ATP Blog #33 God Says
The end of John 5 is a listing of four witnesses. We have discussed the witness of John the Baptist (the forerunner), and the witness of the works of Jesus Christ. Today we get to the greatest witness, with the most authority: God the Father. It reminds me of the Bible trivia games we used to play; what we called the trump card, or Sunday School answer was either Jesus or God. A song we used to sing said, ‘God says it, so I believe it, and that settles it for me.’
Verbal Affirmation In John 5:37 Jesus explains, “The Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.” Twice in the gospels, we read of God the Father speaking affirmation of Jesus. At His baptism, God said (Matthew 3:17), “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Later, at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5) God said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Written Affirmation In the latter half of verse 37, Jesus further explains, “You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.” So if those two verbal affirmations, and the voice of God in Exodus don’t count, then where do we find the testimony of God the Father? Jesus answers that by pointing to the Old Testament as the Word of God given to the people.
Heart Affirmation The problem with many people in that day (and today), especially the Pharisees, was that they hadn’t moved the knowledge God provided from the head to the heart. Jesus explains in verse 38, “You do not have His Word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.” So, if you truly believe what God has said, then it will move from the head to the heart, and will be evidenced by what you do with the One He sent, which is Jesus Christ. God wrote a lot about His coming in human form: Immanuel, which is God with us. In fact, the whole Old Testament is dedicated to understanding mankind’s need for a Saviour, who that Saviour would be, and what that Saviour would do.
God says it … Do you believe it? The people of Jesus’ day had a hard time connecting the teachings of the Old Testament to Jesus Christ, for a variety of reasons. One of those was the convoluted teaching of the Pharisees, who had added their own spin and sets of rules. They had taught the people to pick and choose what they wanted to believe. Many teachers now do the same thing. I challenge you to read and study the Bible for yourself. See what God really has to say, and let the Holy Spirit teach you. You can use the teachings of learned scholars, but always double check what they have to say with what the Scriptures teach. Then move that knowledge to the heart and truly believe … let it affect your entire life and perspective.