John 5:34-40

John 5:34-40 has Jesus making it clear that he wasn’t there to win a popularity contest.  God sent Him on a mission to save people from the punishment of sin – eternal punishment – that we’ll all face at judgment day if we don’t repent.  “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”.  John the Baptist was the first to bring that truth.  He shined a light on the sin problem all mankind faces.  “John was a torch, blazing and bright, and you were glad enough to dance for an hour or so in his bright light”.

And while John did a great job lighting the way, Jesus makes it clear that there was a much bigger and better one.  “But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete. These very tasks, as I go about completing them, confirm that the Father, in fact, sent me. The Father who sent me, confirmed me”.  Jesus claimed another witness regarding His identity and deity – the very works that He did. This present controversy started with a remarkable healing of a man paralyzed for 38 years. This was one of many works that testified to the deity of Jesus.  The New Testament is full of them.

God Himself has testified that Jesus is His Son, sent to save the world.  In virtually every work and word of Jesus, God the Father testified to Jesus’ status as the Son of God. But specifically, the Father testified of the Son in Old Testament prophecy and at the baptism of Jesus.  He makes it clear that Jesus is His Son.  But the religious leaders of the day missed it completely.  “And you missed it. You never heard his voice, you never saw his appearance. There is nothing left in your memory of his Message because you do not take his Messenger seriously”.  They were too caught up in protecting their turf to even hear what God has told and shown them about Jesus.

They miss this truth because they were looking for the wrong thing.  “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! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want”.  Jesus makes it clear that they were looking the wrong place.  It’s not that scripture is bad, but they read it not to search for God, but to find arguments to support their own positions. They did not really love God; they loved their own ideas about him. They weren’t really looking for the Savior.  We must be careful not to do the same, to be self-focused rather than looking for the One who was sent to save us!

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