Sermon – March 24, 2019
In John 5, Jesus has claimed some great things: not only equality with God but the accompanying power and authority. Such claims are naturally wild – what kind of man claims such things? And, more importantly, what proof does he have? No doubt these were the questions that were floating through the heads of the Jews who stood before Jesus. Great claims need great evidence! Fortunately, those of us who believe have three grand sources of evidence to support the claims that Jesus makes. Today we get to think through these witnesses, and how we can use them for encouragement and evangelism today.
1. The testimony of man
Jesus’ first witness is a man who had featured already in John’s gospel: John the Baptist. He recognized rightly that Jesus was the point of his whole ministry, that he was the lamb come to take away the sins of the world and the very Son of God. We should not dismiss the importance of such personal witness, especially as we have so much more! We have 2000 years of Christian witness, our own personal witness, and the witness of what God is doing among others around us. These are not all we should rely on, but they are not nothing, either. Be encouraged by such witnesses, and by God’s own work in your life, for these speak directly to the truth of Jesus’ claims!
2. The testimony of miracles
Jesus’ next witness is nothing less than the works that he has done. These miracles, like the lame man made to walk, are only really explained by Jesus doing the very will of God, and being sent here by the Father. Such miracles were easy for those in attendance to affirm, but what of us? Do not despise the importance of resting on testimony to believe what is heard – everyone must do this! We have solid reasons to believe in the testimony of such miracles, even if science claims that they are impossible. Such miracles testify to the very power and authority of Jesus Christ.
3. The testimony of Moses
Lastly, Jesus calls Moses and all of the OT up as witnesses. The OT testifies to the importance and nature of the Messiah. Every strand of the OT leaves with a need for completion. Every promise, even those that are more-or-less fulfilled, lack a permanence and fullness which only Christ provides. He is the rightful end of the OT, the very person who makes it work. Let us read the OT in such a way that we always feel the inevitable pull toward Christ!