This week we are going to study John 5:30-47. So let’s read the passage, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 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 do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
The Testimony of John the Baptist
In John 5:30-47, Jesus is still talking to the Jews and Pharisees after being accused of breaking the laws of the Sabbath. In this passage, Jesus tells them about several witnesses that testified that He was the Messiah. Jesus starts off by saying that if He alone bore witness to Himself, then His testimony would not be true. Under Jewish law, a person’s testimony about himself was worthless, because men are lovers of self, and more often than not, we will put self-love above truth (Deuteronomy 19:15). But, Jesus being fully man and fully God obeyed the Jewish law completely, as well as showing us that others testified on His behalf, that He was the Messiah, so that we might believe. The first One that Jesus said bore witness to Him was the Father. However, we will cover this later when Jesus goes deeper into several ways the Father bore witness to Him. The second was John the Baptist, who said Jesus was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29-34). Jesus tells the Jews that when John first appeared they were willing to rejoice in his light for a while. Jesus compares John the Baptist to a burning and shining lamp; as well as, telling them that John pointed to the truth, who was Jesus. Jesus is the truth, truth is not an attribute, but who He is, He just is the truth (John 14:6). John’s mission was to call people to repentance and point the world to the coming Messiah, as well as to bear witness to Jesus. Something I love about John the Baptist is the fact that his calling is similar to ours, in that it is to call the world to repent and follow Jesus. We are also God’s light in this world, see, Jesus says that He does not want us to be of this world, but He wants us to be a part of it and to shine the light of life to the world (John 17). If you would like to understand your calling better, you can study John the Baptist.
The Father’s Testimony
Let’s go back and talk about the Father’s testimony. Jesus tells them that the main testimony He is referring to is the signs and miracles which His Father gave Him to accomplish. The signs He did and would do, bear witness to the fact that He is the Messiah. The Father also bore witness to Him by saying, “this is My Son in whom I am well pleased”, as well as other times when God audibly confessed Jesus as His Son throughout the Gospels (Matthew 3:17, Matthew 17:5, John 12:28). Jesus tells the Jews and Pharisees that the reason they did not accept Jesus was that they did not know the Father. He also said that they had never seen the Father’s form and that they had never heard His voice, nor do they have His Word dwelling in them. Remember these were the religious elites who were at the temple, but yet Jesus said, they do not have the Word of God dwelling in them. He also says that they do not even believe in the One who sent Him, much less in Him. They studied the Scriptures and memorized them, but they did this for two reasons, so others would glorify them and so they could enforce the law and their ideologies. See, it is easy to get so wrapped up in things that are unimportant in the grand scheme of things. It is easy to focus on the outside and what others see, but on the inside be filthy and dead, because we live for the approval of others, instead of the approval of God. Be careful not to miss Jesus because you are focused on things of this world. Because the things of this world are so temporary, the Bible says you are like a mist, here for a little while and gone the next (James 4:14). Don’t miss Jesus because you are so caught up in the here and now, and the approval of others because those things are temporary. What lasts forever is your relationship with Jesus or the lack thereof. I hear people say to live in the moment, I think that is terrible advice because we are sojourners in this world that need to keep our minds on Jesus and the fact that one day we will all stand before Him and account for every idle word (2 Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 12:36). But, we also need to enjoy the blessings that He has given us.
Jesus continues by telling the Pharisees, they search the scriptures because they think they will find eternal life in them. There was a saying during Jesus’ time that went, if you know the whole law then you would earn eternal life. What Jesus said next contradicted that saying, He said, that the scriptures bear witness to Him, and yet they refuse to come to Him, so they could have eternal life. Because Jesus is the only way to have eternal life. It is good to search the scriptures, but you can not receive eternal life from them, but you can be guided to the one who gives eternal life, as well as how to accept Him as Lord and Savior of your life. If you would like to have eternal life with Jesus, all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins (repent means turn away), believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, then confess Him as Lord and Savior of your life (Romans 10:9).
Seeking Glory from all the Wrong People
Jesus continues by saying, “I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.” He came in the Father’s name and they did not accept Him. Yet, if another came in his own name, they would have accepted him. For they sought glory for others, so they would receive it back themselves. Jesus then says to seek the glory that comes from the only God. I think this is something that is going on in social media, we want others to succeed, only so we will succeed. Stop seeking the glory that comes from men and only seek the glory that comes from God.
The Whole Bible
Jesus then talks about who is accusing them. He says, it is not Him that accuses them, but Moses, the one whom they put their trust in. He said, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” This is the same for today, how can you only believe one part of the Bible but disregard other parts? We see this alot today, especially with the book of Genesis, so many want to bend or remove Genesis, if you do this, then how can you trust in Jesus. If you have doubts or questions about Genesis, you should check out Answers in Genesis (https://answersingenesis.org), it is a great apologetics ministry that seeks to rebuild the world’s thinking on science and God, and the relationship they have. This is actually what Jesus was talking about, because Moses wrote Genesis. When Jesus talks about Genesis, He does not talk about it as prophetic language or poetic symbolism, but as literal history that He witnessed first hand (John 8:58). We cannot disregard the foundations of the Christian faith, because to disregard the foundations, makes the rest of it unsteady. In fact, we should not disregard any part of scripture, because all of it is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Be careful not to neglect or completely disregard any part of scripture, because if you do, how can you believe in Jesus and His Word.
This week pray that God will reveal the areas in your life, where you are more focused on the things of this world than Him. Also, know that Jesus’ signs are a testimony that He was from God and is the Messiah. Today make sure that you do not miss Jesus, because you are focused on other things, because there is nothing more important than your relationship with Him. As you go through your week, spend time in the Word of God, and do not neglect any part of the scriptures, know that all scripture is true and that you can believe in Jesus.
Check out the other blogs in this series A Study through the Gospel of John