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John 5:31-47 (web)

Affirming Testimonies

5:31 "If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid.
5:32 It is another who testifies about me.
I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true.

5:33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth.
5:34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man.
However, I say these things that you may be saved.
5:35 He was the burning and shining lamp,
and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

5:36 But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John,
for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish,
the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me.

5:37 The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me.
You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form.
5:38 You don't have his word living in you;
because you don't believe him whom he sent.

5:39 "You search the Scriptures,
because you think that in them you have eternal life;
and these are they which testify about me.
5:40 Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life.

5:41 I don't receive glory from men.
5:42 But I know you, that you don't have God's love in yourselves.
5:43 I have come in my Father's name, and you don't receive me.
If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
5:44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another,
and you don't seek the glory that comes from the only God?

5:45 "Don't think that I will accuse you to the Father.
There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope.
5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me.
5:47 But if you don't believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"

Discussion Questions

What witnesses does Jesus point to who validate his claims?
And can you give examples of their testimony of him?
vs 43 What is an example of a person coming in his own name?
If a person claims to believe Moses and the prophets but doesn't believe Jesus, what can be said of such a person?
Upon what basis have you come to believe that the Bible is the Word of God?


It is only reasonable that people should not be so gullible as to believe Jesus to be the Son of God just because he says he is. Muslims, for example, gullibly accept Mohammed as God's prophet with no supporting evidence, as do many accept false prophets on the basis of their own words, but Jesus has the affirming testimony of others:

John the Baptist testified of him:
"I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." John 1:34

The miracles Jesus was doing were also testifying of him:
"The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me." John 10:25

The Father also gives direct testimony, but not to these unbelievers, but to his apostles
"This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" Mark 9:7

And the Scriptures testify of him in his fulfilling of the prophecies and in the Law as Moses wrote allegorically of Christ and he spoke of the prophet to come: "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him." Deut 18:18

Jesus proposes that if a Jew has the scriptures abiding in them, then they will come to faith in Christ. Those Jews who claim to believe Moses and the prophets but whom don't believe Jesus, such people don't really believe the scriptures. Remember that he also just spoke of raising people from the dead. Miracles will not convince those who reject Moses and the Prophets. This he mentions at the end of one of his parables saying, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." Luke 16:31

vs 43 It is human nature for people to be gullibly quick to listen to those who tell them what they want to hear even if they have no affirming testimony to prove their authority to speak on such matters. "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1John 4:1

NIV version used in comments

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jan 28,2022