In John 5 Jesus helped a man who was in need of mercy. Jesus gave grace but all the Jewish leaders got was angry. They accused Him of being a “law breaker” because the crippled man carried his bed on the Sabbath. They accused Jesus of not honoring God only to have their tables turned by being informed that they were dishonoring God the Father because they were dishonoring His Son (John 5:16-30). As part of their “legal discussion” Jesus calls witnesses for the sake of His accusers that they might rethink their accusation.
The first witness was John the baptist, the second witness consisted of the undeniable works performed by Jesus and the third witness was God’s word, the very law they accused Jesus of breaking (John 5:31-44).
The last witness to consider might be viewed by some as part of the third witness; but I believe he deserves a spot of his own. As part of Jesus’ attempt to get His accusers to think objectively and not just with objections Jesus mentions a man who knew all about the Law that He was being accused of breaking.
WITNESS #4 – MOSES
“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me; for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” (John 5:45-47)
Talk about a role reversal! They played the prosecutors role and came to Jesus accusing Him, but now Jesus says unless they repent they will find themselves on the defense being prosecuted by the very lawyer they thought they were representing…Moses.
Jesus tells His listeners that if they actually believed Moses like they thought they did then they would have a different attitude toward the One that Moses preached about. Deuteronomy 18:18,19 says, “I [God] will raise up for them a Prophet like you [Moses] from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”
It was scripture Jesus’ accusers refused to believe; and like all other scriptures it could not be broken (John 10:35). Peter told the Jewish unbelievers in Acts 3:22,23 that Jesus was the very prophet that Moses talked about in Deuteronomy 18 and Stephen followed suit with his accusers in Acts 7:37. The simple fact remains today that was presented to the accusers of Jesus in John 5 – it’s not possible to correctly follow Moses without the journey leading to Christ Jesus, the Son of God.
There were no loopholes in the Law for the accusers of Jesus to find! There were only solid witnesses who came to the defense of who Jesus was and what Jesus was doing, and after all was said and done by these four witnesses is seems as if, at least for the moment, there were no further questions from Jesus’ accusers. Case dismissed! EA