October 15, 2020 – Thursday
John 5:36-40 NIV
36 I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent Me.
37 And the Father who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form,
38 nor does His word dwell in you, for you do not believe the One He sent.
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me,
40 yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.
Continuing with John 5 from yesterday, today we have verses 31-40 providing the testimony of witnesses to the validity of His authority. The witnesses are Scripture, God, and John the Baptist. First however Jesus states in 31-32, If I testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in My favor, and I know that his testimony about Me is true. Here He will use the law from Deuteronomy 19:15 where we read by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. He understood His testimony alone was insufficient for the religious leaders.
The first witness Jesus bring up was John the Baptist in verses 33-34, You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. Peter Pett says, They had accepted John as a shining lamp, a revealer of truth, although he was only a kindled lamp in comparison with the One Who was the permanent and original light of the world. Then let them accept his testimony about Jesus. But they must understand that He was only saying this so that they might listen and be saved from their present darkness. He Himself did not need the testimony of men. He has a greater witness than John. I prefer John’s own words in Matthew 3:11-12, . . . He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Next Jesus says in verse 36, I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent Me. I like how Pett summarizes this with, His Father has provided Him with many witnesses. Every miracle He does bears testimony to Him for it demonstrates that His Father is with Him. Indeed all to whom He speaks are witness to the signs and miracles He has done, the effectiveness of His words, the authority that He has revealed, His power over evil spirits. His life was a constant source of such things, and these very things bear witness that His Father is with Him. Not once do we find in Scripture the religious leaders of Israel acknowledging Jesus’ miracles being from God. Instead they argued anything possible while ignoring His miracles. Nonetheless, His miracles clearly testified as to who He was/is and that He was sent by the Father.
Then in verse 37a Jesus states, And the Father who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me where He may have been referring to Mark 1:11 after being baptized by John the Baptist, And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. More likely He was referring to (according to Pett), all the Old Testament promises with regard to the coming David, the coming Servant of YHWH found there, especially as propounded in Isaiah 9:6. In the Scriptures there was a constant stream of testimony to the One Who was coming and what He was going to do under the hand of God.
In verses 37b-40 we hear more evidence Jesus was referring to scripture as well as the reasons for their lack of belief, You have never heard His voice nor seen His form, nor does His word dwell in you, for you do not believe the One He sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life. This is the key to it all, they want to some way earn their way into heaven – eternal life – by the study of Scripture. While they may have been able to quote Scripture it had yet to be written on their hearts for if it had they would have recognized the testimony therein about Him.
Prayer: Father God – Help us read and study Scripture, even highlighting our Bibles,and then to write it upon our hearts so we may truly understand it as you wish us to understand it. Amen.