What does John 5:24 mean?
ESV: Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
NIV: "Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
NASB: Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
CSB: "Truly I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
NLT: I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
KJV: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
NKJV: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
Verse Commentary:
The word amēn is taken directly from older, ancient languages such as Aramaic. It survived in New Testament-era Greek and in modern languages as well. It is often given a literal translation of "truly," or something similar. Using this word at the end of a sentence is a way of emphasizing truth, or hopefulness. This is why we often end prayers with the word "amen." Used at the beginning of a statement, however, it means something hugely different. In that culture, Jesus' use of "Amēn, amēn, legō hymin…"—"truly, truly I say to you"—means He professes absolute, first-hand, personal knowledge. This is not something He has learned or been taught. Rather, this is a fact He knows personally to be true.

This interlocks with His previous statement (John 5:23). Those who accept Christ are accepting God. That means accepting eternal life. Rejecting Jesus means rejecting God. Those who reject God are under His judgment (John 3:36). Jesus' power over spiritual life and death is proven, in part, by His power over physical life and death (John 20:30–31).

Jesus used words which place this eternal life in this moment—in the present. That is, those who put trusting faith in Christ have eternal life, right now. Their passing from "death to life" has already happened. This description of passing from death to life is only used in the New Testament by John, and only in two places. One is here, the other is in 1 John 3:14.
Verse Context:
John 5:16–29 begins Jesus' response to local religious leaders. After healing a man on the Sabbath, Jesus is attacked for violating traditions related to the Mosaic law and for claiming to be equal to God. In this passage, Jesus claims many of the attributes of God the Father. Among these are the power, judgment, love, and honor of God. Jesus also states that those who reject His message dishonor God and only those who believe Him will have eternal life. In the next passage, Jesus will support these claims by referring to various forms of evidence, all of which prove His ministry to be true.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus again returns to Jerusalem, as required for the various feast days. While there, He heals a man who had been crippled for nearly forty years. Since this occurred on the Sabbath, local religious leaders are angry. In fact, they are more upset with Jesus for working on the Sabbath than amazed at His miracle. In response, Jesus offers an important perspective on evidence. Jesus refers to human testimony, scriptural testimony, and miracles as reasons to believe His declarations. Christ also lays claim to many of the attributes of God, making a clear claim to divinity.
Chapter Context:
Chapters 1 through 4 showed Jesus avoiding major publicity. Here, in chapter 5, He will begin to openly challenge the local religious leaders. This chapter is Jesus' first major answer to His critics in this gospel. The fact that Jesus is willing to heal on the Sabbath sets up a theme of His upcoming disagreements with the Pharisees. Jesus also provides an important perspective on the relationship between evidence and faith, which He will expand on in later chapters. This chapter also establishes a key point made by Jesus' critics: His claims to be God.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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