John 5:31-47

John 5:31-47 has Jesus continuing to tell His story.  He says clearly that it isn’t just His word that people should believe, but the reality that He has been confirmed by God Himself, and John the Baptizer who both gave witness to Him.  And then Jesus makes it clear why He is here.  I love how the Message version says it: “But my purpose is not to get your vote, and not to appeal to mere human testimony. I’m speaking to you this way so that you will be saved”.  Jesus did not come to win a popularity contest.  He came to save people.

He explains that John was sent to blaze the trail and create an environment that would allow Jesus to shine.  And then God confirmed Jesus and made it clear that He had sent Jesus.  The reality is that people have a short memory.  Jesus tells them there are two reasons why they didn’t know His story.  “There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously”.  They had forgotten the messages about who Jesus was because they didn’t take what they heard seriously.

When we treat God’s truth that way, it tends to vanish from us.  All through scripture we are told to remember.  We are told to memorize and meditate on God’s Word.  We are challenged to not only read and understand, but to KNOW scripture.  Jesus tells the religious leaders that “You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me”.  The Bible is to help us KNOW God and have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  We learn about Him through the scriptures.

Jesus was sent with authority.  He didn’t to make us happy.  He challenges the leaders about the way they focus on the Old Testament but selectively forget things in it that they didn’t want to hear.  They were big believers in what Moses had done and written, but they didn’t want to believe in what he wrote about – Jesus.  This came down to power and they weren’t about to give that up to this carpenter’s son from Bethlehem.  Jesus calls them on it and challenges what they were up to, “you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God”.

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