Summary: 1. The witness of God the Father (vs. 31-32; 36-38). 2. The witness of the Lord's works (vs. 36-40). 3. The witness of God’s Word (vs. 37-47).
Sure Witnesses for Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - September 21, 2016
(Revised August 3, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 5. But before we read, we need to know that this whole chapter flows out of one of the Lord's amazing healing miracles. The healing took place in Jerusalem by the pool called Bethesda. There Jesus instantly healed a man who had not been able to walk for 38 years!
*But Jesus performed this healing on the Sabbath Day. That was not a crime against God's Law. But it was a crime punishable by death under the man-made laws of the Jewish scribes and Pharisees.
*As soon as Jesus began to respond to their charge, He committed another crime punishable by death. This new charge against the Lord was blasphemy, because when Jesus called God "My Father," He made Himself equal with God.
*We see these charges in vs. 15-18, where the Bible says:
15. The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
16. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
17. But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.''
18. Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
*In vs. 19-23, Jesus pleaded guilty to the charge of making Himself equal to God, and that was the right thing to do, because Jesus IS the one and only eternal Son of God.
*The Lord's testimony before His accusers continues until the end of this chapter. And as Jesus built His case before them, He pointed them to four sure witnesses for our Savior. Last week we looked at John the Baptist, and this week we will focus on the other three.
*In vs. 34, Jesus pointed out that He was telling these things to His accusers so that they "might be saved." Why did the Lord do that? Why did Jesus urge those men to pay attention to His witnesses? It's because God loves lost people, and He wants them to be saved! God loved them, and He surely loves us!
*With this background in mind, let's read vs. 31-47. And as we read, please think about how much God loves us.
*Even at our best, we are light years away from grasping how much God loves us. In Jeremiah 1:5, the LORD told Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." And the same is true for us!
*Think for example about all the circumstances God had to arrange to get you into the world. If you go back just ten generations, the Lord brought 1,022 people together as man and wife to give life to you. That number doubles every generation farther back you go. Everyone of those people had to meet at the right place at the right time, fall in love, stay in love, stay alive, and have babies who survived all kinds of disease and danger.
*You are I are in the world because God gave us life. Down through the ages, God did billions of things big and small to make sure we got here. It really is a miracle that we were ever born in the first place. And why did God make sure that we were given life? Because He loves us!
*God wanted us to have earthly life, and He wants everyone to have eternal life with Him in Heaven. The Bible makes this truth clear in places like Matthew 18:14, where Jesus said: "It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." And 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that "the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance."
*God wants people to live forever in Heaven. This is why Jesus told those Christ-rejecters about His rock-solid witnesses. Everybody needs to pay attention to these witnesses, because it will make the difference between everlasting life and everlasting death, between eternity in Heaven and eternity in hell.
1. FIRST WE HAVE THE WITNESS OF GOD THE FATHER.
*We can see the Father a couple of places in tonight's Scripture. But first notice that in vs. 31, Jesus said, "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true." Here the Lord wasn't suggesting that He might be dishonest. In fact, Titus 1:2 tells us that God cannot lie.