John 5 is a robust chapter recounting Jesus’ time spent in Jerusalem telling religious unbelievers that He is God. This is where threats upon Jesus’ life begin. For the next 3 years, He lives under these threats because of His works and His words, which proclaim that He is God.
We are continuing the discussion of 3 witnesses or testimonies from God the Father that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.The first verified witness was John the Baptist. Some who heard his message saw the fruit, but the majority rejected the message of John the Baptist.
John, the Gospel writer, details the next two witnesses beginning in John 5:36:“But the testimony I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
In today's world, with computer-generated images and photo editing applications, seeing is no longer believing. But in Jesus’ day there was no photoshopping. When we look back into the Old Testament, the children of Israel literally saw God take them out of Egypt through the use of 10 plagues, then they saw the parting of the Red Sea. They saw, witnessed, and participated in these events, and yet, there was unbelief. As we read the Gospel of John, remember that John was an eye-witness of what we are reading. The Jews also saw Jesus’ miraculous works, yet they didn’t believe it.
John 5 demonstrates the attribute of God’s mercy in Jesus Christ. Jesus remains merciful to all those in unbelief, offering His hand of spiritual help as long as each person lives. We also see the enemies of the gospel in this passage, who they are, what they say, and how they act. Religious people who remain in unbelief are reminded by Moses in Exodus 34:6-7 and Deuteronomy 7:9-10 that the Lord God is both compassionate and just, extending lovingkindness to all and punishment to the guilty who reject Him. We learn from David that God will show Himself merciful to the merciful (2 Sam. 22:26), and all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth to those who keep His commandments (Psalm 25:10). Paul teaches us more about the rich mercy of God in Ephesians 2:4-5. We are made alive by Christ because of the great love by which God loved us even when dead in our transgressions.
On days of remembrance, the reality is especially poignant that our freedom is never free. In the history of this country, God has not primarily used religious or political leaders to safeguard liberty; He uses the sacrifices of men and women in the armed forces to secure our freedom.
Spiritual liberty, too, was bought at a high price. Jesus Christ paid his life for our eternal freedom.
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