Context: Jesus concludes His discourse with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem by referring to 4 things that bear witness to and authenticate Jesus’ messianic identity and divinity: John the Baptist, His own works and miracles, God the Father and even the Scriptures and Moses (as author of the Pentateuch). What we are seeing here is a form of Jewish trial playing itself out in real time. This didactic dialogue continues between Jesus and the Jewish leaders all the way up to and including his trial after his arrest. Note that he calls John the Baptist a burning and shining lamp, whereas he refers to himself as the ‘true light.’ He also refers to him in the past tense, perhaps because John had just been beheaded or at least was in prison with his public witness practically ended.
Observations: Why were the 4 witnesses mentioned above critical to authenticating Jesus’ messianic claims? Why were some people convinced and others were not? Was it for lack of ‘witnesses’ or ‘evidence’ or for their heart condition? Note the personal flavor of Jesus’ comments about John the Baptist. Couldn’t Jesus have intervened and either prevented John’s arrest or miraculously saved him from his death? Why didn’t he? How can a person be totally familiar with Scripture but miss Jesus?
Application: As you read the Scriptures and the Gospel of John this week, ask the Father and the Spirit to ‘lead you’ to Jesus! Ask for illumination on how to make Jesus’ words real, personable and relevant in the circumstances you find yourself in each day. Take notes, start a journal or at least review or meditate on what you read at some point during the day.
Prayer: Ask God for a sign or ‘witness’ of His presence in your life today, without demanding ‘how’ he will do it. And ask him for the humility and eyes of faith to actually see it!! Ask the Lord to help Evergreen be an ever-increasing witness of Christ in a world that desperately NEEDS Him!