This is the sermon for Wednesday January 9th 2008.
WITNESSES FOR JESUS – A
We are continuing in our verse by verse teaching in the book of John. We are currently looking into John 5. Last week we saw Jesus defend Himself against the attacks of the Jews. They were upset and angry because He healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda and the healing took place on the Sabbath. In verse 19-29 Jesus defends Himself by declaring that He is the submissive Son; the honored Son; the bringer of life; and the judge with full authority.
This week and the next He is going to bring up witnesses who will stand in His defense.
How many of you have been either a witness in a court case, or perhaps on the jury, or have just been in the crowd of the court case?
When I was a little boy, we lived in Waurika Oklahoma. It was a small town of about 1800 people. My Dad pastored the Assemblies of God church there. There was a murder that took place in that town. A man had killed his grandmother for money for drugs. One of the witnesses against him was a lady who happened to go to our church. So Dad took me up to the courthouse to watch as she gave her testimony. It was just a small town, and the murder so gruesome, that we had news reporters from Lawton Oklahoma and Wichita Falls Texas down. We went to about 3 days worth of testimony and I suppose most of the town was there because it was packed. Anyway, with the help of that ladies testimony and others, he was convicted of the crime.
Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus Himself needed testimony? Well, it is true, He needed it. You see, in the Jewish culture He lived in, they required the testimony of at least two or three witnesses. This legal requirement is based on Scripture.
Deuteronomy 19:15 CSB – One witness cannot establish any wrongdoing or sin against a person, whatever that person has done. A fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
In today’s and next week’s passages, we are going to look and see the witnesses that Jesus brings up concerning Himself. Let’s look into our Scripture text tonight and see what God would say to us.
1. Jesus is dependant.
John 5:30 ISV – I can do nothing on my own accord. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”
A. I imagine that the fact that Jesus is dependant is something that most people don’t like to hear, or even think is true. I mean, how can it be possible?
I believe He was dependant because He humbled Himself, not to do His own will, but the will of the Father, or the one who sent Him. Notice it says this in the latter portion of the verse. And because He humbled Himself to do the will of the Father, He made Himself dependant.
B. Jesus judgment is different that those of the Jewish leaders.
There judgment is based on their tradition. Remember, they are judging Jesus here because He healed on the Sabbath. Jesus judgment is just is and true, not because it is based on tradition, but it is based on the will of the Father, again the one who sent Him.
C. In the area of judgment we must be very careful.
We must not judge someone based on our tradition or belief system and then turn around and say that it is based on God’s Word so it is correct. We must be humble in our judgments. Studying the Scriptures constantly, making sure that we have a clear understanding of the Father’s heart and ways.
2. What Jesus is dependant on is a need for some witnesses.
John 5:31-32 ISV – “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. (32) There is another who testifies about me, and I know that the testimony he gives about me is true.”
A. Jesus makes the point that just His witness alone concerning Himself is not enough to back up His claims.
He will need other witnesses as well.
B. Here are some of the witnesses that He will bring up to these Jews in the next two weeks:
1. The witness of John the Baptist.
2. The witness of His works He does.
3. The witness of the Father’s testimony.
4. The witness of the Scriptures.
C. Jesus states in verse 32 that there is another that testifies about Him. Who is this other?
Some scholars state that it is the Father, which we know does testify about Him. Some state that it is John the Baptist because He comes next. The Greek word doesn’t really seem to answer the question. There are three different Greek words for other. One means, “other of the same kind,” (Which would mean the Father); another means, “other of a different kind,” (Which would mean John the Baptist); and then we have this one which just means, “other.”
I personally believe it is John the Baptist because He goes right into the testimony of John right after saying this. But I don’t have a problem with believing He could be meaning, the Father either.
3. The witness of John the Baptist.
John 5:33-35 ISV – You have sent messengers to John, and he has testified to the truth. (34) I myself do not accept human testimony, but I am saying these things so that you may be saved. (35) That man was a lamp that burns and brightly shines, and for a while you were willing to rejoice in his light.
A. While obviously Jesus didn’t need human testimony for Himself (v. 34), these Jews did human testimony concerning Jesus.
B. God provided this human testimony in the person of John the Baptist.
Before Jesus came on the scene, John was preaching about His coming.
John 1:6-9 ISV – 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9 This was the true light that enlightens every person by his coming into the world.
John 1:29-30 ISV – 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’
4. The witness of the Works of Jesus.
John 5:36 ISV – But I have a greater testimony than John’s, for the works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.
A. While John’s testimony concerning Jesus was great and important; Jesus presents a greater testimony concerning who He is: His works.
It is not just His works, but it is the works that the Father has given Him to complete. These works are powerful testimonies. How?
Well, who has ever heard of a lame man being healed in the Sabbath? Who has ever heard of water turned to wine? Who has ever heard teaching like the teachings that Jesus gives? All these are powerful signs that testify that Jesus truly is the Son of God, the Messiah.
B. What Jesus is saying here is that He wants these Jews to judge Him, not on the basis of their tradition, but on the basis of His works.
C. Next time we will look at the other witnesses Jesus brings up.
Is their anything from this passage that we can learn for our lives?
• Jesus wasn’t afraid to have people of His day, nor our day for that matter judge Him. Why? Because the evidence still backs up His claims.
• Don’t be worried or fearful when people try to challenge the claims of Jesus.
• Because He has one other powerful testimony: You! If you are a believer, you are a changed life, so just tell your story of how God has changed your life.
Maybe the enemy has been putting questions in your mind concerning the validity of Jesus Christ. He will do this from time to time. Take these Scriptures I have in the lesson plan, and then go home and do a study through Scripture yourself. You will see that the evidence is strong and convincing concerning who Jesus is. Throughout the rest of this week, just thank Him for being your Savior, Redeemer, and Lord.