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Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 87 · 8 months ago

The Case for Christ

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The Case for Christ

John 5:16-47

Dax Bryant - Preaching

Maybe your thinking, how in the world are we going to get through all of the those verses? And this is why we need to pray. So will you join me? I'm actually going to use a puritan prayer this morning to help God buide us. That's by a man named Herman Witsius, or vizious, probably. It's called we worship Jesus, God and Man. Pray these words together. Christ Jesus, you are true and eternal God and true and holy man all in one. You retain the properties of both natures in the unity of your person. We acknowledge you and we worship you. We come to you and fall at your feet. We look for salvation from your hand alone. You are the only savior. We desire to be your exclusive property. We are by your grace and will remain that way forever. Let the whole world of your elect with us. No acknowledge and adore you and thus finally be saved by you. This is the sum total of our faith and hope. This is the height of all our wishes. Amen on Chapter Five, a big chunk of it. This morning it reminded me several years ago actually, when we were living in Ireland, a group of us were out, you know, on the street sharing the Gospel with people and I was approached by a man named Mohammed, and Iraqi Muslim living there in Ireland, and he came up to me in the is he issued this challenge. He said, if you can show me one place in the Bible where Jesus claims to be the son of God, I will convert right now. I could believe it. Okay, really. So where do you think I turned to show Mohammed that Jesus claimed to be God in the Bible? Gospel of John? Right, I'm not. That's what this whole book is about, the Gospel of John, and there are many, many places that we could point to in the gospel of John to see that claim by Jesus. Like I said, it's the whole point of the entire book and I think the passage that we're going to look at today this this big passage, even though it's maybe more overlooked than some of the others, this is one of the clearest places in John's Gospel where Jesus claims to be God. And if you noticed, as Jason read that passage for us, most of this passage here comes directly from Jesus's own mouth. In fact, from Verse Nineteen All the way to the end of the chapter, this is one big speech, one big monolog from Jesus. Now in the first fifteen verses of Chapter Five. We looked at that last week, just by way of reminder, we saw Jesus heal this man who had been an invalid for thirty eight years. He commanded him to get up, to pick up his bed and to walk into the city. And since it happened on the Sabbath, it wasn't so much the miracle that got the attention of the religious authorities, it was the bed carrying that got the attention. Remember that. And once the man was able to identify Jesus as the guy who had told him to do this, to get up and carry this bed and break these man made rules, the authorities...

...were on Jesus's trail. They were ready, so to speak, to put him on trial, we could say. And so that's that's how we're going to approach this passage this morning, kind of like a trial, and we're going to call this trial the case for Christ. In this trial we will see an accusation, we will see evidence introduced, we will see a star witness called to take the stand. And finally, the will be an incriminating indictment. So let me give you that again. There's going to be an accusation, and accusation specifically of blasphemy, in verses sixteen through eighteen. Then there will be five lines of evidence, five evidences of equality, equality with God, that will be given to us in verses nineteen through thirty. Then there will be the father's witness to Jesus's Deity. This is versus thirty one through thirty nine and finally, and incriminating indictment, versus forty through forty seven. So there is a lot to cover here this morning, so we had better get going. So first up, the accusation of blasphemy. This is verse sixteen. The accusation of blasphemy, and this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. Now again, from what we saw last week, Jesus technically didn't do anything himself except tell this man to pick up his bed and walk. But but this story, or or rather the story of that man being healed and walking in is part of a larger pattern of disputes about the sabbath and what should be done on the sabbath and what shouldn't be done on the Sabbath. And and Jesus might have used this moment, like he does in other places, to perhaps clarify what is the true meaning of the Sabbath, what is the true purpose of the Sabbath? who was the Sabbath made for? He might have done that, but instead he takes a different course here. He he kind of doubles down. Actually it's almost like, Oh, you're you're mad about what just happened on the Sabbath. Well, well, just wait till you hear what I have to say about it. It's look at his response here, verse seventeen. But Jesus answered them. Now that that word answered is important, even right it's it doesn't say Jesus said, Jesus answered them. That implies that that Jesus is responding to something. He's responding in the context to this accuatization, to this opposition from the religious leaders, and and the verb tends that's associated with that word answered there carries with it legal overtones. So this is very much Jesus offering his defense against the accusation being made against him. He answered them. My father is working until now and I am working now. Do you see what he's saying here? It's very simple, but it's also very profound. One of the burning theological questions of the day was does God keep the law? Does God himself keep the law? And the answer must be of course he does write it, because it's his law, so of course he keeps it. But as the rabbis discussed these things, the answer got more complicated than that. If God keeps the law, they...

