John 5:30-47- The Greater Testimony
Explanation-As Christ’s Messianic testimony continues, there is continual reiteration of the unity shared with His Father. In a very unique way, Christ does nothing on His own, but all of His words, actions, and judgments are performed in the presence of and in submission to the Father. Because of His authoritative positioning, Christ needs that no men bear testimony of Him; the fact that He is God is enough of a testimony in itself.
It is here that Jesus mentions John the Baptist. We know that John was the forerunner sent to proclaim the Messiah’s coming. John was never meant to be an end in himself, but was to be a means through which men would seek the Christ. It is through the coming of Christ and men’s belief in Him that would bring about salvation and reconciliation with God. The heart of Christ is set on full display; He desires to see men saved! All of the works produced by John the Baptist and now through Christ Himself are meant to bear witness to His deity and ability to save to the uttermost. John indeed had a magnificent testimony and burned bright for the cause of Messiah, but now that Messiah had come, His testimony of Himself burns even brighter! How could Christ perform these many miracles and works apart from the Father’s bidding? Can a mere man claim to be God and still receive God’s blessing and anointing? Absolutely not! But if one comes proclaiming to be the Messiah of Israel and is followed by such signs and wonders, how could His testimony not be true?
Not only does the Father acknowledge the Son, but the Son acknowledges the Father and reveals Him to the world. Who has beheld the presence of God? Who has heard His voice? No man can see the Father and live! (Ex. 33:20). It is the Son, who ever lives in the sight and presence of the Father, which displays the visible glory of the Most High God. This same God who dwelt with Israel in the days of her pilgrimage and provided for her through the dispensations of time is now come unto them in physical form. He lives, breathes, eats, drinks, and sleeps in their midst. He walks among them and reveals Himself to those who are granted the eyes of faith. This is why we read in chapter one that the disciples had seen His glory (1:14). This literally means that they were given eyes to see the Shekinah of God in visible, human form. The blindness of the religious leaders testifies to their ignorance of God. If they knew anything of the God of Scripture, they would have clearly seen that this is He. This is the great Prophet, Priest, and King spoken of by Moses, David, and the prophets. This was the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of the world standing in front of them, yet the blindness of their hearts and their ignorance of the Scriptures testify to the hypocrisy of their ways.
Explanation- Christ clearly states in this section that the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) bears witness to Him. He indeed is the foretold Prophet, Priest, and King of Israel. If Christ placed so much emphasis on the Old Testament, then why do we see such disregard of it in our own day? It is almost as if many believe these writings to be insignificant in light of the New Testament canon. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have heard it once said that the Old Testament is like a dark room full of many fixtures. In the New Testament it is as if the light has been turned on. Now we can clearly see all of those fixtures that were once darkened and mysterious. They come to life and are given greater clarity. Just because they were not fully seen at one time does not mean that they were not there or that they did not matter. The Scripture, as a whole, displays the grand narrative of redemptive history. Every piece testifies to the faithfulness and love of God to His covenant people. There are no mistakes and nothing is irrelevant! One reason that we do not always appreciate Christ as we ought is because we only think of Him in light of the New Testament. When we remember that He is present in the beginning of the Book, as well as the end, it helps us to read all of Scripture with deeper understanding and greater clarity.