Whom Can You Trust?
Father, I honor You by honoring Your son, and I bear witness to his work in my life.
Read John 5:31–47
31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true.
33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
36 “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. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 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. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The New Testament does not say, ‘You shall know the rules, and by them you shall be bound,’ but ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’” (John Baille).
Truth is severely threatened today. Post-modern culture is suspicious of claims to absolute truth. Relativism reigns. Truth is what feels right to me—truth is what I make it! Subjective approaches to truth are not new, however. In Jesus’ day, religious leaders read Scripture diligently for truth, yet rejected Jesus outright (39,40). In their minds a blasphemous Sabbath-breaker could not possibly be the Son of God. Truth was what they made it. Ironically, they were more likely to accept self-styled messiahs who reflected their thinking (43). Not surprisingly, they earn the sharp judgment of Moses’ accusation (45–47).
Identifying the truth-tellers is desperately important. Note how often the
words “testimony,” “testify” and “believe” occur in these verses. Even though Jesus utters world-changing claims about himself, he recognizes that
they need incontrovertible backing. John the Baptist’s testimony is lightweight compared with his Father’s heavyweight backing. Though unseen, the Father is working with power in every part of Jesus’ ministry. You cannot observe Jesus at work without seeing God in action. His new way of living exemplifies God every step of the way.
False messiahs rely on their own testimonies, but you cannot dismiss that of
Jesus. I remember in sixth grade being mocked by a fellow student: “No intelligent person can possibly believe in Jesus. How absurd!” I then asked
him what he thought happened when Jesus was raised from the dead. How could he explain the empty tomb and the rise of a world-wide fellowship of believers ready to die over the resurrection? He became silent. Jesus does God things. Incontrovertibly. That’s why he holds the finest credentials
anywhere to justify our trust in him for the truth about life.
Which aspects of Jesus’ life most strikingly reveal the truth of his claims? How can we best testify to him in this culture of “truth is what I make it”?
Lord, I believe everything You have said about Yourself and about what Moses wrote of You. I pray for the grace to act always on what the Bible says of You and Your demands on my life.