...would say, then of course he must keep the sabbath, because the Sabbath is part of the law, and certainly we're told in genesis that God rested on the seventh day that instituted the Sabbath. So if God doesn't work on the Sabbath because he's keeping the law, then who keeps the universe running while he is not working on the Sabbath? This was the kind of thing these guys would like to argue about. So so here's how they resolve that problem. The rabbis concluded that God does work on the Sabbath. He has to for the universe to function. But since the universe, the whole universe, is God's home, then God never works outside of his home, so he never violates the Sabbath. So what does all that have to do with with the statement that Jesus makes here in verse seventeen? Well, simply this. This is what he's saying. Everybody agreed that that God is continuously working without violating the Sabbath. So when Jesus says my father is working and I am working, he's claiming that the same rule rules that apply to God also apply to him. In other words, it's if Jesus, and what he is doing, isn't breaking the Sabbath either, then it's also because the entire universe is his home. The implication, obviously, is that Jesus is God. Now is that? Is that putting words into Jesus's mouth here? Well, I don't think so, not when you look at the reaction, because the religious leaders clearly understood exactly what Jesus meant, and John Summarizes it there in verse eighteen. This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the sabbath, but he was even calling God his own father, notice making himself equal with God. It's one thing to break the Sabbath, but as Jesus explains this to the religious leaders, he claims that he can do so in their eyes because he shares the same nature with God, that he and God function in the same way, that he is equal with God, and they're exactly right to interpret him this way, because this is exactly actually what he means, and it leads to this accusation of blasphemy here, that Jesus is claiming to be equal with God. That's the accusation, and it is an accusation that Jesus welcomes, because he now has the opportunity to present his case, to demonstrate actually why this accusation is correct, and he's going to do so by introducing five lines of evidence. There's probably more if we wanted to Parse it out, but I'm going to stick with five here, five evidences of his equality with God. So here is evidence number one, or you could call it exhibit A. Jesus is equal with God in works. He is equal with God in works. Notice Verse Nineteen. So Jesus said to them. Truly, truly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the father doing. Now we know that Jesus is...

...equal with God, that he is fully and truly God, Divine Deity. But it's also true that in his earthly ministry, Jesus is submissive to the father. Somehow, within the mystery of the Trinity, even though there is equality, Jesus acts on behalf of the father. He does not act independently, but he perfectly carries out the father's will and works. So we see this pattern in scripture. During the Earthly Ministry of Jesus, the Father Sins, the son responds, the Father Commands, the son obeys. The Father Commissions, the son performs the father's will. The Father Grants Authority, the Son Receives Authority. But all that is to say that the Jesus is much more than just, you know, God's right hand man on earth, just functioning as God's ambassador or or representative. No, at the same time he also is God. So this submissiveness that Jesus displays, this doesn't lessen Jesus's divinity in any way because, when you think about what he's saying here, the only one who can do whatever the father does. To do that, he has to be equal to the father in Majesty and holinesses and and righteousness. This, this elevates the deity of Jesus and he shows us this in his works, that he only does what the father does. Now bear with me. I've struggled over this part here to try to make this flow. But in these next few verses we're given sort of a structure to help us kind of follow the argument. So I want you to notice here in these next few verses, how the word for fo R, the word for, is repeated four times. So the last sentence in verse Nineteen Begins Worth The word for. See that, and then the same little word for appears at the beginning of Verse Twenty and verse Twenty One and Verse Twenty Two. So we're going to try to hang our hat on those four account occurrences of the word for here to trace this argument. So first part of ourse nineteen, everything that the son does is only what the father does. The son cannot do anything that would set him in opposition to the father. And the end of Verse Nineteen solidifies that for, which we could also understand this to mean, because whatever the father, mother does, that the son does. Likewise, that's the first four. Just summarizes what Jesus said. He can only do what the father does. But how is this? How is it that Jesus can do whatever the father does? Well, look at the second for in Verse Twenty. For or because this is the father loves the son and shows him all that he himself is doing. So Jesus can do what the father does because the father shows him. There are no secrets, there is full disclosure. Out of love, the father shows the son all that he does and out of love the son perfectly performs whatever the father does. So whatever Jesus does is whatever the father wills and does. So here not only is Jesus claiming that his works are equal to God's works, but in his...

