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Responding to the Evidence

ATP Blog 34 Response

John 5:39-47

The courtroom is silent. You are the judge. Four witnesses have completed their testimony. Now it is time for you to respond. What is the truth, and what will you do with it? In this case, the four witnesses were man (John the Baptist), Scripture, the works of Jesus Christ, and God the Father. All testified that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah or Saviour), the Son of God, and One with God. They all bore witness that what Jesus Christ said and did was true, and was from God the Father.

Source of Faith (verse 39) “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life.” It is interesting that Jesus would say this, because we know that God’s Words bring life. John 12:50 tells us that God’s Word is eternal life. Later, it is explained that the Word of God is not what gives the life, but God Himself, and keeping that Word in obedience (John 8:51). The religious leaders of that day looked to God’s Word for eternal life, but were picking and choosing what they wished to believe, therefore not looking to God’s complete Word. For God, it is all or nothing; there is no in between. Jesus finishes the verse saying, “it is they [the Scriptures] that bear witness about Me.” All of Scripture is inspired by God, and points to Jesus Christ. Eternal life comes by believing in Jesus Christ, and acting on that belief by submitting to God.

Check of Faith (verse 40) “You refuse to come to Me that you may have life.” The problem was not a lack of knowledge or evidence, but a choice to not believe! They were so ingrained in their traditions, based on false assumptions, and chose to ignore parts of God’s Word, only following what they liked. Much like many people today, the god they served was one of their own making, rather than the One True God they had been taught to follow! There is only one truth—the whole Word of God, and there is only one way—Jesus Christ. The evidence is there, and you have to choose what to do with it. The religious leaders chose to refuse Jesus Christ, despite the evidence. What about you?

Evidence of Faith (verses 41-42) “I do not receive glory from people. I know that you do not have the love of God within you.” Since they had refused Jesus Christ, the evidence was that the love of God was not in them. Thus, we can conclude that if a person accepts Jesus as the Christ, and believes fully in Him, then they would have the love of God in them as evidence of their faith. They thought Jesus was a glory-hound, seeking affirmation from the people to build up a team of supporters. Instead, Jesus sought humility, giving glory to God—to whom it is due. Humility, we learn later, is a fruit of the Spirit that demonstrates the love of God (Galatians 5:22-23), and the presence of His Spirit within.

Power of Faith (verse 43) “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.” Jesus is clearly stating that His authority comes solely from God the Father. Yet, the religious leaders were only accepting people who came in their own name! How like the way their ancestors had treated the prophets that they held so dear, who came in God’s name! Do you really trust a man’s word over God’s? Whose authority do you trust the most?

Accusation of Faith (verses 45-47) “There is on who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.” These hypocritical leaders had stated loudly that they believed Moses, who gave them the laws of God, yet even Moses pointed to Jesus Christ through those laws! Therefore, it was through the teachings of the one they looked to the most that condemned them for rejecting Jesus. We need to ensure that we are studying and believing the whole Word of God; it all points to Jesus Christ, through whom we have eternal life.

What will you do with the evidence?

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