on John 5 :23
That all men should honor the Son, etc. - If then the Son is to be honored, Even As the Father is honored, then the Son must be God, as receiving that worship which belongs to God alone. To worship any creature is idolatry: Christ is to be honored even as the Father is honored; therefore Christ is not a creature; and, if not a creature, consequently the Creator. See John 1:3.
He that honoureth not the Son - God will not receive that man's adoration who refuses to honor Jesus, even as he honors him. The Jews expected the Messiah as a great and powerful Prince; but they never thought of a person coming in that character enrobed with all the attributes of Godhead. To lead them off from this error, our Lord spoke the words recorded in these verses.
on John 5 :23
That all men should honour ... - To honor is to esteem, reverence, praise, do homage to. We honor one when we ascribe to him in our hearts, and words, and actions the praise and obedience which are due to him. We honor God when we obey him and worship him aright. We honor the Son when we esteem him to be as he is; when we have right views and feelings toward him. As he is declared to be God John 1:1, as he here says he has power and authority equal with God, so we honor him when we regard him as such. The primitive Christians are described by Pliny, in a letter to the Emperor Trajan, as meeting together to sing hymns to Christ "as God." So we honor him aright when we regard him as possessed of wisdom, goodness, power, eternity, omniscience - equal with God.
Even as - To the same extent; in the same manner. Since the Son is to be honored even as the Father, it follows that he must be equal with the Father. To "honor the Father" must denote "religious" homage, or the rendering of that honor which is due to God; so to honor the Son must also denote "religious" homage. If our Saviour here did not intend to teach that he ought to be "worshipped," and to be esteemed as "equal" with God, it would be difficult to teach it by any language which we could use.
He that honoureth not the Son - He that does not believe on him, and render to him the homage which is his due as the equal of God.
Honoureth not the Father - Does not worship and obey the Father the First Person of the Trinity - that is does not worship God. He may imagine that he worships God, but there is no God but the God subsisting as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He that withholds proper homage from one, withholds it from all. He that should refuse to honor "the Father," could not be said to honor "God;" and in the like manner, he that honoreth not "the Son," honoreth not "the Father." This appears further from the following considerations:
1. The Father wills that the Son should be honored. He that refuses to do it disobeys the Father.
2. They are equal. He that denies the one denies also the other.
3. The same feeling that leads us to honor the "Father" will also lead us to honor the "Son," for he is "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person," Hebrews 1:3.
4. The evidence of the existence of the Son is the same as that of the Father. He has the same wisdom, goodness, omnipresence, truth, power.
And from these verses we may learn:
1. That those who do not render proper homage to Jesus Christ do not worship the true God.
2. There is no such God as the infidel professes to believe in. There can be but one God; and if the God of the Bible be the true God, then all other gods are false gods.
3. Those who withhold proper homage from Jesus Christ, who do not honor him even as they honor the Father, cannot be Christians.
4. One evidence of piety is when We are willing to render proper praise and homage to Jesus Christ - to love him, and serve and obey him, with all our hearts.
5. "As a matter of fact," it may be added that they who do not honor the Son do not worship God at all. The infidel has no form of worship; he has no place of secret prayer, no temple of worship, no family altar. Who ever yet heard of an infidel that prayed? Where do such men build houses of worship? Where do they meet to praise God? Nowhere. As certainly as we hear the name "infidel," we are certain at once that we hear the name of a man who has no form of religion in his family, who never prays in secret, and who will do nothing to maintain the public worship of God. Account for it as men may, it is a fact that no one can dispute, that it is only they who do honor to the Lord Jesus that have any form of the worship of God, or that honor him; "and their veneration for God is just in proportion to their love for the Redeemer - just as they honor him."
on John 5 :23
5:23 That all men may honour the Son, even as they honour the Father - Either willingly, and so escaping condemnation, by faith: or unwillingly, when feeling the wrath of the Judge. This demonstrates the EQUALITY of the Son with the Father. If our Lord were God only by office or investiture, and not in the unity of the Divine essence, and in all respects equal in Godhead with the Father, he could not be honoured even as, that is, with the same honour that they honoured the Father. He that honoureth not the Son - With the same equal honour, greatly dishonoureth the Father that sent him.