...carrying out of those work he's also at the same time revealing who God is. Does that make sense? And in fact he says, he summarizes this in verse twenty kind of closes it out by saying greater works than these. He will show him so that you may marvel. Will greater works than these to a direct reference back to what just happened in the story before, a man who was laid up for thirty eight years who can now walk. That's amazing, that's nothing compared to what's coming. So what are these greater works. They're found in the next two verses and whatever they are, they're going to lead unbelievers to marvel at God, maybe not immediately, but certainly on the last day. So notice the word for again at the beginning of Verse Twenty One, which means this is still related to what Jesus has been saying. So you you don't want to read these verses like they're disconnected, little fortune cookie nuggets of wisdom. Right. This is this is a logical argument. That use of for is just linking one phrase to the next. It's flowing one thought flow pin from one phrase to the next. So because Jesus is equal to God in nature, that's the accusation back in verse seventeen. He's also equal to God in Works Verses Nineteen through twenty, and Jesus is going to do greater works than what they've seen so far, because the son does what the father does. With me, I hope so. So let's look at these greater works here. The first greater work is also the second line of evidence. The first greater work is also evidence number two of Jesus's equality with God, and that is that Jesus is equal with God in power he is equal with God in power, specifically here the power of Resurrection Verse Twenty One full or as the father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the son gives life to whom he will. So think about what he's saying here, thank God, what he's claiming for himself, that he can give life to the dead. I mean, who else but God can do that? And notice that, even though we were told earlier that the son can do nothing of his own accord, the will of the son is so completely united to the will of the father that the son's choices are the father's choices. When he says the son gives life to whom he wills, he's doing exactly what the father does. Just as Jesus went into the pool at Bethesda and he chose one man out of the multitude to heal, so also Jesus chooses those to whom he gives life. So Jesus is equal to God in power. He can raise the dead to life. That's the first greater work, and the second greater work is this that Jesus is equal with God in authority. He's equal to God in authority. That's also evidence number three for Jesus's equality with God. He is equal to God in authority.

And that's the last occurrence of this word for in this little thread. Here, verse twenty two four, the father judges no one but has given all judgment to the son. Now that is stunning, especially for these religious leaders to hear this, because God is the judge of all the earth, were told in genesis eighteen. But here Jesus says that he is the one who will carry out God's eternal judgment on the last day. That's staggering. You want proof that Jesus is claiming to be God, look no further than this. But don't forget when we talk about judgment on the last day, Jesus says is simply executing the verdict that has already been declared. Do you understand this? I hope. You Hope. You know you're not. You're not waiting for future judgment in terms of kind of living your life and hoping that your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds and and you'll just kind of maybe see what happens at the end. Right. We know that John, John Eighteen, he says whoever does not believe is condemned already if you don't believe and you persist in that unbelief, the final judgment is simply the sentencing of that verdict. But the key here is that Jesus is saying that the responsibility of rendering final judgment on humanity clearly a prerogative that belongs to God alone, belongs to him. So are you keeping track here? Let me try to help us keep track of this. So Jesus is is introducing evidence to back up the accusation of blasphemy that's been made against him. He they think he's claiming equality with God, God, and they're right. He is. And here's why. He's saying I'm equal with God in works, I am equal with God in power and I am equal with God in authority. Now Verse Twenty Three, here's the fourth evidence. He is equal with God in honor. He is equal with God in honor. In the verse twenty two. The reason why the father has given all judgment to the son is this still that all may honor the son just as they honor the father. That's the positive side. So since since the son is equal to the father in all these ways, he is deserving of the same honor and glory that the father is due and and even though in this verse the word worship is not used, Jesus is saying that the same reverence due to the father is also due to him and that that must include worship, even though it's not explicitly said here. But what's more, Jesus continues whoever does not honor the son does not honor the father who sent him. So that's the negative side. So not only does Jesus deserve the same honor, glory reverence as God the father, but if they do not honor Jesus, that means also that they are not honoring the father. And if honoring God includes worship, which I think it...

