<19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 24 “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. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
The main purpose of John is to show that Jesus is truly the Son of God, and is himself God. So in chapter 5, he begins to make the case of Jesus' divinity. He has just done a miracle to heal a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. He did it on the Sabbath, which again greatly inflamed the Pharisees. So Jesus explains what fueled what He had been doing, and how that related to who he really was.
These verses above have one thing in common. Each verse starts with "Very truly I tell you!" This was a literary device for emphasis. It brings extreme importance to what the speaker is saying. Jesus says a lot of important things, but when he wants to say something really important he starts by saying, "Very truly I say to you!" In these verses Jesus asserts three really important truths.
1. Everything Jesus does is a result of what He sees His Father doing. Jesus is showing that His authority to do things comes from the Father alone and being in a constant relationship with him.
2. Anyone who hears Jesus' word and believes in it, will not be judged but go from death to life. Again this is a direct claim that Jesus' Word is God's Word. To believe in Jesus' Word, is to believe in God's Word. So not only does Jesus do what God does, but whatever He says is what God would say, even up to the judgment of who believes and who doesn't.
3. Finally, Jesus speaks so authoritatively that even those who are dead will live if they listen to His Father. This could mean those who were previously dead, or those who are spiritually dead and will be born again when they come to believe in the One who God the Father sent.
Why is this important for us? First, if we trust in Jesus' word, we cross from death to life. To accept Jesus is to accept God and His grace for us. It is just that simple. Second, if Jesus is God we might want to listen to him. Although the whole bible is inspired by God, it's principle purpose is to reveal Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Therefore, to live in a relationship with God and do the things he wants us to do, can be learned by learning to live like Jesus would if He were you. It is not easy, but clear! Finally, the stakes of receiving Jesus as our Savior is life and death proposition.
Remember Jesus said, "Very truly I say to you!" He wants to make sure we don't miss out on what He is saying.