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Witnesses to the Truth

Lent 2022

Read John 5:31-47

31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

John 5 clearly establishes who Jesus claimed to be. Now the truth of these claims needs to be evaluated. Claims always need to be evaluated for truth to hold any value, and truth needs evidence. One example is in the courtroom. Claims must be substantiated by evidence. Often the most powerful evidence is testimony that has been evaluated for its integrity and reliability.

This was also true during Jesus’ earthly ministry. For that reason, Jesus calls his witnesses to the stand: John the Baptist, God the Father, his own works, the Scriptures, and Moses. Jesus maintains that they all bear witness about him, and confirm his own witness. Jesus points out that the naysayers are willing to receive others based on their self-testimony, but despite his list of witnesses, they reject him.

While faith is defined in Hebrews as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” this does not mean it is without evidence. Our belief is anchored in a great deal of evidence, including trustworthy testimony. These witnesses reveal God’s love in Christ to the entire world. By the Holy Spirit, this testimony bears fruit in us by producing faith.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the testimony you have given me about your Son, Jesus Christ, through these many witnesses. Strengthen me to confess my faith without wavering that I may add my voice in giving witness to Christ, my Savior. Amen.

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