...has to do, we understand what Jesus is saying here. He he deserves the same worship that God does, and failing to worship him, to honor him in that way, is failing to worship God. He's making very exclusive claims here. There is no way to God except through Jesus Christ. You can't embrace God at all without also embracing Jesus. He demands your worship, he demands that you honor him. So Jesus is equal to God in honor and and here's the last line of evidence that we're going to point out any way, that that Jesus introduces to prove his equality with God. Number five. Jesus is equal to God. In truth. He is equal to God in truth. Verse Twenty Four. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but is passed from death to life. So do you see the claim being made here? To hear Jesus his word, to trust in Jesus's word, is the same thing as believing in God the father, as trusting God the father. To believe what Jesus says is to believe what the father says, since, again, the son only does and only says what the father gives him to do and to say. And so, since the words and the deeds of the son are the words and deeds of the father, then faith or trust that is placed in the son is also faith and trust that is placed in the father. You follow. They speak the same truth, and the result of this trust, the result of this faith, were told in the verse, is Eternal Life. Whoever here's my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life. This is another thing I hope that we all know, but maybe we need to be reminded of. Eternal life starts now. You're not waiting for eternal life to begin when you get to heaven. Eternal life starts now. In fact, in this in this verse here, the present tense just screams off the page. In the original it's whoever here's present tense my word and believes present tense. Him who sent me has present tense eternal life. You already possess eternal life, believer, the moment you believe, and that means when you show up for your day in court on the last day, you've already been acquitted. You already possessed the eternal life that is God's gift to you for faith in his son. You. The resurrection life for the believer starts now. and Jesus is going to kind of run with that thought here in these next few verses and he kind of thumbs it up and even kind of circles back around. He we're going to see he comes back and touches on his equality with God in power, is equality with God in authority. Let's see this. As he summarizes here verse Twenty Five True, really truly, I...

...say to you, and our is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God and those who here will live. I notice he says an hour is coming and is now here. So there's a future aspect to this, but also something is here right now, something about the dead, dead hearing the voice of the son of God and living. That's happening in the future, that's also happening now. How can that be true? He's talking about spiritual resurrection, he's talking about regeneration, he's talking about the new birth. That is happening now. Those who hear the voice of the son of God in the message of the Gospel, in the internal witness of the spirit, they will live. They come to life spiritually now, and only one voice gives life to the spiritually dead. You don't come alive on your own, you don't wake yourself up out of death. You come alive when the Voice of God in Christ commands you to come alive. As Jesus says later in John Ten the sheep here is voice and he calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out. How's that possible? For Jesus to do that. It's only possible if he is equal to God. Right, and that's the big point here. Verse Twenty Six four, again, notice this word, because as the father has life in himself, so he has granted the son also to have life in himself. Again. Remember, this is all part of this evidence being introduced to demonstrate Jesus's equality with God and and really this this talk about life here is an extension of the claim made back in Verse Twenty One. He can give life because he has life. He can give life because he is life, and not just spiritually. There's a physical element to this too. Verse Twenty Seven, and he has given him authority to execute judgment. Here's that authority again, because he is the son of man. So not only has the father given the Son Life in himself to choose those whom he will give life to, but again he's also given the son the authority to execute judgment. Why? Because he is the son of man. We're told that that title, of course, comes from Daniel well seven. I wish we had more time to get into that. We will one day, but it's interesting here, just in this passage, that when Jesus's life, if giving work is in view, he refers to himself as the son of God, like in Verse Twenty Five, and when his work of judgment is in view, he refers to him self as the son of man, like here in Verse Twenty Seven, and I think that's because Jesus is truly God, but since he's also truly human, he is uniquely qualified, as the God man to judge humanity, because he has experienced all of our temptations yet remained without sin. Now, verse Twenty Eight, Jesus says do not marvel at this, and I think he's referring to this, this title the Son of Man, which...

