Thursday, May 21, 2015

John 5:31-47 comments: honor only from God

31 ¶  If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. 32  There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. 33  Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. 34  But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. 35  He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. 36  But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 37  And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38  And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. 41  I receive not honour from men. 42  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43  I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. 44  How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 45  Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. 46  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. 47  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

Jesus declares that He is not just stating that He is the awaited Messiah. His identity as God in the flesh, the Son of God, has been revealed by John the Baptist, whom they respected. But, Jesus is not satisfied with the witness of a man, even one who was very important, in order that the people might be saved. Jesus’ own works declare His identity, the works given by God the Father for Him to complete on earth. This is very important as He proved Himself by His obedience even unto death and by His resurrection from the dead and declaration of salvation for all who believed what He said about Himself.

God the Father has been a witness, as well, although only John the Baptist heard Him. Until now, the people have not heard God the Father nor seen Him. Everything, though, is changed and nothing will continue as it was. If God’s word is in them they will believe on Christ. If not, they won’t. The Jews who believed that through the Scriptures they had eternal life and a physical resurrection, also had to understand that Christ is in that expectation, as the origin of it. Sadly, the overwhelming majority would not come to Him so that they could have eternal life.

Jesus did not expect any honor or prestige from mankind. He did not expect to be feted in palaces by emperors and kings or honored in the temple. He did not need man’s approval to fulfill His mission, only God the Father’s.

Jesus stated that He knew that the people He was talking to did not truly love the God who created them. He came in His Father’s name and the Jews would reject Him, as a result. They did receive, though, many false messiahs who declared themselves to be the one to lead their people to triumph, coming in their own names, delivering their own message.

People seek the honor of men and not the honor of God only. Conservative churches are not concerned with the service demanded in the New Testament for Christian churches in caring for the needs of those among them who are weak, sick, or in need. See Acts 2:45; Acts 4:35; 2Corinthians 8:14; 9:12; Ephesians 4:28; James 2:14-17 and contexts.  In America, we have turned that over the government. We are now only interested in new church members, changing the service of God to simple obedience to men and to the needs of the organization, not the people growing in grace and truth and being ambassadors for something other than paranoia, fear, and political faction.

Like David’s wicked census of his kingdom, we want numbers, to be approved of men, and are not willing to be seek honor only from God. We must see results. Jeremiah would not do as a pastor over a church today. Neither would Jesus. Americans are all about success; the most home runs, the most touchdowns, the number of paying fans in the stadium, the most votes, the number of decisions for Christ, how many are you running in Sunday School, etc. etc. Honor only from God doesn’t always appear obvious on this earth, in this life. Churches tell others about the “sweet bye and bye” but want their rewards now. Being faithful to God’s word, no matter how many faces shine up from the pews, is what is needed across the land, faithful stewards of the mysteries of God (1Corinthians 4:1-2 literally).

Verse 45 makes a very important point, that we should look for Christ in the first five books of the Bible, written by Moses. There are many types and allegories of Christ and Christ Himself in those books. Jesus is saying that if the Jews had their hearts where they should be they would see Him in Moses’ writings. Since the Jews did not believe Moses’ writings they were not going to believe Jesus’ spoken words.

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