John 5:25-29-Jesus now applies this same truth to those who have already died (see “dead” in v. 25, and “tombs” in v. 28). In verse 24, Jesus identified His voice with the very voice of God and said that those who believed Him, actually believed in God. Here, He speaks of those who died before hearing His voice (before He came). However, when they heard the voice of God (through the Law and the prophets as recorded in Scripture) they were hearing His voice…because they are one and the same. And, when they believed in the voice of God, they believed in Him. Consequently, they too will inherit the same eternal life.
John 5:30-42-Jesus says that everything that He does is initiated by the Father and is in keeping with His will. In verse 31, He says that if He bears witness of Himself, then that witness is not “true”. This does not mean that Jesus has given a false, untrue witness. It means that it would not be “true” in the sense that it would not be in keeping with the stipulations of the law…the legal qualification for a witness (see Deuteronomy 19:15…two witnesses are required). In other words, it would not be a correctly given witness. Jesus says that while John was a witness to Who He is…there is a greater witness…His works, His miracles. The Scriptures also bear witness of Him. But they are not willing to accept either witness. He has the multiple witnesses that the law requires. However, the problem is not the witnesses. The real problem is simply that they are not willing to listen to the Father (His witness) and be honored by Him. They are more interested in being honored by each other. They listen more to each other than to what God has said in the Scripture. They don’t want to place themselves in a precarious position by appearing to be in opposition with the standard, accepted theological position. They search through the Scriptures, believing that in them they will find the answer to matters concerning eternal life. And yet, when they read those Scriptures that point to Jesus as the answer…they refuse to believe them.
John 5:43-47-It was the claim that Jesus made, that He came from the Father, which gave the Jews such consternation. Had He just said that He came from man, that He was merely a prophet, then they would have been more receptive. But His claim to be one with God was what they were unwilling to accept. They should have been prepared for that claim because Moses himself had even spoken of it. And now, the very Scriptures that they allege to believe in (those from Moses) will be used to accuse them…because they spoke of Him.
Prayer: Lord, I confess to You that I want to be accepted, and even respected by other people. I don’t think that is a bad thing as long as it is kept in its proper perspective…why I want to be and what for. But please, help me to see the difference between wanting those things for their own sake, or for my sake…and wanting those things for You and for Your glory. Keep me from compromising Your truth in order to gain their acceptance and respect.