...would have set off all kinds of little bells. And these guys as heads, don't get hung up on the fact that I'm using this messianic loaded title to refer to myself, or you're going to miss this. Do Not Marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgments. The day is coming when Jesus will speak and every dead body on the planet will rise, either to eternal life or to eternal judgment. And this is kind of the finale in this line of evidence, this this string of remarkable claims that Jesus has made, to say he year, I am the one who will raise the dead, I am the one who has authority to judge the living and the dead. And as these Jewish leaders are hearing that, they're thinking only God can do that, right, and Jesus is saying that's exactly exactly my point. And then to sort of wrap it all up and reinforce the the idea that he is equal to God, notice verse Thirty Again, I can do nothing on my own. That's how he started this, back in verse nineteen. In remember the son of man can do or sorry, not the sun of man. The son can do nothing of his own accordy, he says it again here on the back end. 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 again fully, God fully man, and because Jesus is equal with God, we can trust that that everything that he says, everything that he does, everything that he will say and do, including on the last day on the final day of judgment is completely in line with the father's will. So I hope you can try to put yourself in the shoes of these Jewish leaders who are hearing all of this and realize how infuriating all of this must have been as they as they accuse Jesus of claiming equality with God, rather then kind of walking back his claims or maybe clearing up some of that confusion to they're liking. Instead, he expands his claims, he enlarges what was implied. He now says clearly it's kind of like, you know you you want to persecute me because I healed this man on the Sabbath and I told him to pick up his bed and walk. Well, get ready for this. Let me tell you exactly who I am and by what authority I do these things. And he gives these five evidences of equality with God. I'm equal in works with God, I'm equal in power with God, I'm equal in authority with God, I'm equal in honor with God, I'm equal in truth with God. I give life, I execute judgment. Forget about but...

