Summary: A sermon from John as Jesus is telling us who has testified concerning Him!
Ravi Zacharias in his book "Can Man live without God?" tells the following story. A young somewhat cocky cowboy was riding his horse one-day when he spied a hunched over old farmhand on a mule. Deciding to have a little fun the young cowboy drew his 6 shooter and told the old man to get down of his mule. He then asked the old man "if he had ever danced" and began to empty his revolver at his feet with great laughter. The old man slowly turned back to his mule (unamused) and put his hand into his pack and drew a shotgun and aimed it at the now bulletless young cowboy and he said, "did you ever kiss a mule?" To which the young cowboy said with fear "no but I have always wanted to!" TS--There is nothing like a bullet for motivation. While the Lord does not put a gun to our heads he does give us the stories of the Bible for direction and motivation. Are you listening?
Jesus was having a discussion with a group of men who neither motivated nor listening.
Jesus was having a discussion with a group of religious leaders who were not motivated to accept Jesus as the Son of God. If you remember in the beginning of John 5, Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath.
The religious leaders took issue with Jesus healing this man who had been crippled for 38 years. The religious leaders attacked Jesus for doing this good deed on the Sabbath.
Jesus counters by saying that He was equal to God, that God was His Father. In verses 19-47 Jesus has been giving a defense of the assertion that He and God are one in the same, or equal.
As we getting to the end of chapter five, Jesus says that He is not the only one who testifies to the fact that He is the Messiah or that He is God.
Today as we look at the evidence that Jesus presents that backs up His claim to being God, I hope that we will be motivated to recognize Jesus as Lord and that we will accept the evidence presented and that we will give ourselves completely over to Him!
I. THE WITNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST 33-35
In verses 31-32 Jesus is going to explain to these people that they do not just have to accept His own testimony about Himself.
The proof would not be decisive if Jesus testimony was the only one that the Pharisees had to go by. The Old Testament Law did not admit a man to testify in his own case, but required witnesses, Deuteronomy 17:6
Jesus testimony was true, but it was not in itself sufficient reason for others to believe. They had a right to expect other testimony or evidence to back up the statement that He had come from God. Jesus is not afraid of your questions.
Jesus is going to provide witnesses and evidence that He indeed came from God and that He was equal to God.
The first witness that Jesus appeals to is John the Baptist. READ VERSES 33-35.
In John 1:19-ff, the Pharisees sent people to John to see if he was the Messiah, they wanted to know who he was.
His response was found in John 1:23 which says, "I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ’Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said."
He quotes from Isaiah 40:3. The Pharisees understood what John was implying when he quoted this passage. These words introduce the great closing section of the prophecy of Isaiah (chapters 40-66). These chapters are full of rich promises and revelations about the coming Messiah. By implication, John by quoting this opening prophecy and saying that he is fulfilling it is announcing the approaching fulfillment of that whole section of Isaiah.
John’s testimony about Jesus should have been enough for many of the religious leaders who believed in John.
Jesus said that John was the “lamp” but that He was the “light” in that lamp.
The term “lamp” was in common use to denote a distinguished hero or teacher. The Rabbis were called “lamps of the Law”. David was called the ‘Lamp of Israel” (2 Sam 21:17)
Jesus was the light (John 1:8), John was the lamp that carried the light.
READ VERSE 35 again.
Some of those whom Jesus was speaking to were the some of the same ones who came to John in the wilderness and acknowledged that John was a prophet.
They enjoyed the ministry of John for a short time.
The people accepted John’s message for a while, they saw him as a distinguished prophet, so why did they stop enjoying his light? Was it because it pointed toward Jesus?