Summary: Jesus has just claimed to be equal with God, to give eternal life (18), to be the source of life (26) & to be the judge of life (27). Are there any other witnesses to support this almost unbelievable claim? There most certainly are!
JOHN 5: 33-38
WITNESSES FOR THE DIVINE SON
Jesus has just claimed to be equal with God, to give eternal life (18), to be the source of life (26), and to be the judge of life (27). Jesus was claiming to be divine. Are there any other witnesses to support this almost unbelievable claim? There most certainly are. This section stresses testimony supportive of Jesus’ claim.
Jesus’ authority was brought into question by His critics so He refers to collaborating witnesses. Jesus identifies six authenticating witnesses who buttress His claims. The first one we looked at last week was the witness of God the Holy Spirit from verse 32. The next three, the witness of John, the witness of Jesus’ works and the witness of Jesus’ Father we will look at tonight.
I. THE WITNESS OF JOHN, 33-35.
II. THE WITNESS OF WORKS, 36.
III. THE WITNESS OF THE FATHER, 37-38.
[IV THE WITNESS OF SCRIPTURES, 39.]
[ V. THE WITNESS OF MOSES, 46.]
God gave the Jew’s one of their own who bore powerful witness to Jesus. Verse 33 states, "You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth.
Jesus refers to a delegation sent to John the Baptist (1:19-28) from the Jewish leaders. John told them he was preparing the way for the Messiah and then pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. John the Baptist preceded Jesus, identified Jesus, worked with Jesus, and directed his followers to become Jesus’ disciples. Since the leaders ask for John’s witness they should have paid serious attention to it. The you is emphatic. God did not leave the leaders without a witness, but gave them a highly respected and acclaimed prophet who uncompromisingly proclaimed the truth. The leaders simply chose to disregard God’s revelation to them for their own understanding of truth.
John the Baptist’s function was to bear witness to the way of God and the Son of God. [A good witness tells the truth as best he can.] John’s witness to Jesus is to have an abiding character and value (has testified, Gk perfect tense), it stayed with those who heard it and still speaks to us today. Yet the Jewish leaders did nothing with the truth they heard and it did not bear the fruit of repentance within them. They continued to trust their own perception and wisdom. So many others today still do the same.
In verse 34 Jesus explains that John’s witness was for them not for Him. "But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.
Jesus did not need to rely on human testimony for His own confirmation, but John’s work and witness helped people because he pointed them in their darkness to the light of Christ. John’s work was so that you may be saved. Many heard God’s message and believed and were saved. Jesus wants the leaders to be saved also so He was willing to answer their disbelief with proof of who He was. Jesus still today continues to prove Himself to people that they might be saved, but still today people refuse to bow the knee to Him and service Him as Lord of their life.
In verse 35 Jesus bears witness to John. "He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
John was only a lamp, not the true Light (1:9). As a lamp though he was a burning and shining light. He was fervent of Spirit filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb. In holy zeal he addressed his generation. He was a light to Israel to reveal to them the mind and will of God. They had been in prophetic darkness for 400 years till He came to instruct them. Light is refreshing and stimulating to one who has long lived in darkness.
John’s great popular movement was an anticipatory one, in which he pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. For a moment they thought the Messianic Age was dawning. Even though John’s preaching had some stinging rebukes, there was a great popular excitement about his message. The people thought that though Israel might be disciplined, their enemies would be destroyed. Although His ministry was enjoyed for a time, in the end, it was rejected. They had enjoyed John’s preaching and had responded to it but their response was short lived and superficial.
A lamp is given to light the way. We only continue to see it shining if we follow it. [Though God removed the lamp of John, gave them the Light of the World to follow.]
II. THE WITNESS OF WORKS, 36.
Verse 36 refers to the witness of the works of Jesus. "But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.