...the healing of this man that has you all worked up. I'm telling you I am equal in nature to God Almighty himself. That's what you really need to be concerned about. And did you notice, as you're looking there, especially when we get to verse thirty, how the language suddenly shifts? Up until well verse thirty, Jesus has been referring to himself as the sun or for the son of God or the son of Man, but here, Verse Thirty Onward, he shifts to the first person. Now it is I me, myself, my own. There's no doubt that that Jesus is not just not talking about somebody else. He is directly claiming himself to be equal with God here. But these are big claims, these these five lines of evidence that he's introduced. These are massive claims, claims that require the testimony of a witness. This is a trial, so to speak, the way we're approaching this passage. And so Jesus recognizes this and he says in Verse Thirty One, if I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. Now, of course he's not saying that. He's not saying what's true. He's saying in their eyes, for somebody to just make these claims by themselves, that's not going to be acknowledged. It's not going to be received as being trustworthy and true. But Jesus has already said that everything he does, everything he says, is only whatever the father wants him to say and wants him to do, and that must also include the words Jesus has just said about himself. The witness that Jesus is born to himself, but he reckon GNAYSES. They're not going to accept just his words about himself. So who, then, is the best possible witness that Jesus could put on the stand? Who is the star witness, who could really feel lup what's going on here? And there's no question it is God, odd the father. God, the father, is the one that these religious leaders claim to know, that they claim to worship, and so this is who Jesus calls on as a witness to verify the claims that he's made about himself. Verse Thirty Two. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony he bears about me is true. Now there's a couple different ways you could approach which what happens next here. Either it's three different witnesses that Jesus presents or it's the father's witness to Jesus expressed in the these three different means. I'm going to take the second approach, that that this is what follows. Here is the father others witness to Jesus's Deity, and the way that this witness testimony is presented is through these three different ways. Each one kind of builds off the last, each one carries a little bit more weight as it goes so so let's look here at these three aspects of the father's witness to Jesus's Deity. Okay, we've had the accusation blasphemy, we've had these five evidences of equality. Now we get a threefold witness testimony to back up Jesus's claims. So first is the testimony of John The baptist. Verse Thirty Three. Jesus says you sent to John the Baptist 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, even for a little while. The religious leaders got swept up up in John the Baptist mania that was happening. Remember that they were all coming out to see him, hear him. They saw him as a prophet of God. They eat they even rejoiced in his ministry for a while. The problem is they failed to believe eve in the Messiah to whom he pointed them towards, and Jesus, saying your John's testimony was true, even though Jesus didn't need it. He's mentioning it here for the sake of these men, that they might be saved by believing John's testimony about Jesus. And so this is the first aspect of the father's witness. The testimony of John the Baptist and then Jesus continues in verse thirty six, but the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. There's an even weightier testimony than what John the Baptist said, and this is found in the miraculous works of Jesus. This is the second aspect of the father's witness, still in verse thirty six, 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 I think this is still the father's testimony. He's the one who has given Jesus these works to accomplish. It's the father who who called John the Baptist this and gave him the message to proclaim. It's the father who determines the miraculous works that the son will do. So. So I want you to feel this sort of building. Here Jesus is saying to these guys, you say that John the Baptist was from God, yet you reject his message. You look at me and what I'm doing. Look at what I just did in the healing of this man. Isn't it obvious that God sent me? They never denied the miracles, right, they never denied the signs. They couldn't do it, and yet they they hated him and persecuted him and plotted to kill him because of these things. And now, before Jesus brings in that the third aspect, there's Jean the baptist, there's the miracles. He sort of backs up for a second in verse thirty seven. He says, and the father who has sent me has himself self born witness about me. His voice you have never heard, even though Jesus is speaking God's words. The Jews don't hear God's voice in him. His form you have never seen, even though Jesus is God in the flesh. The Jews do not see God in Him. They don't have access to this testimony. They can't receive this revelation. Why not? Verse Thirty Eight. And you do not have his word abiding in you. Again, remember who he's talking to, these experts in the law, and he tells them you do not have the word abiding in you. And of course we know Jesus himself is the very word of God, but the Jews have no time for him. Why not? What does this all point to? For you do not believe the one whom he has sent. What's he getting at here? Well,...

...he's simply saying his opponents had not grasped the meaning of God's revelation to them. God had been gracious in providing this revelation. He spoke to their forefathers at many times and in many ways he sent John The baptist. Jesus is here doing miracles, all of this and anticipating and even proclaiming God's revelation of himself supreme, supremely fulfilled in Jesus the Son, and they've missed it. And and nowhere is their failure to grasp God's truth and revelation of himself seen more plainly than in their approach to scripture. This is the the third aspect of the father's witness to Jesus's Deity. It's the scriptures themselves. Verse Thirty Nine. You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is they that bear witness about me. Again, who's he talking to? Right? It's not that the Jews don't take scripture seriously. They studied it, they they memorized it, they copied it diligently, but their motivation in doing so was so that God might accept them. You think that in them, you think that in the scriptures, you have eternal life. But you understand, friends, there's nothing life giving in and of itself about the scriptures, especially if you if you fail to understand the purpose and the content and to whom it truly points. Jesus says the script Scriptures, they bear witness about me. And of course you understand that when Jesus refers to the scriptures here he's talking about the only Bible he ever held in his hands, the Old Testament. Those are the only scriptures that that these guys had access to, and according to Jesus, it's those scriptures that bear witness to him. It's why he always says, isn't it written somewhere? Haven't you heard? Hasn't God said? How do you not know these things? And until you read your Bible, especially your Old Testament, this way, the way that Jesus says to here, you're going to miss the point as well, just like these guys Miss Theo. This isn't about having access to the Bible. These guys had access to the Bible. This is about having the word of God abiding in you, and Jesus says his word is not in you if you do not believe the one whom he has sent. The Old Testament bears witness to Jesus, and if you're not reading your Bible like that, you are missing the point and according to Jesus, God's Word is not in you. It's that simple. And, more to the point of this passage. Here is the devastating conclusion of all this when it comes to these witnesses. Here, the Jews admitted that that all of these were sources of divine revelation, but they refuse to believe them. That's a big problem. They fully admit, yes, this was from God, the words of John The baptist. They hailed him as a prophet, but they didn't believe what he said the works of Jesus Christ. They affirmed the miracles as being from God, but they didn't believe in the one who performed the miracles. And the Scriptures. They studied the scriptures diligently, but they didn't believe in the one to whom the Scriptures pointed. And that is the result of...

