John Chapter 5
John 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
In summarizing all He has said from (verse 19), on about His equality with God, Jesus claimed that the judgment He exercised was because everything He did was dependent upon the Father’s word and will.
Jesus is saying here that Son of man or His flesh is not where the power is. His power is from His Spirit which is of God. His will is the Father’s will. Jesus is in perfect harmony with the Father.
One of the last statements Jesus expresses in prayer to the Father before His death on the cross is “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done” (John 17 final prayer). Jesus never varied from the Father’s will at all. It was His will, as well.
Jesus said they were six possible witnesses to His person (already evident in John):
(1) He did not yet claim His own witness to Himself (verses 31-32);
(2) John the Baptist was a witness (verses 33-35);
(3) His works or miracles are a witness (verse 36);
(4) The Father witnessed to His sonship (verses 37-38);
(5) The scriptures bear witness to Him (verses 39-40);
(6) Moses wrote of Him (verses 45-47).
John 5:31-32 “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” “There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.”
By two witnesses a thing shall be established. God made this rule; He lives by His own rules. When the Father spoke from heaven at Jesus’ baptism and the Dove of the Holy Spirit lit on Him, which was two witnesses.
Of course, a witness is also the Word. There is no question of who He is. It is proven over and over.
John 5:33 “Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.”
This is John the Baptist and he is actually the third witness and Jesus is the fourth. John’s whole ministry was to tell who Jesus was. John was a voice (spoken Word), in the wilderness proclaiming the coming of Christ.
John 5:34 “But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.”
John was a true witness, nothing more. John’s message was to those who would believe and accept Jesus as Messiah (Christ), their Savior. Had the Jews listened and believed John, they would have become Christians.
Jesus says “I really don’t need the testimony of man, but I tell you this because you hold John the Baptist in such high esteem, and I want you to believe and be saved”.
John 5:35 “He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.”
This too is speaking of John the Baptist. A great number of people did believe John and were baptized. You hear nothing at all of John’s personal life. I don’t believe he had one. I believe he was a man with a mission for God and that is all he did.
He did enlighten many to the fact that Jesus was Messiah. John the Baptist never wavered. He was faithful to death. John brought a light of the knowledge of who Jesus was. People believed him until he was beheaded. He was in his thirties when he was killed.
John 5:36 “But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.”
The miracles of Jesus were witness to His deity and messiahship. Such miracles are the major signs recorded by John in this scripture, so as to fulfill His purpose (in chapter 20:30-31).
In John 14:11 we read “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.”
Just look at the works. No man before or since, has ever done the miracles that Jesus did.
John 21:25 says “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
Jesus opened blind eyes, made the lame to walk, loosed tongues that could not speak, opened deaf ears, raised the dead, freed those possessed of demons, turned the water into wine, walked on the sea, spoke to the sea and it obeyed. You see, the works of Jesus were the greatest witness of all.
John 5:37 “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.”
The Father’s voice had been heard by the disciples, so this was spoken to the doubting Jews here. The Father on two occasions said from heaven “This is my beloved Son”. The apostles Peter, James, and John heard His voice.
John the Baptist heard the voice from heaven at the baptism also. The Father witnessed, as well, as we see here. The Word in the prophecies of the Old Testament was a witness as well. There are over thirty times Jesus (Messiah), was prophesied.
Has anyone actually seen God? Who, how, when, what part. In (Exodus 33:18), we find some of the answers to that question. God’s glory. Remember, this scripture is speaking of the Jews that Jesus was talking with.
John 5:38 “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.”
This is saying “You self-righteous religious people who claim to know the Word of God, you don’t know anything. You didn’t believe the prophets, and you didn’t believe John the Baptist.”
John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
Although the verb “search” could also be understood as a command (i.e. search the Scriptures). Most prefer the translation as an indicative. The verb implies diligent scrutiny in investigating the Scriptures to find “eternal life.”
However, Jesus points out that with all their fastidious effort, they miserably failed in their understanding of the true way to eternal life through the Son. Here is another reprimand. Jesus says “You claim to know the Scriptures, but you better go back and study them all over again”.
