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The Scriptorium

Witness to Christ

Jesus provides witnesses to back His claims.

The Gospel of John: John 5.31-47

Read and meditate on John 5.31, 32.
Jesus, anticipating some demand for credentials, presents various witnesses to support His claims. Back of all these witnesses is the Father Himself, as we shall see.
                      31What I witness to is not
the truth, if I bear witness of Myself.
32There is another witness, Someone else
who testifies of Me, and this I know:
His witness of Me is the truth.

- John 5.31, 32

1.  The Law of God insisted that the truth of any claims had to be established by at least two witnesses (cf. Lev. 19.15). Jesus acknowledges that, by Himself, He is not sufficient to validate His claims. What is He saying here about the Law of Moses? Complete this prayer: Lord Jesus, You submitted to the Law of God, and that means I…

2.  This matter of Jesus’ relationship to the Law of God – the Law of Moses – is very important. From here, at the beginning of His ministry, to the very day of His death (cf. Jn. 20.7), the Jews will attack Jesus as a violator of God’s Law. But, according to Matthew 5.17-19, how did Jesus describe His relationship to the Law? What did He mean by this? Lord, You did not deny the Law of God, but fulfilled it. Help me today to…

3.  Jesus says there is “another” who bears witness to Him. In what follows, He will present four witnesses to validate His claim. Why do you suppose He didn’t say “other witnesses” rather than “another”? Lord, You have called me to be a witness to You as well. I want to fulfill this calling, so…

4.  In verse 32, Jesus uses “another” and “He” interchangeably. How does this help us in thinking about Who this “another” is? What did Jesus say about this witness? What does that mean? Heavenly Father, whatever You witness to is true. Your Word is truth (Jn. 17.17), so I want my life to…

5.  Jesus summons the Father as His primary witness, and the Father will support His claims by offering a variety of evidence in the verses that follow. But Jesus’ main point here is that the Father is true and bears true witness to Him. Is it possible for us to be as convinced as Jesus was about the Father being a true and reliable witness? To how much? Bring together into one the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“No one who comes on the authority of another establishes that authority as his own but rather guards against such an understanding, for first must come the support of the one who gives him his authority. Now, [Christ] will not be acknowledged as Son if the Father never called him this. Nor will people believe he is the sent One if no sender gave him a commission.” Tertullian (155-250 AD)

Jesus happily submits to the Law of God. Indeed, throughout the course of His public ministry, He will fulfill the Law of God, whole and entire. If Jesus had such high regard for the Law of God, what should our attitude toward it be?

Closing Prayer
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
“Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
“I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”

Psalm 2.5-9

Psalm 2.4-8 (Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High!)
The Lord in heaven laughs in wrath
At all who embark on this cursèdpath.
His angry Word to them is plain:
“Yet shall My King in Zion reign!”

Proclaim the message far and wide,
That God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son,
Who has for us salvation won!

T. M. Moore

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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