The Trail to Validate Jesus
John • Sermon • Submitted
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Jesus at this point as done more than enough to validate who he is. As we have seen in chapter 5 he has also made several claims that He and the Father are one.
What is the overarching theme of the gospel of John?
So that we may believe.
And what is our key verse?
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Turn with me to John 5 and we are going to see Jesus give a defense, an argument, to help go towards that main goal of belief.
Picture with me we are in a court room. Jesus has been making all these claims, he is God, he was sent here to redeem his people. And you get this sense that the people while not probably audibly but in their hearts are shouting out, Prove it! Prove you are those things!
And so Jesus is on trail. He is standing before the judge, the jury and his accusers. He is defending himself, no lawyer necessary. And he is going to lay out his defense.
And this is of first most importance. Let me ask you this, if Jesus were not God, what would the problems be? There is no Christian faith. If this is not true it all falls apart. Paul talks about this in 1 Cor 15
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
This has to be true or we have nothing. And so it is important and necessary and so we begin to see Jesus unravel his case.
First up, he solidifies his claim.
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
Once again, I am God, I don’t do this on my own, I don’t do this because I’m seeking frivolous justice, I and the father are one, He has sent me, I will obey him, I will do his will, I will judge as he judges.
If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.
Woah, what a second. What a strange way to begin your defense, what I am saying is not true? This is the weirdest defense I have ever seen. Your right, this is not true.
No, thats not what he is saying. He is saying if I alone bore witness, this is not true.
Does Jesus did the validation of anyone else to be truth? Does Jesus need anyone to acknowledge him for him to be Jesus?
But, he is playing their game, he knows his audience and he is going to play by their “rules”
On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.
Jewish law required witness to validate what was being said. Anyone could say anything, but it was not considered true unless someone came along and gave it the thumbs up.
So okay, you want witnesses? Let’s bring on the witnesses.
Witness #1: John the Baptist
There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
There was a man, John, who bore witness of me and you accepted him, you believed him. You wanted to hear from him and even requested to hear from him. Notice Jesus refers to him in past tense, at this point he is probably imprisoned or may even be dead. But this man came you all accepted him.
Why? What did John proclaim? A messiah was coming. And you all got excited about it! You all wanted that, you couldn’t wait, John tell us more, tell us about this Messiah that is coming! We want to hear all that you have to say!
John was a burning and shining lamp. That is a powerful statement coming from the light of the world. John was a lamp showing the path, showing the way. And they believed him. It was only after Jesus came that they turned against John, why?
Because the Messiah was not what they were hoping for. He wasn’t the conquering king they wanted. He didn’t defeat all there enemies and establish his throne in Israel. Instead he turned over money tables and healed the blind, the lame and sick.
John the Baptist bore witness of who Jesus was.
Witness #2: The Works of Jesus
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.
So far Jesus has laid out a very unconventional defense. He first acknowledged maybe what he said isn’t true, now he is trying to defend himself using himself.
Jesus says look, the things I have done are much more validating than anything John has said. John said I was the healer, but you have seen me heal. John has said I am the life giver, but you have seen me change lives. John said I was the Messiah, but one day you will see me defeat death and deliver my people.
The only thing more powerful than someones claim about something is to see it for yourself.
I believe he can dunk. You have seen him dunk. He made the whole gym go crazy with his dunk.
I believe she can do a back handspring. You have seen her do a back handspring. She perfected the back handspring.
Thats cool, thats awesome, but once you and I see him dunk or see her do a back handspring, now we believe. Now it is validated.
Its not that I didn’t believe you, it’s not that I didn’t think they can do it, but now I have seen with my own eyes, there is no doubt at all.
John said all these things about Jesus, but now they have seen what he can do, there is no doubt.
Witness #3: God the Father
And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.
Not only does John and my actions tell of who I am, but the one who sent me also boldly declares who I am. You have never heard his voice or seen him in any sort of form, but he is there and is testifying to who I am and what I am doing.
Witness #4: The Words of Scripture
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 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. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
He is playing to his audience here. He knows the Jews and he knows how they love their scriptures and they love to hang their hat on how they love their scriptures. They know them inside and out but they miss the point.
I heard this example one time and it fits this so well.
Have you ever been on top of an observation tower before? Like really high up? I have been on top of one in Chicago, in Houston, the Space Needle in Seattle.
But probably my favorite is in New York City. In the middle of Manhattan is a beautiful, sleek building called Freedom tower, one world trade center, its the tallest building in the US and was almost $4 billion to build. You can go to the top of it, i have done it a couple times its really cool.
You get to the top and the blinds come up and you can see for miles and miles. On a nice day you can see all of each of the five boroughs. You can see lady liberty, just a little speck in the water. You can see Ellis Island, the Jersey Coast. Out in the distance you see Connecticut. This massive metropolis and you can see it all. Its amazing, breathtaking.
Imagine you are up there and the guy next too you says to you, what a nice window this is. I mean look at it, its perfectly clear with just the right amount of tint to protect your eyes from the sun. It is just big enough to not interrupt your view but small enough to be secure. Its strong enough to take on the rain but flex's enough to take on the movement with the wind. it really is a great window. He takes out his knife and shaves a little from the corner. He says if you give me your number I can share with the chemical compounds of this window and further validate how great this is.
He missed the point! Don’t get me wrong its a great window. Its a very expensive window. Its a necessary window. But its the view, thats the point, thats the whole reason the window is there! Otherwise they would just put a wall!
The Jews, and dare I say us, are so wrapped up in the bible and getting all the facts straight and knowing all the stories that we miss the point. We are so caught up in the details of the book we forget the hero of the book.
This book is true and this book is great and this book is necessary but with Jesus this book is nothing. This book testifies to who Jesus is and what Jesus has done.
Al Mohler- “The Jews failed to recognize the One to whom the Scriptures bear supreme testimony. The proof that they failed to truly understand the Scriptures was their refusal to believe in Jesus. The very Scriptures they studied pointed to Jesus.
Jesus finishes his argument with another cherished figure of the Jews, Moses.
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. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
You put all your eggs in the basket, that if you did what Moses told you to do you would be okay. Guess what, Moses was pointing to me. Moses was the forerunner for Jesus, for me! Your only hope is me, but you don’t believe. You don’t believe in his writings because you don’t believe in me.
Jesus systematically walked through why He was from God the Father and why is word is true. He didn’t need to do this to be Jesus, it didn’t make him who he was, but he did this so that they may believe.