The Thursday in the 4th Week of Lent
March 23, 2023
The word that jumps out at me first is one that is repeated again and again in this passage: Testify
To testify: serve as evidence or proof of something’s existence.
The Jews, in particular the religious authorities, are harassing Jesus because he healed the blind man at the pool, breaking the religious law about working on the sabbath. Jesus has told them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” (John 5:17).
Jesus is making attempts to help those listening to understand that he is God, sent in the, to continue the work of God – to save humankind. God has seen again and again how humans have turned away from him and he continues to try to save them.
As the passage continues, Jesus mentions various testimonies to and about himself being one with God.
Jesus points out that his own testimony may not be accepted. Not everyone tells the truth about themselves.
However, Jesus points out that John the Baptist, sent by the Father, was one of the first to testify about Jesus – John was a lamp, lighting the way for Jesus’s coming.
Another testimony is the works (including “miracles”) that Jesus has been sent to do by the Father. The Father testifies to Jesus being one with Him doing those works. Jesus points out that the people “have never heard his voice or seen his form, and …do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.” (John 5:37-38) It’s implied that if you had heard God’s words, you would recognize and believe in Jesus.
He goes on to note that the scriptures testify on his behalf, about his coming, “Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:40)
So many testimonies that point to Jesus as the Son of God and that he is here to save, as God sent him to do. One only need to accept what’s written in the scriptures foretelling of his arrival, to hear his words and to follow his way to be saved.