Read John 5:31-47. We continue to deepen our knowledge of who Christ is. I pray that this Christmas will be awe-inspiring for you. These verses are a continuation of Jesus speaking on who He is. Remembering from last week’s lesson, Jewish leaders continued to oppose who Christ says He is. Instead of retaliating, He continues to help them see. He explains Himself in simple terms so people can come to see for themselves that He really is God’s Son.
INSIGHT: Jesus will speak to you in tender fashion. You will be able to understand what He is telling you. You might not understand right away but eventually you will. He loves you too much to keep you muddling in confusion.
Today’s lesson is on the importance of one’s testimony. Jesus speaks of John the Baptist’s witness. He prepared people for Jesus and then there is Moses’ deposition. Moses prepared people long before Jesus walked on earth. Jesus helped people who have been saturated in Old Testament practices to transfer over into the New Testament order which is Jesus Himself.
Remember verse 30, “I can do nothing on my own”? Jesus continues in that premise as we read verse 31. He then goes on to talk about John in the next two verses. Jesus then declares a bold statement in verse 34.
QUESTION: What bold statement does He make about Himself? And why does He say such a thing?
Jesus continues with how John was a burning and shining lamp. He prepared people so when Jesus came around they would know to believe and follow. John was a great witness to the truth. We are to point others to Jesus. We are to live like John and keep our lamp bright. Let’s continue on in learning how to do that.
QUESTION: In verse 36, what does Jesus say is greater than even John’s witness? Notice how the focus is on Jesus Himself. Keep this in mind as we study.
We continue on with learning more about God the Father in verses 37-38. God testifies about His Son. He gives us everything we need to see Jesus for ourselves. He wants every person to come to know Him. 1 Timothy 2:3-6 says, “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. He gave His life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.”
QUESTION: According to the verses in 1 Timothy, God wants us to be saved and what else? How do we achieve understanding? What do we learn about Jesus in verses 5-6? Pray and ask God for a fresh set of eyes to see and a willingness to jump in and learn.
INSIGHT: Our eyesight is naturally bent towards seeing things horizontally. We live by sight. Following Jesus means we have to train our eyes to look up with faith.
Jesus understands how people have to get over many stumbling blocks in believing Him. He is empathetic in how our flesh can deceive. This is why He came as an infant and grew in a human body. He wanted to experience firsthand what we go through. Isn’t that incredible love!?! In light of this, reread verses 38-44.
QUESTION: How does someone not have Christ’s message in their heart (v. 38)? What damage occurs from disbelief?
QUESTION: What misconception can happen when searching scripture (v. 39-40)? What is more important, God’s Word or Jesus Himself?
Jesus is referring to placing something ahead of Him. Examples would be: outward religious ways like going to church and reading the Bible, listening to pastors over Jesus Himself, family traditions, one’s heritage, marriage, career or children. Jesus must be first, His voice heeded over any other voice. Then, and only then, will He lead you in loving your spouse, kids and family. He will lead you to be the best at your job. He will prioritize your life. There’s a blessing in disguise, your calendar will have breathing room, you will have enriching relationships and you will have joy!
INSIGHT: Stop and think about what He chose to go through to save you. Does He not deserve our all?
Jesus continues in verses 41-44 with how we reject and dishonor Him. We like to attach things to Jesus. We want Jesus plus, Jesus plus my good works or Jesus plus my ______. You fill in the blank. When we seek Jesus and continue on in our own ways, we dishonor Him. He wants our undivided attention. He wants us to lay down our lives at His feet. There, He picks us up and walks with us until we are home.
QUESTION: What do you think Jesus wants from us? God is a jealous God. Read Exodus 20:4-5 to discover what He means by being jealous.
We end this study by Jesus referring to Moses. During Jesus’ time, people followed what Moses taught. Remember, Moses was a part of the Old Testament laws and now Jesus was instituting a relationship-style faith that is directly connected to God. Jesus wants us to understand that ‘keeping the law along with doing good deeds leads to heaven‘ has become obsolete. His resurrection ushered in new life by simply believing and following Jesus. Nothing added or taken away from Him being the Lamb Of God.