...the rejection of scripture. Always it leads to the rejection of Jesus himself. That is why we are so big on Biblical INARONCY. The rejection of Scripture always leads to a rejection of Jesus. You look at where churches or denominations go wrong. It begins with the rejection of what God's words says. It ends with a twisted view of WHO Jesus is. And this is where, this is really where Jesus turns the tables. Now in verse forty, where he says, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. So you see this whole time it's they think Jesus is the one on trial here, right he's the one who's been accused. He's the one who's been having to kind of make claims and introduce evidence to defend himself, pointing to witnesses. But now watches Jesus moves from the defense to the prosecution and he's ready to deliver an incriminating indictment here. It all comes down to this. They refuse to come to him. They are unwilling to come and in these last few verses here, Jesus is going to indict their unwillingness in three ways. They are unwilling to glorify Christ, they are unwilling to love God and they are unwilling to believe of the scripture. Jesus is on offense now. He is the prosecuting attorney and he's saying to do these Jewish leaders, you will not honor Your Messiah, you will not love your God and you will not believe your scriptures. You're not doing those things. And of course those are the very things that they would have prided themselves on doing better than anyone, and Jesus condemns them right at that point of their spiritual pride. He's already said Jesus has it that he doesn't need testimony from man when he was talking about John The baptist. Now he says he doesn't need glory from Man. Verse Forty One. I do not receive glory from people. Now, of course, these guys, they give each other glory. Right. Just jump down to verse forty four for a second. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory, that it comes from the only God? The basic point here is that you are unwilling to believe because you will not give me glory. That's what Jesus this is the saying. They are unwilling to glorify Christ and they're also unwilling to love God. Secondly, verse forty two. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. Now that's shocking right. What is the the anthem of Israel, from from the old days, from right out of Egypt, the Shemah, love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your mind and all your strength. and Jesus saying you can't possibly love this God whom you say you love, if you reject the one who has come in his name. Verse Forty Three. I have come in my father's name and you do not receive me. So how can you love this God you claim to love if you reject the one that this God has sent? That's what he's saying. On the other hand, still in verse forty three, if another comes in his own name, aim you will receive him. Well, what's that about? Well, during this period in history, said one hundred years before and even after, there were...

...several guys, lots of guys, running around claiming to be the Messiah in Israel, and most of them gathered pretty significant followings. And yet here is the True Messiah, God's only Messiah, standing right in front of them, and they don't receive him, they reject him. And he's saying if they truly loved God, they could not fail to love God's son. So they're unwilling to glorify Christ, they're unwilling to love God and finally, they're unwilling to believe the scriptures. It's all part of this incriminating indictment. Here Verse Forty Five. 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. Now get and who's he talking to? These guys know Moses, they cherished the law given to Moses. They had set their hope on following the law of Moses. But Jesus says, on the last day, when they stand before him, Moses will actually be their accuser, not because they failed to obey this command or that command, but because they have failed to understand the purpose of the law. They saw the law as an end in and of itself, as as kind of the high point of this is how you do religion rightly. They had not seen it, as Jesus insists, as a testimony, a witness to him. If, if follow owing the law leads people to hope for salvation to come through the law, then there has been a big disconnect. If they follow the law because they are hoping for salvation in the law and they are rejecting the Messiah to whom the law actually points, that is a damning disconnect. Verse Forty Six, Jesus says, for if you believed Moses. Again, who's he talking to? He's saying they don't believe Moses, for if you believe Moses, you would believe me. Why? For he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words? Now? You can go back and read the first five books of your Old Testament, the Pentituke, and you will not find Jesus's name. They are here. When Jesus makes us claim, he does not cite chat after in verse of where you can go find where Moses wrote about him specifically like that. And really, more than any single passage that that might be in view, Jesus is talking about a certain way of reading and understanding the Old Testament, a hermoneutic that he taught his disciples, not just the apostles. Remember, remember in Luke, twenty four after Jesus risen from the dead and he's on that road to AMIS and he encounters those two disciples and they're talking about what has happened and in recent days, and then Jesus says to them, how have you...

