ  Myself 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐμαυτοῦ  
Sense: I, me, myself etc.
οὐδέν  nothing 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: οὐδείς 
Sense: no one, nothing.
ἀκούω  I  hear 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἀκουστός 
Sense: to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf.
κρίνω  I  judge 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: κρίνω  
Sense: to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose.
κρίσις  judgment 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: κρίσις  
Sense: a separating, sundering, separation.
Parse: Article, Nominative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐμὴ  of  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Nominative Feminine 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐμός  
Sense: my, mine, etc.
δικαία  just 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: δίκαιος  
Sense: righteous, observing divine laws.
ὅτι  because 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
ζητῶ  I  seek 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ζητέω  
Sense: to seek in order to find.
τὸ  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Neuter Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐμὸν  of  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative Neuter 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐμός  
Sense: my, mine, etc.
τοῦ  of  the  [One] 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
πέμψαντός  having  sent 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: πέμπω  
Sense: to send.
με  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Accusative 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.