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John 5:31-47

The Word of God

‘If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

‘You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?’

John 5:31-47
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Who is Jesus? This is the core question being teased out in today's reading. The answer hinges on his relationship to God (whom he calls his Father). A secondary question is: Who (or what) bears testimony (witness) to Jesus? John indicates four witnesses: John the Baptist, the works of Jesus himself, the Father, and the scriptures. Do you understand this style of argument?
    • Who is Jesus? John approaches the question from a Jewish religious and cultural perspective. How would you answer the question today from within your own cultural terms of reference? How would you answer it out of your personal experience of knowing him?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The biblical rule of evidence required two witnesses. Jesus calls on John the Baptist and Moses to testify to his identity and his mission. What would a person of integrity say about me?
    • John the Baptist fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, that a voice would cry “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God”. As we make our Lenten journey, let us reflect on what we are doing to make our own crooked ways straight.