...failed to miss this? This is written, and then he begin to says he open their minds so that they could understand and he began to explain to them all that was written of him, starting in Moses this and in the prophets and through the writings. This is how we are to understand our old testament. But Jesus is saying here. If you won't accept what Moses said. I mean there's Abraham, there's Moses. Those are the big two guys for Jews, right. If they won't under accept what Moses said about Jesus, about the Messiah, if they're unwilling to believe the scripture that he wrote, how it points to the Messiah, then of course how will they believe what Jesus is saying? That's what I mean. A rejection of scripture always results in a rejection of Jesus. We and people refuse to come to Jesus like these people here. Here's why. According to Jesus, they are unwilling to glorify Christ, they are unwilling to love God, they are unwilling to believe the scripture. And if you flip those things around for a second, you'll see the the other side of this in what people are willing to do and and we can say it has to do with one word, really self. You refuse to glorify Christ and instead glorify yourself. You refuse to love God and instead Love Yourself. You refuse to see scripture as your final authority and you instead rely on yourself and you can live your life that way and fall under the same incriminating indictment that Jesus pronounces on these men here, or the option I recommends. You can die to yourself. You can glorify Christ, Love God, believe the scripture sure and receive eternal life. And if that's what you desire to do those things, that itself is evidence that God is working in your life, because those things, to desire those things, that's not natural, that's supernatural. On Your own you won't desire those things you you only desire those things because God has caused your unwilling heart to come alive and be willing so to even desire these things were talking about. That in and of itself is a miracle. Later on in John, at the end of Jesus Life, whenever we get there, at his actual trial, he didn't say much, did he? He was known for Staying Silent, and I wonder at some level if part of that is because he said all he needed to say right here in John, Chapter Five, in this trial of sorts, he addresses the accusation of blasphemy. He presents the evidence of equality with God, he calls the father as a star witness to the stand and then he delivers the indictment on the accusers. Case closed. But let me caution you at this point, as we close here, don't, don't...

...make the same mistake that Muhammad, that Iraqi man, made on that night when we spoke. He'd already predetermined in his mind to reject whatever evidence was going to be put before him. But even more fundamentally than that that, the bigger error that he made was that he set himself up to be the judge of Jesus's claims. Remember, Jesus isn't the one on trial, you're not the judge. It's completely the opposite. Jesus is equal with God. He has the power to raise the dead, he has the authority to judge everyone. You are the one who will stand before Jesus. He is the judge and when that day comes, when you stand before Jesus Christ, the verdict will have already been decided. Based on your belief or unbelief in this life. You will stand there either resurrected to eternal life or resurrected to eternal judgment. which will it be for you? Let's pray our Lord and God. I pray that perhaps in the fire hose of information that has just come from your word, that that your truth will settle deep into our hearts, that you will speak to us not only corporately as a church, but that you will speak to us, each one of US individually, meeting us at our point of need, whether that is to remind us of who Jesus is, whether that is to appoint us to the responsibilities that we have in light of that, to encourage us, to bring to mind someone who may need encouragement, to chastise US and call us to confession and repentance. Whatever the purpose you have for us, it's Lord, we trust that your word goes forth, it does not return to you empty, but it accomplishes the purpose for which you send it out. And so, God, I pray that your word, by the power of your spirit, will do its work in us. We ask this in the strong and mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

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