Hi everyone, it’s Mick here – welcome to Thursday’s podcast. We hope you are finding our podcasts an encouragement in your daily walk with Jesus. If so, we would love to encourage you to pass them on to friends, family, a colleague – it’s easy through our website or iTunes. Why not post something on Facebook or Instagram – share the podcast blessing and so share the gospel. It’s evangelism 101!
We continue with our them this week of ‘conversations’ – reflecting on the interaction Jesus has with various people to see what we can learn about how live out and share our faith. Today’s reading is John 5: 31-47 and our focus or memory verse today is v39: “these are the scriptures that testify about me”.
Today’s reading is a continuation of yesterday, and Jesus is going deeper into his conversation with the Jewish leaders. Who are these ‘Jewish leaders’? The nearest equivalent we have today would be senior church leaders and politicians – the Bishops, MPs and top civil servants of his day. This is a deep and challenging conversation but one which can help us all really understand Jesus. It answers the question “is Jesus really who he says he is?”
You’ve got to imagine yourself now in a court of law, and these Jewish leaders are questioning Jesus, and so he brings forward four witnesses who will support his case that he, Jesus, is God.
The first witness is a person: he refers in verses 31-35 to John the Baptist, who came to testify for Jesus. Since that time, millions and millions of real people can truly say that Jesus is who he says he is, the Son of God. You are listening to this Podcast so are one of them – well done!
The second witness is the work of Jesus: we read this in verse 36 when he talks about the work the Father has given him to do – this testifies “that the Father has sent me”.
The third witness is God himself. Verse 37 reminds us that “the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me”.
The fourth witness Jesus calls is the Bible. Remember the phrase I used at the beginning of this podcast? “These are the scriptures that testify about me.” The Bible is about Jesus – it’s always points us to him and how we can have a relationship with him. If we don’t see that, then reading it becomes boring and irrelevant; but when we do see this, the scriptures become a manual for how we live our lives and develop our relationship with Jesus.
John in his Gospel often refers to the new life that Jesus brings – eternal life he calls it in v39. The Bible verse that really stirred my life and brought me to Jesus was John 10:10 when Jesus says ‘I have come that you may have life, life in abundance’. What about you? Do you have a Bible verse/passage/story that God used to help you see that Jesus is who says he is?
Jesus is saying in this conversation, look, here is the evidence. Here are the four truths that witness to the fact that I am the Son of God. As we read the rest of the conversation, we see that some people still will not accept this (verses 42-46), but many have, including you so again, well done, you have chosen the right and Godly path in life. Be encouraged – Jesus has this conversation primarily with doubters and sceptics.They challenged him in a big way but he was sure in who he was, that he had been sent to change the world and that many would answer the call to follow him into this new way of life.
So, as you listen to these words hear this truth: do not to worry about what other people think; do not let the doubts of others about God and his Kingdom change your faith in Jesus. We live in a culture today where people are suspicious, even sceptical about faith – but there are still many people, people of peace the Bible calls them, who are looking for a new Godly way to live, they are looking for Jesus. Today, you and I can meet with Jesus afresh, and whatever this day and the days to come hold, we can know with absolute certainty that Jesus is who he says he is because the witnesses are clear, the evidence is certain and because of this today we can enjoy his full and overflowing life!
Lord, thank you for the Bible. Thank you for this amazing conversation we have read today. Thank you that you are the source of life. Fill me with your life today. Amen.
READING: John 5:31-47
‘If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favour, and I know that his testimony about me is true.
‘You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
‘I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish – the very works that I am doing – testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
‘I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
‘But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?’