31我若为自己作见证，我的见证就不真。 32另有一位给我作见证，我也知道他给我作的见证是真的。 33你们曾差人到约翰那里，他为真理作过见证。 34其实，我所受的见证不是从人来的；然而，我说这些话，为要叫你们得救。 35约翰是点着的明灯，你们情愿暂时喜欢他的光。 36但我有比约翰更大的见证；因为父交给我要我成就的事，就是我所做的事，这便见证我是父所差来的。 37差我来的父也为我作过见证。你们从来没有听见他的声音，也没有看见他的形像。38你们并没有他的道存在心里；因为他所差来的，你们不信。 29你们查考圣经（或作：应当查考圣经），因你们以为内中有永生；给我作见证的就是这经。 40然而，你们不肯到我这里来得生命。 41我不受从人来的荣耀。 42但我知道，你们心里没有神的爱。 43我奉我父的名来，你们并不接待我；若有别人奉自己的名来，你们倒要接待他44你们互相受荣耀，却不求从独一之神来的荣耀，怎能信我呢？ 45不要想我在父面前要告你们；有一位告你们的，就是你们所仰赖的摩西。 46你们如果信摩西，也必信我，因为他书上有指着我写的话。 47你们若不信他的书，怎能信我的话呢？
Scripture: John 5:31-47
31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study[a] the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God[b]?45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
In our social life, scientists use scientific argumentation and experiments to prove the correctness of a theorem. Courts also need physical and personal evidence present to judge cases. In our education, we also need a complete logic and thinking process to prove the correctness of the system. In general, if you want people to believe in something, you need evidence to prove it, and you need people to testify.
In this passage, Jesus responded to doubts about his identity and proved from the perspective of four different witnesses that he is God, and in him there is redemption and eternal life. On the surface, Jesus is responding to people’s challenges to his identity. In fact, Jesus is using his answers to challenge us whether we truly believe in Him and whether we really understand the Bible (God’s all abiding Word). Are we still using human logic to ponder upon the truth of the kingdom of God?
Points for Focus:
1. Challenge Jesus: Testify for the Son of God
Introduction: John 5:31
The testimony of John the Baptist (John 5:32-35)
Testimony of Jesus' work (John 5:35-36)
The testimony of God the Father (John 5:37-38)
Testimony from the Bible (John 5:39-47)
2. Challenge us: accept the Son of God
We value witnesses, but we should focus more on the witnessed Lord Jesus.
We value knowledge and grace, but we should yearn for the life-giving Savior Jesus.
Whether our eyes are really opened, we can read the Bible and see things on the earth with the eyes of Christ.
We are in an age of skepticism. Pastor Tim Keller’s two books, "The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism" and "Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism", have the subtitles "How to Transmit Truth and Belief to a Doubtful Generation." Jesus gave us his witnesses to respond to the challenge of the unbelieved; Jesus also gave us a challenge. Do you/I really accept Jesus as the Lord of life and bear witness to him in a skeptical age? When we are in the truth of the Bible, in the life of the Lord Jesus, in the cloud-like testimonies of believers throughout the ages, we need to repent and think about how to bear witness to the Lord in such an age.