A mule has nothing on the stubbornness of people who Jesus encountered during His earthly ministry. In John 5 Jesus healed a man and provided him with freedom but the leaders sought to hurt Jesus because the man was told to take his bed with him (John 5:8,9,16). They accused Jesus of disrespecting the authority of the Sabbath but they were told they were disrespecting the authority of God’s Son! (John 5:17,18)
Jesus’ accusers wanted to get legal with Him but they didn’t realize they were already talking with the Judge (John 5:22,23). Jesus’ next step in His legal lesson for the accusers was to call witnesses.
Witness number one was John. John was sent to preach and prepare the hearts of the people before Christ (John 1:23; 5:33). While many rejoiced in John’s message, Jesus’ accusers rejected it.
Then came witness number two. The next witness was something that John never did – miracles (John 5:36; 10:41). The “prosecutors” couldn’t dispute the miracles (John 3:1,2) and as a matter of fact His accusers were actually “moved” by His miracles; but unfortunately they were moved to anger and jealously (Mark 15:9,10; John 12:17-19).
Witness number three shows that not only were they blind spiritually but their sin had spread to their ears (Matthew 13:15).
WITNESS #3 – GOD’ WORD
Jesus said, “And the Father Himself, who 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. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:37-40)
The voice Jesus referred to was the one which spoke long before His baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). It was the same voice that God’s people had always listened to (Psalm 119:105). It was the very law that Jesus was being accused of breaking. Jesus’ accusers thought they had God’s word on their side but they failed to realize that God’s word doesn’t pick sides, it makes them (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; 16:19 & 2nd Chronicles 19:7).
These “experts in the Law” could not believe what they were hearing because they refused to believe what they were reading. If there was no room for God’s word in their heart there was no room for His love. Jesus said, “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 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. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:42-44)
If they didn’t like the credentials they were given it was because they didn’t like the credentials they were reading! And like it still does today when it comes to the authority of the Son of God (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Peter 1:16-21), witness number three told it like it was on the stand but they didn’t listen! EA