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Friday, June 24, 2011

7 Fold Witness of Christ

John 5:31-47 masterfully proves the deity of Christ.  In the preceding verses Jesus has healed a man who was an invalid for 38 years.  He performed this healing upon the Sabbath and the Jews were extremely upset.  The Jews took great offense to work being done on the Sabbath and they wanted to kill Jesus for it.  The issue underneath the Sabbath breaking is what really drove their anger.  Jesus claimed to only do the work that His Father did.  The Jews understood His statement to mean that He was claiming equality with God (5:18). 

The tension in this conversation was really heating up.  Jesus is claiming equality with God and the Jews are plotting murder.  Jesus does not sidestep the situation, but rather in verses 5:19-30 Jesus tells them He does exactly what His Father says, that the Father loves the Son, that He will raise the dead just like His Father, that the Father has committed all judgment to Him, that if they do not honor the Son they show no honor for the Father, and that all men will give account to Him at the final judgment.  Wow!  Can you imagine what the Jews who heard Him speak must have been thinking?  Jesus does not stop there, but continues forward and gives the foundation for His position.

The Mosaic law required more than one witness to establish a matter, so Jesus brings seven (7) witnesses to the table to prove His position.
1) εάν εγώ μαρτύρω περί εμαυτού [If Jesus bears witness concerning Himself (alone), His testimony would not be true.  This does not mean He does not bear witness of Himself (8:18), but that He has others to back up His testimony.
2) άλλος εστίν ο μαρτύρων περί εμού [There is another who bears witness concerning Me.  The Holy Spirit is the other witness and functions as the internal witness to men's conscience.]
3) ιωάννην μεμαρτύρηκεν τη αλήθεια [John has borne witness to the truth.]
4) τα έργα α ποιώ μαρτυρεί περί εμού [The works I do bear witness concerning Me.]
5) ο πεμφας με πατήρ εκείνος μεμαρτύρηκεν περί εμού [The Father who sent me bears witness concerning Me.]
6) γραφάς . . . εκείναι εισίν αι μαρτυρουσαι περί εμού [The Scriptures . . . is they that bear witness concerning Me.]
7) Μούσης . . . περί γαρ εμού εκείνος έγραφεν [Moses . . . for he wrote about Me.]

What a glorious Savior we find in John chapter 5.  He clearly reveals Himself to be God in human flesh.  He does not back down from the religious crowd of the day.  He gives authoritative, accurate truth to validate His identity.  This chapter is worth some long and prosperous meditations.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


In John 4:39-42 we find a progression of belief that is beneficial for our souls.  The woman of Samaria returns to town to μαρτυρουσης (testifying).  It is a direct result of the woman's testifying that many in the town επίστευσαν (believed).  The Greek word πιστεύω (believe) does not always mean saving belief.  In John 2:23 we find that many επίστευσαν (believed), but that belief was not a saving belief as verses 24-25 reveal.  Likewise, here in 4:39 the belief is not to the level of a saving belief.  They believe to the level that they are willing to go outside of the city and test what the woman has spoken.  In John 4:42 the crowd specifically says, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."  They had believed to one degree because of the woman's testimony, but now that have a personalized belief, because they have heard from the Master.

There is a marvelous transition found in these few verses that is necessary for all true believers.  We certainly may come to believe as a result of man's testimony, but each person must go to the Word of God and hear from the Lord and come to true saving belief.  Perhaps the following illustration may help.  I believed in the Grand Canyon when my father told me about it.  However, when my eyes looked upon the Canyon I then truly believed.  I believed in Jesus when my Sunday School teacher told me about Him, but when my ears heard Him speak from the Word and my eyes saw Him by faith through the Word, I truly believed.  Every person needs a personal faith based upon the revelation of Jesus Christ through His Word.  It is wonderful to believe upon Him, because He revealed himself in Scripture rather than to believe simply in what someone else has said. 

It is good for man to leave the hustle and the bustle of the city and go out of town for the purpose of being alone with Jesus at the well in the middle of the wilderness.  Sweet communion can be found when we find a place to meet with Him without the distractions of the world.   

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


In John 4:26 in the conversation with the woman at the well Jesus uses a title that is unmistakably divine.  The woman says that she knows the Messiah is coming who is called the Christ and that when He comes He will tell them all things.  Jesus responds to her statement by saying, "εγώ ειμί, ο λάλων σοι (I AM He, the One speaking to you)." John's gospel alone has at least 24 references to the 'I AM' phase.  The phrase is unmistakably divine and finds it roots in the OT.    God appears to Abraham as says, "I AM God Almighty" (Gen. 17:1).  God appears to Isaac and says, "I AM the God of your father Abraham" (Gen. 26:24).  God appears to Jacob and says, "I AM the God, the God of your father" (Gen. 46:3).  At the burning bush God appears to Moses and says, "I AM the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Exo. 3:6). When Moses ask who he is to say sent him he hears this reply, "I AM WHO I AM". And He said, Say this to the people of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you" (Exo. 3:14).  Thus, the 'I AM' statement has divine roots to it and for someone to use this statement as an proclamation of who they are is remarkable. 

Can you imagine a person today identifying themselves as the 'I AM'?  This is exactly what Jesus does in His earthly ministry.  He boldly proclaims to the woman at the well that He is the 'I AM'.  The Word of God reveals Jesus to be the great 'I AM'.  Consider these claims: I Am the Christ (Jn. 4:26).  I AM the bread of life (Jn. 6:35).  I AM the bread that came down from heaven (Jn. 6:41).  I AM the light (Jn. 8:12).  Unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins (Jn. 8:24).   When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM (Jn. 8:28).  Before Abraham was, I AM (Jn. 8:58).  I AM the door of the sheep (Jn. 10:7).  I AM the good shepherd (Jn. 10:11).  I AM the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25).  I AM the way, and the truth, and the life (Jn. 14:6).  I AM the true vine (Jn. 15:1).  I AM the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1:8).  I AM the first and the last (Rev. 1:17).  I AM He who searches the mind and the heart (Rev. 2:23).  I AM the root and the descendant of David the bright and morning star (Rev. 22:16). 

The deity of Christ shines forth in the I AM statements of Scripture.  There are many more throughout the Word of God besides what I have listed here.  I come agree with the officers who came back and reported to the Pharisees, "No one ever spoke like this man!"  Many men hold different opinions about who Jesus really was, but it is for certain that Jesus has no doubts about His own identify.  He knew who He was and it is incumbent upon us to believe Him for who He claims to be.