Monday December 14, 2020

Today’s Reading: John 5:31-47

“If I testify about Myself, My testimony is not valid. There is Another who testifies about Me, and I know that the testimony He gives about Me is valid.

John 5:31-32

Reflection: We have all the evidence that we need to have faith in Jesus. In this passage, Jesus addresses the Jewish leaders who are seeking to have Him punished for healing a man on the Sabbath, a day when no work was supposed to be done. The Jews deem His miraculous work illegal work under the Law. While this work reveals Jesus’ Divine Power, the Jews decide to focus on how Jesus it violates the Law that they uphold. In response, Jesus builds a case for His identity as the Son of God. He takes their attention away from the letter of the Law, and brings focus to Himself as the fulfillment of it. In order to do this, Jesus utilizes the standards of Jewish Law to prove His case. In these times, one’s own testimony about his/herself was considered invalid and needed to be supported by the testimony of two or three trustworthy witnesses to be established. And so, Jesus presents His case to the Jewish leaders by revealing to them the witnesses who testify of His identity as the Son of God.

The first testimony is that of John the Baptist, who announced Jesus’ arrival in the presence of men, and also witnessed the presence of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit during his baptism of Jesus. The second is Jesus’ works, both miraculous and profound, which reflect the power and character of God. Healings, teachings, miracles and signs would prove Jesus’ Oneness with His Heavenly Father. A third witness to Jesus’ identity is the Scriptures, the words of the prophets which Jesus fulfilled as the Promised Messiah. The fourth is the words of Moses, who the Jews considered the greatest of God’s prophets, who wrote and prophesied of Jesus.

This evidence is not well understood by most of us. For the Jews of the time, however, these witnesses were well-known. Neither the prophesies of old nor the current accounts of John the Baptist and miracles of Jesus would have to be explained to these religious leaders. But even with all of this evidence, the Jews do not believe in Jesus’ claims of Himself. Why? Jesus reveals that it is because they do not want to believe. “You are not willing to come to Me that you may have life,” Jesus says. This is a sad thought. While Jesus provides all that is needed for people to believe in Him, there would be some who willingly refuse to believe Jesus’ claims. They are given food, but will not eat. They are provided water, but will not drink. This is true of many who hear about Jesus. Jesus is gracious to provide an abundance of all that we need to know Him. Some will intentionally keep themselves at a distance from Jesus and starve themselves of this Truth. Others will draw near to their Savior and have their fill.

It is incredible to think that the Son of God would choose to prove Himself to us, His people who do not recognize Him. But what is even more incredible is the fact that the Son of God would prove Himself for us. He would reveal Himself to us, draw near to us for our sake, that we might be saved through belief in Him. Jesus has gone great lengths to provide us with the Truth which proves His authority as God’s Only Begotten Son. Do you believe in Who He says He is?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in You. I thank You for being my Lord, my God, and my Savior. Thank You for going to great lengths to reveal Your identity and show Your love for me. I do not deserve Your Grace, Lord. I humbly receive the gifts of Your unmerited Favor and Love. Thank You, Lord, for being so good and so generous. I would be lost without the knowledge of Your Salvation. I believe in You, and ask that You help me to live a life that reflects the great Love that You’ve first shown to me. It is in Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Thru the Bible in a year (credit: John 5:19-47; 1 Chronicles 20:1-22:1; Zechariah8