John 5:30-32 NASB
“I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.”
You recall how we are told within scripture that everything is to be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15) and (2 Corinthians 13:1). Notice what Jesus is saying, that He can do nothing on His own, that everything that He does or makes a judgement on is in accordance with the will of the Father because it is the Father who expresses His will to the Son, and Jesus, as God’s Son, does the will of the Father.
But in keeping with the criteria that God’s word has previously proclaimed, Jesus clearly indicates that if it is only He that validates what He Himself says, this is not enough. There must be another who testifies or witnesses to the authenticity of what He says and this testimony or witness is given to Himself by no other than God the Father.
And did this happen? Yes it did, on three specific occasions as indicated within the Gospels. Remember when Jesus was baptized? (Matthew 3:16-17), during the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5) and finally in John 12:27-30, when Jesus was foretelling of His own death.
Actual audible words spoken by God the Father, testifying to the authenticity of His Son.
Then in John 5:33-35 we also have the additional testimony that Jesus identifies came from John the Baptist, indicating who He was. But there is more. The very works that Jesus did also testify of who He is.
John 5:36 NASB
“But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
The numerous healings, the authority Jesus had over demons, the authority Jesus had over the elements, raising those who were dead to life again and the miracles of feeding multitudes or turning water into wine, all bear witness to His divinity. No ordinary man could accomplish these things. Yet, there was one more work that God the Father gave Jesus to accomplish, to conquer death on our behalf, for those of us who believe in Him. And this He also accomplished by His own death and resurrection. This truly was the greatest work of all that the Father gave to the Son to accomplish. And our work? To believe in the Son (John 6:29).
John 5:37-38 NASB
“And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.“
Here Jesus speaks directly to the unbelievers, who had not ever heard God the Fathers voice, nor ever seen His form. And the reason for that? God’s word does not abide in them, God’s word has not been taken to heart and they do not believe in Jesus, who the Father has sent.
And then Jesus concludes His declaration to the unbelieving Jews of who He is, with the testimony of the Scriptures themselves.
John 5:39-45 NASB
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.“
It is indeed, the Old Testament scriptures themselves, that point to Jesus, the coming Redeemer, the divine Messiah, who will do for them what they in themselves cannot do, through the following of the Law. The temporary sacrifices, the holy festivals, the sin that separates them from a holy God, the Tabernacle, the Temple, the need for and insufficiency of the priesthood, including the High Priest, the lamb without blemish, the promises and the warnings to the chosen Nation of Israel. It’s all there in the Old Testament. External acts of devotion all point to a heart that truly depends and trusts in divine love and grace, exemplified in and by the coming Messiah.
It is the OT scriptures that testify of Jesus (the scarlet thread).
It is the OT scriptures that testify eternal life is found only through faith and trust in God.
It is the OT scriptures that testify it is our hearts that God desires.
It is the OT scriptures that testify of our tendency to seek approval from man instead of God.
It is the OT scriptures that testify that the source of God’s glory is God Himself.
It is the OT scriptures that testify of Moses’ admonishment to the Nation of Israel to love God with all their heart, mind and soul.
It is the OT scriptures that indicates that outward acts of devotion that are not accompanied with heart felt inward reality mean nothing at all, and are in fact, a stench in God’s nostrils.
Jesus wasn’t telling them anything here that was really new. It had all been said before. But the Nation of Israel had placed their hope in who they were and what they did. The difference being, it is not who we are but who God is and it is not what we have done but rather what God has done. Jesus challenged their reasoning, He challenged their pride, He challenged their source of reliance.
We have the witness of God the Father about Jesus, His Son.
We have the witness of John the Baptist.
We have the witness of the works that Jesus did.
We have the witness of the Old Testament scriptures.
We have the witness of Jesus about Himself.
I don’t know about you, but from my perspective, the totality to the witness of who Jesus is, is substantial, to say the least.
John 5:40 NASB “And you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life.”
Unwilling . . . I’m thinking this speaks to us all.
More to follow.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!