Five Witnesses to the Claims of Jesus #1

John 7 records rulers of the Jews sending officers to take Jesus (Jn. 7:32). The chapter also records the return of those officers — without Him! When questioned by the rulers why they had not taken him, the officers responded, “Never man so spake” (Jn. 7:46). It might be added, “Never man claimed the things Jesus claimed of Himself”.

John 5 lists five witnesses who testified regarding Jesus of Nazareth: John the Baptist (vv. 33-35); the works the Father gave His Son to do (v. 36); the Father’s testimony concerning His Son (v. 37); the Scriptures (vv. 39-44); and, the witness of Moses (vv. 45-47). Throughout the entire book these witnesses continually testify about Jesus. John the Baptist’s testimony came first, found in chapter 1, but elsewhere as well. He testified that Jesus is the Son of God (Jn. 1:34). Men who heard John and his testimony about Jesus and then heard Jesus speak, declared, “John indeed did no sign: but all things whatsoever John spake of this man were true” (Jn. 10:41).

Throughout the course of the book the works God gave His Son emerge, bearing record to Jesus’ claims. In all, eight miracles are recorded by John (five of which are found only in his work) and of these eight, three demonstrate Jesus’ power over nature: turning water to wine (Jn. 2); feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes (Jn. 6); and, the miraculous draught of fish (Jn. 21). Three more of the miracles demonstrate Jesus’ power over disease: healing the nobleman’s son (Jn. 4); healing the man by the pool of Bethesda (Jn. 5); and, the restoration of sight to a man born blind (Jn. 9). Two of His miracles show His power over death and the Hadean world: The raising of Lazarus (Jn. 11) and His own resurrection (Jn. 20). While the Father clearly raised His Son from the dead (Acts 2:24, 32), Jesus was also active in His own resurrection. His sign to His nation was, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn. 2:19). Of His death and resurrection He further said, “Therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I make take it up again. No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (Jn. 10:17-18).

In addition to these miracles which showed Jesus’ all-powerful nature are those incidents which show His infinite knowledge. The psalmist stood in awe of God’s awareness and knowledge of man and of His whole creation when he wrote, “O Jehovah, thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsittings and mine uprising; thou understandest my thoughts afar off. Thou searcheth out my paths and my lying down and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue but lo, O Jehovah, thou knowest it altogether” (Psalm 139:1-4). Such an attribute of Jesus is witnessed in all the gospels, but John’s is full of such.

He, before He ever had met Nathaniel, knew he was an “Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile” (Jn. 1:47). He saw Nathaniel under the fig tree before Philip called him (Jn. 1:48). He knew the Samaritan woman had five husbands and was then living with a man who was not her husband (Jn. 4:16-18). He knew Judas would betray Him (Jn. 6:70-71). He knew Lazarus would die, then that he was dead and that He would raise him to life again (Jn. 11:4, 11). He knew that men were thinking He had blasphemed when He told a palsied man, “Son, thy sins are forgiven thee” (Matt. 9:2-4). He knew that His host was thinking, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what manner of woman this is that toucheth him” when a sinful woman anointed His feet while He sat at meat in that host’s house (Lk. 7:36-40). He knew that “in the village over against them” there was an ass and her colt tied and He knew that no man had ever sat on that animal. He knew that when the disciples would loose that colt and bring it to Him to ride, the owner would give his permission for them to “borrow” his animal (Mk. 11:2-6). He knew that when His disciples went out into a street they would see a man carrying a pitcher of water and that when they followed him, he would enter a house whose master had prepared a large upper room where Jesus and His disciples could eat the Passover in (Mk. 14:13-16). He knew Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed two times (Mk. 14:29-30). Truly, “Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all man, and because he needed not that anyone should bear witness concerning men for he, himself knew what was in man” (Jn. 2:24-25). Jesus’ supernatural knowledge that He manifested of everything around was as much a part of the works God gave Him to do and was a witness of the truth of His claims as were the marvelous miracles He wrought.

John wrote, “Many other signs and wonders truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book but these are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye may have life in his name” (Jn. 20:30-31). Blessed are those who believe the testimony Jesus’ witnesses gave about Him!

Jim McDonald

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