John 5:36-40 – Lesson #57

Jesus built a defense for His position along side God the Father because He was concerned for the eternal soul of His listeners; “I say these things that you may be saved” (John 5:34). As He talked to the Jewish leaders, He appealed to their sense of legal proof in the testimony of multiply witnesses. Jesus pointed to the testimony of John the Baptist, “this is the Son of God” (John 1:34), and then supplied additional evidence.

John 5:36-40
“But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish – the very works that I do – bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”

Jesus identified His many miracles as the works which testified of Him. Each miracle Jesus performed was for the purpose of giving glory to God and pointing to Himself as God’s “only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Peter would use this same appeal when speaking to those gathered on the Day of Pentecost: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst” (Acts 2:22).

Miracles were never the focus of His ministry, but Jesus knew His works were an important part of who He was. When John the Baptist sent disciples to Jesus to confirm He was “the Coming One” (Matthew 11:3), Jesus responded by saying: “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:4-5). Likewise, our actions (or lack of actions) become a testimony of what we really believe; “those who believe in God should be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8).

The final witness Jesus called in His defense was the very Word of God which the Jewish leaders held so dear. But in calling this witness, Jesus also made some biting accusations. God had given the written Word as a record of His mighty Hand working through all history, as well as His plan for the restoration of a relationship broken by sin. The Jewish leaders loved the Word and studied with great diligence, but they failed to see the true message; “they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2).

All Scripture points to Jesus; “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27). Let’s make sure that in our study of great truths we don’t miss the greatest truth of all. God’s plan, as testified to by multiple witnesses, is that Jesus Christ – the Son of God – came to set us free from sin and bring us back to the arms of a loving Father for all eternity.

Have a Great Day!
Steve Troxel God’s Daily Word Ministries