Summary: Testimonies about Jesus. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: John chapter 5 verses 31-47.
Things people actually said in court, word for word:
• Question: “What is your date of birth? “
• Answer: “July fifteenth”.
• Question: “What year?”
• Answer: “Every year”.
• Q: When the car crashed, what gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
• A: T-shirt, jeans and Reebok trainers.
• Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?
• A: He said, "Where am I Cathy?"
• Q: “And why did that upset you? “
• A: “Because my name is Susan”.
• Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?
• Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?
• Q: Was it you or your younger brother who was killed in the war?
• Q: “Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people? “
• A: “All my autopsies are performed on dead people”.
Well, this answers just goes to prove that…
• When we are looking to prove something, we need reliable witnesses.
• We want the help of those who see it right and hear it right.
• We want the help of those who remember it right and get the facts right.
• We want the testimony to be reliable and trustworthy.
JOHN CHAPTER 5 IS A DRAMA IN THREE VIGNETTES;
• Vignettes is this week’s newly discovered word;
• So I thought I would share it with you.
• Question: What does it mean?
• Answer: In theatre script and poetry writing,
• Vignettes are short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment;
• Or give a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting
• I suppose a more modern word, would be; ‘Snapshot’
• A short incomplete moment that reveals so much.
John chapter 5 is a drama in three vignettes or snapshots;
• Verses 1-15: A miracle – the healing of a man paralyzed for 38 years.
• Verses 16-30: A series of claims – where Jesus declares that he is equal with God.
• Verses 31-47: A defence – where five witnesses are introduced to verify his claims.
Before we meet the witnesses; I want us to note the words of Jesus in verse 31:
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.
• Jesus is not saying that his claims are false;
• Here he is saying that in a court of law one witness alone is not valid.
• In Jewish, Roman and Greek law the testimony of a single witness was not accepted;
• He must have other witnesses to support his case.
• Quote: Deuteronomy chapter 19 verse 15:
• On the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.
(1). Witness number 1: God the Father (vs 32):
“There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is true.”
• If we had a copy of John’s gospel in Greek;
• The language that it was first written down in,
• The verse we read would reveal two grammatical points;
• That add more colour and flavour than we have in our English translations;
(A). NOTICE HOW JESUS INTRODUCES GOD THE FATHER.
• “There is another”.
• In the Greek it can read; “There is another of the same kind”.
• Don’t forget the section you looked at last week;
• Jesus claimed equality with God the Father;
• And he is doing so again in this simple but profound statement.
• The ‘Nature’ of people is humanity (that never changes).
• All people are human beings (that is an unchanging truth).
• But all peoples outward form is always changing;
• We were babies, children, teenagers, adults, middle aged & elderly).
• ill: 3 ages in life!
• “When you are young, middle aged and when you are looking very well!”
• Roses, daffodils, tulips and chrysanthemums, primroses, daises etc;
• All have one ‘Nature’ – the nature of flowers.
• But their outward form is always changing;
• They are different sizes, different colours, different appearance and different scents.
• Aspirin, penicillin, magnesia etc
• All have one ‘Nature’ - that of drugs
• But their outward form is different to look at;
• The ‘Nature’ never changes but the outward form continually does.
So too with Jesus!
• Jesus is in ‘Nature’ – God the Son - He is unchangeably divine.
• And although his outward appearance changed (he became human ill: grow up);
• In his very core, his very nature,
• He was and is and always shall be divine.
(B). NOTICE THE LITTLE EXPRESSION “TESTIFIES” OR “BEAR WITNESS”:
• Once again the original Greek adds more colour to that expression;