Wednesday, 21 September 2022
“If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true.” -John 5:31
There were many who did not believe in Jesus in His day even religious leaders. Jesus does not force people to believe but placed the evidence in front of them, reminding them of the importance of the decision to make up their mind. Jesus said, “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.” Jesus is not saying that He is unreliable but calling to mind a principle in the Law: no one is to be convicted by the evidence of only one witness but it is to be verified by two or more witnesses (cf: Deut. 19:15). Here Jesus names four witnesses that testify that He is the Son of God:
Witness of John (Vs 33-35)
The first witness is John the Baptist. John’s witness of Jesus was thus: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” “He must increase and I must decrease.” “He is the one coming after me, whose sandal I am not fit to untie.” John wasn’t all that interested in many people following him. Instead he directed people to Christ, the long-awaited Messiah. We see a compliment from Jesus for John: a burning and shining lamp! – not just a lamp to guide the way but a burning and shining lamp that illuminated minds.
Witness of Works (V 36)
The second witness Jesus talks of— the deeds that the Father has given Him to complete. His deeds prove Him! In effect Jesus is saying, “Do you see anybody else healing the sick, turning water into wine, and teaching with divine authority?” It was evident that God was at work in their midst through Him, touching hearts and lives! Even today we see the transforming power of Jesus Christ at work in the lives of people.
Witness of the Father (Vs 37-38)
The third witness that Jesus refers to is the Heavenly Father Himself. Jesus says, “You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.” Jesus had the Father’s witness to Him constantly present. The Father’s witness was audible that others could hear, at the time of Jesus’ baptism: the heavens opened and the Spirit of God descended upon Him as a dove and a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16-17).
Witness of the Scriptures (Vs 39-47)
Jesus says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” The statement “You search the Scriptures” in the original Greek, is a command. The Jewish people had the very Word of God in the Scriptures, but their understanding of them had been perverted such that they misinterpreted them. There was a common belief among the religious leaders and many people that Salvation and Eternal Life came from possessing the Law itself or being a Jew. They had made God’s Word a mystical book which would bring life rather than a communication from God on how He would give life. Though they were extremely diligent in their study of the Scriptures, they had neglected its message— Christ.
The four witnesses that Jesus points to are all united in trying to get us united to Christ. Every Scripture, every miracle performed by Jesus, every word that the Father speaks into our hearts is meant to draw our lives to surrender to Christ’s lordship. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit would be sent on us anew that we might be empowered in the Christian life every day, not only as individuals, but as God’s church.
Let us treat witnessing as a responsibility—with the purpose of lifting up Christ and encouraging others to come to Him. Witnessing our faith is an example of Christ to others and it begins with honoring Christ in our heart.
Think on: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20)