Jesus’ Credentials~John 5:31-47
In this section of John 5, Jesus spent some time describing the testimonies of witnesses proving who He truly was.
The first witness was Jesus Himself in verses 30-32. But because a self-witness was not valid evidence in a Jewish court, Jesus stated that there was “another.” That another was John the Baptist which Jesus described in verses 33-35 as a shining lamp.
But since Jesus did not receive testimony from men, He claimed the witness of His works in verse 36. These visual manifestations of His verbal claims secured the fact that Jesus had been sent from God. These works could only be attributed to the divine authority and enablement of God Himself.
Jesus claimed His Father as His next witness in verses 37-38. He said if John’s testimony was not enough, He had a testimony even greater than John’s. That was the testimony of God the Father Himself. It was the Father who sent Him, and even the scriptures testified of that.
The very scriptures these Jewish religious leaders claimed to know and understand became the witness against them (verses 39-40).
And then Jesus got to the heart of the matter in verses 41-47.
He stated that the root of their unwillingness to believe was that they sought the accolades of men more than the glory of God. And though outwardly religious, they had placed the love of men over love for God. They loved their positions more than they loved the Lord their God.
One commentary I read had this to say about them, “They suffered from a misplaced and distorted set of values. They believed more in the prophets than the one the prophets actually declared.”
And to give further evidence of their departure from the truth, they simply missed Moses’ point when he spoke to them through the scriptures about the Christ who was to come. Jesus said to them in verse 46, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.”
The truth about Jesus exposes the true condition of the hearts of men.
So who do you say Jesus is? Do you say He is just a good man? Or a prophet?
He was all those things, but you can’t stop there. You have to go all the way and say that He is what He claims to be and that is the Son of the living God, one with the Father.