Bible Reading: John 5:31-47
It is of no value if a defendant in a court of law uses his own testimony to defend himself. Jesus recognised this, and said, “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not valid [John 5:31]. The Bible says that a matter is established by the mouth of two or three witnesses [Deuteronomy 19:15]. As an example, when writing to Timothy Paul says, “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses” [1 Timothy 5:19].
Jesus claimed to be equal with God [John 5:18], but He also recognised that His testimony alone was not a sufficient witness for them to believe. Because He wanted His hearers to be saved [John 5:31,35], Jesus told them that there were four different witnesses, who authenticate His deity and ministry.
The first witness was John the Baptist [v.31-35]. His hearers had heard what John had correctly testified about Jesus. John had said of Jesus, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” [John 1:29] and “I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God” [John 1:34].
The second witness was the signs and wonders that Jesus performed [v.36]. In his gospel John gives seven miraculous signs that Jesus performed, beginning with the turning of water into wine [John 2:1-12]. These were not just acts of great compassion but also signs that pointed to who Jesus is. The works of Jesus bear witness that He is the Son of God!
The third witness was God, the Father [v.37]. This may have been a reference to the voice of the Father at the baptism of Jesus, when he said, “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased” [Luke 3:22]. It might also be a reference to God, the Father, who speaks through the Scriptures.
The fourth witness was the Scriptures [v.39]. The Old Testament Scriptures pointed to Jesus. Much of the Scriptures foreshadowed the coming of Jesus. Jesus specifically spoke about the writings of Moses [v.45-47]. The Jewish leaders prided themselves in their knowledge of what Moses wrote, but tragically, their interpretation of what he wrote was wrong, and they would not recognise Jesus, to whom the Scripture bears supreme testimony.
It is possible to isolate these witnesses, casting doubt on them individually. But when they are called to the stand together, although they do not prove tha Christ is God in human proofs, they become irrefutable.
Why is it important that there should be multiple witnesses in establishing whether a matter is true or not? Why did Jesus see it as necessary to point out the various testimonies to His Person and ministry?
What is the reason, that when confronted with the facts about Jesus people still refuse to acknowledge Him as Lord?
If you were on trial for being a Christian how much evidence would the prosecution have to convict you?