He’s telling them that they don’t know what they say. You are just reading words and you do not know what they mean. You think you have eternal life, but look again. You have overlooked the one who can give you eternal life”.
Christ is the main theme of Scripture.
John 5:40 “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”
They searched for eternal life, but were not willing to trust its only source.
Jesus offered salvation to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. The Jews did not accept Him. Of course, a few did, but not the great majority.
John 5:41 “I receive not honor from men.”
If Jesus agreed to be the kind of Messiah the Jews wanted, providing miracles and food along with political and military power. He would receive honor and glory from them, but He sought only to please God.
Jesus received everything but honor from men when He was on the earth, but He will come again as King of kings and Lord of lords and then they will honor Him.
John 5:42 “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.”
Man looks on the outward appearance, but Jesus looks on the heart. Jesus knows they have no love in their heart for Him. They don’t love anyone but themselves. They are puffed up with pride and are jealous of Jesus.
John 5:43 “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”
Jesus means Jehovah Savior. Jesus explains here that there will be false Christs they will believe, because they want a fleshly ruler and not a ruler of love. Jesus was not the warrior King they wanted, who would overthrow the Romans and take power.
Their problem was, they were looking for a ruler that would rule with iron. They will get this, but he will be antichrist.
The Jewish historian, Josephus, records that a string of messianic pretenders arose in the years before A.D. 70. This verse contrasts the Jewish rejection of their true Messiah because they did not love or know God (verse 42), with their willing acceptance of charlatans.
John 5:44 “How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?”
These religious rulers were looking for praise and honor on this earth from men. Jesus had told them they liked the upper most room at the banquets. He called them whited sepulchers, pretending to be God’s people on the outside, but actually dead inside.
Matthew 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men’s] bones, and of all uncleanness.”
They were not looking for praises from God, but from man.
John 5:45 “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.”
Jesus tells them here that if they do not accept grace from Him, they will be judged by the Law of Moses. Jesus will not have to accuse them. If they are to live by the law, they will be judged by the law. No man can live up to the law.
John 5:46 “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.”
Jesus does not mention any specific passage in the 5 books of Moses although there are many (e.g. Deut. 18:15; this chapter at 1:21; 4:19; 6:14; 7:40 and 52).
The first promise of the coming of Jesus is in Moses’ writings. (Genesis 3:15), promises Jesus will be the seed of woman and not of man. In Exodus, nearly everything in the holy place symbolizes Jesus. In fact, all five of Moses’ books are filled with the Lord. In (verse 47), we see the two witnesses; the spoken and the written Word. Jesus is both.
John 5:47 “But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”
Jesus says “Even though you say you follow Moses, you do not believe what he wrote, because he wrote of me. If you do not believe what he wrote of me, of course you will not hear what I say”.
John 5 Second Continued Questions
1. Why does Jesus say His judgment is just?
2. In verse 30, what is Jesus saying when He calls Himself Son of man?
3. In verse 31, what principle is Jesus teaching?
4. How many witnesses prove a thing?
5. What two at Jesus’ baptism were enough witnesses?
6. In verse 33, who is the witness?
7. Had the Jews really believed John, they would have been _________________.
8. Why had Jesus used John the Baptist as witness?
9. Who was a burning and shining light?
10. How was John killed?
11. Approximately how old was John the Baptist when he was killed?
12. What was a greater witness than John?
13. In John 14:11, what did Jesus say believe Him for?
14. How many miracles did Jesus do?
15. Who did Jesus tell that they had never seen the face of the Father nor heard His voice?
16. Who had heard the voice of the Father?
17. What in the prophecies of the Old Testament witnessed of Jesus?
18. Who was Jesus speaking to in verse 38?
19. What did He tell them to do in verse 39?
20. Why can they not receive life?
21. Who did Jesus say He did not receive honor from?
22. When will they honor Him?
23. Jesus sees in their heart and sees what?
24. Whose name did Jesus come in?
25. Whose honor do these Jews seek?
26. Who will accuse them to the Father?
27. What had Moses told them that they do not believe?
28. Where is the first promise of the coming Messiah?
29. In verse 47, what two witnesses do we see?
30. Jesus said “If you do not believe what Moses wrote, of course you will not hear what __ ____”