The Four Witnesses of John 5 (Part 2)

John 5 reveals the truth of the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished.” Jesus helped a man in need. He helped him physically, emotionally and spiritually (John 5:7,8 &14). He asked for no credit, He did not make a show out of it and I have no reason to believe that He regretted it one bit – but He sure caught some serious grief over it.

When the religious leaders found out that Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath and then told him to get up and carry his bed they did not see the miracle as a reason to rejoice for the man; they saw it as a reason to get mad at the one who they considered to be a “law breaker.” John said, “…the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him,because He had done these things on the Sabbath.” (John 5:16)

But for their soul’s sake Jesus tried to reason with them by presenting witnesses that testified to the fact that they were actually breaking the law by rejecting the only “Light” that would let them see God working in the lives of mankind (Psalm 18:28). Jesus’ first witness was John the baptist. This man of God preached and pleaded with all of Israel to repent and prepare for the Coming One, but the Jewish leaders refused to change. They tried to reject the messenger but they ended up rejected by the message and the support from God that it had (Matthew 21:24-26). But Jesus still had greater witnesses than the testimony of John so He presents to His accusers witness number two:


Jesus said, “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.” (John 5:36)

Jesus’ accusers knew how truthful these words were. One of their leaders admitted this very thing by confessing, “We know that no man can do the signs thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2). Nicodemus did not say, “I know” he said “WE KNOW.” The people who witnessed the miracles of Jesus could not deny the authority that He had whether they liked Him or not.

Once when Jesus healed a crippled man by speaking his sins forgiven the scribes that were present became angry and accused Jesus of blasphemy in their hearts because they believed only God had the right to forgive sins. They were right and wrong at the same time! They were right about the forgiveness of sins but they were wrong about Jesus. In response to their inward accusations Jesus asked and said, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” (Mark 2:9-11)

In essence Jesus told the scribes in the house the same thing that He told His accusers in John 5…that if they would open their eyes to what He was doing they would be able to see the way they were acting and the scriptures that they were rejecting by challenging His works instead of rejoicing in them (Luke 7:19-23 & Isaiah 35:5-8). But their refusal to do so had left them so spiritually blind that even when they witnessed Jesus’ works of mercy with their own two eyes it was too painful for them to watch. And we think only love is blind?

Jesus still had more witnesses to call to the stand on His behalf, but the accusers weren’t going to get any happier with what they would have to say.  EA

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