Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bearing Witness to the Truth

John 5:30-38

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.

He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish--the very works that I do--bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Himself, who has sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.

Jesus is directing this exhortation again to the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day. They knew scripture and laws. Here Jesus is telling them under no circumstances could He do anything on His own. He only did the will of His Father...which basically said He was the Son of God. To that, no doubt, the Pharisees called Him a blasphemer. See what Jesus says: There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. Who is the "another?" Clue, just a few words later this another is said to be H, His Father.

As I read that I recalled this: When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)  God, the Father, testified of Him. It was done in the midst of many people. Don't you think those tongues were wagging that day!? Is this truly the Son of God? We heard the voice but did not see Who spoke. He told us this.

The Bible is God's Word. It is truth. Jesus is the Word and He is truth. The Bible testifies throughout the Old and New Testament about Jesus. Jesus can be found periodically in likenesses in the Old Testament; in the New He comes alive. In the Old He is concealed; in the New, revealed. How amazing is our God? I am, even now, filled with a fresh excitement over this. His Word is alive.

John the Baptist testified of Jesus. He was the voice in the wilderness. All who believe in Christ, have received Him as He says we should...born again of the Spirit...are also to be voices in the wilderness of this day. We can testify of what He has done for us, how He has changed us, how He continues to change us as we walk with Him. The work is never done! The process will only be complete when He returns.

Jesus testified by His words and actions. He spoke of Himself, He healed. Then the greatest testimony was when He quietly allowed Himself to be arrested, tried, deemed guilty, tortured, crucified, died...then rising from the dead. His Word in the Old Testament testified of this; words the Pharisees knew so well yet still didn't believe. And He stood right before them.

I have not seen His form but I believe. I admit I have heard "a voice" in my spirit. And at times I'd swear there was someone (Someone) standing right behind me when I heard the words. I pushed the whole idea of God away with a vengeance for a time when He was seeking me. And then someone told me that God spoke to her and I crumpled in the blink of an eye. I wanted that!!! Only God can do that. Only He can change a person in an instant. How I thank Him for that moment. That was Him personally testifying of Himself to me.

If we "want that" it can happen. It comes from deep within human hearts. It's not a surface desire. We want Jesus from the depth of our souls. We're done with the head knowledge. We want more. It can happen. Many, like the Pharisees, do not believe. The Spirit does not abide within. We must hear the Word, believe the Word, receive the Word and then the Spirit will work. The moment you believe with all your heart... Listen for His voice and respond.

Matthew 17:5 - While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

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