John 5:31-47 – The compelling testimony about Jesus

In verses 31-40 Jesus elaborates how various authorities bear testimony to who he is. He refers to testimony from God / John the Baptist / Scripture (the Old Testament). The word “testimony” or variations of the term occur 9 times in these verses. Jesus introduces the point that the Father, as the one who sent him and approves of all he does, “testifies in [his] favour.”

He refers to the testimony of JB as secondary to that of the Father and something for the benefit of the people rather than for Jesus himself, given in order that they might have the opportunity to receive their Messiah.


By far the most significant testimony as to who Jesus really is comes from the Father. The very nature of Jesus’ mission in terms of his teaching and miracles and his death and resurrection to come confirm that he is doing the work of the Father who sent him. Jesus rebukes these Jews for refusing to accept that he is sent from the Father and claims that the obvious reason for their rejecting him is that they do not actually know God. Jesus underlines the perversity of these so-called religious experts in their failure to recognise that he is the fulfilment of the scriptures they study so carefully.


Jesus concludes this discourse about his divine identity and authority by outlining how, unlike his religious opponents, he lives to honour and obey God out of a true love and devotion. Whereas these Jews seek to impress one another, Jesus seeks only to please the Father. Because these people are so preoccupied with impressing one another rather than pleasing God, they “accept” men from among their own ranks that make messianic claims that flatter their self-righteous egos but reject the true Messiah.


Jesus outlines that the Jews have deceived themselves if they believe that the Mosaic Law will save them because it was never intended to do so and in fact the requirements of the Law are what accuses them before God. Jesus claims that if these people really took seriously the words of Moses then they would realise he actually wrote about Jesus, most notably in Deuteronomy 18:15 – “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers.”


Let’s give thanks to God that we have the witness and testimony of the Bible, including

the book of Isaiah that we previously looked at and this material from John’s gospel as well as the work of Spirit within us confirming the truth of who Jesus is. So as I sign off from these Thoughts for the Day, once again, thanks to Mel for her contribution of prayer ideas and worship links over these last four months – goodbye for now!


Pray: Let’s thank God for the gift of his word, for those who he has gifted to teach us from it, and for the Holy Spirit who illuminates and brings revelation of the words of God!

Take a few moments to consider and write down 3 things that God has shown you/highlighted to you over these last 18 weeks from his word.

Below is the blessing from Ephesians – this is my prayer for you.
Be blessed – Mel

Songs: The Way      My Lighthouse