Study Notes

John 5:30-47


Remember that Jesus was first being persecuted by the Jewish leadership for working on the Sabbath, and now they want to kill Him because He has claimed to be equal with God.

In verse 19 of John 5, He began to answer them, confirming that He had in fact worked for good on the Sabbath and was in fact equal with God. We continue our study of what He said, picking up in verse 30...

5:30 Just judgment

Jesus tells them,

John 5:30 "...My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

We are called to make judgments every day. We formulate opinions and make decisions based on many things. What we hear and see, how we feel, and on past experiences.

But making judgments about things is difficult. It's not an exact science. Often, we misjudge people or their motives. We come to wrong conclusions and make unjust judgments. How can we make sure that our judgment is just? The same way Jesus did - "I don't seek my own will, but God's will." We are told in Scripture,

John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

God's judgments are righteous and true. Those are what we should seek when we formulate opinions and make decisions. How does the Lord feel about this person? He loves them. How would the Lord enjoy this movie? He wouldn't. What conclusion would the Lord come to about this situation? That is the only way we can make just judgments.

5:31-37 Bearing Witness

God's law for the Jews was very explicit regarding matters needing witnesses. It said,

Deut. 19:15 ...On the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.

The witness of one was not enough. It had to be two or three. That's why Jesus said,

John 5:31 "If I {alone} bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true.

There had to be two or three witnesses. Well, there was John the Baptist - he had borne witness to the truth. But Jesus wouldn't accept the witness of man. Boy, is He in a pickle! His gospel legally needs to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses, but won't use the testimony of man. Fortunately, God is a Trinity. Jesus had two or three witnesses to testify that His word was true.

He bore witness of Himself, the Father bore witness of Him, and the Spirit bore witness of Him. Three witnesses to confirm the word He spoke.

That You May Be Saved

The amazing thing to me is that Jesus loves and reaches out to these ritually religious, hard-hearted hateful people. He says,

John 5:34 "...I say these things that you may be saved."

Jesus' desire is that these men too would be saved! That is very convicting to me. I really don't like religious people. I really don't like people that accuse me and get in my face. I really don't like people that hate me. My usual feeling is that I'll share the gospel with the biker, the prostitute, and the murderer, but the guy who hates my guts, good luck!

Then I remember that I was hateful toward Christ. I attacked who He was and what He did. I defaced and defiled images of Him. I attacked His children. Yet all the while, He loved me and was reaching out to me. Let's never forget that...

Rom. 5:8 ...God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

How needful it is for us to remember to reach out and minster to those who are our enemies, to those who hate us, to those who accuse us.

5:38-40 His Word Abiding In You

He tells them what sounds like two contradictory statements: "You do not have God's Word abiding in you" and "you search the Scriptures." How could they be searching the Word yet not have the Word abiding in them?

It's not enough to be getting into the Word. You have to allow the Word to get into you. James wrote,

James 1:21-24 Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

The Jews had become hearers but not doers. They looked intently into the mirror of the Word of God, but then when they walked away, forgot that the Word pointed out their failings and flaws. They were getting head knowledge educationally, but it never wasn't changing their hearts and lives internally.

It's not just getting into the Word, it's allowing the Word to get into you. Remember that Paul said,

1Cor. 4:20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.

The words are just words on the pages of your Bible until you allow them to have power in your life. You can read and repeat a Scripture like 1Thessalonians 5:16-18...

1Ths. 5:16-18 Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

But they're just words until you let them abide in you. Until you submit to what it says. Are you searching the Scriptures? Are you allowing what you read to abide in you? Your relationship with God must be both intelligent and emotional. Jesus told us the greatest commandment was to,

Matt. 22:37 "...LOVE THE LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and WITH ALL YOUR MIND."

Search the Scripture with your mind. Obey the Scripture with your heart.

The Scriptures Bear Witness Of Me

Jesus said of the Scriptures,

John 5:39 " is these that bear witness of Me"

Again, in a few verses, we'll read,

John 5:46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.

After the resurrection, Jesus gave a Bible study to two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus.

Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Then he appeared to the apostles and told them,

Luke 24:44-45 ..."These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures

Remember that all these references to the Scriptures are speaking of the Old Testament, for the New Testament had not yet been written. The Old Testament talks about Jesus Christ? You bet - on every page.

On Thursday nights, we've been going through Leviticus. Not a chapter has gone by that we haven't seen Jesus in. In our studies through Genesis and Exodus as well, we also saw Jesus represented in so many things. The same will happen as we go through the rest of the Old Testament.

Even in those parts of the Old Testament that seem boring and pointless, like those long genealogies, we find that the Scriptures speak of Jesus. Genesis 5 is an entire chapter of this "boring and pointless" genealogy stuff. Thirty-two verses detail the family tree from Adam to Noah: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalelel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah. When Jesus said that the Scriptures were speaking of Him, He wasn't exaggerating. Looking at the Hebrew meanings of each of the names is enlightening:

Adam means "Man"

Seth means "Appointed"

Enosh means "Mortal"

Kenan means "Sorrow"

Mahalalel means "The Blessed God"

Jared means "Shall Come Down"

Enoch means "Teaching"

Methuselah means "His Death Shall Bring"

Lamech means "The Despairing"

Noah means "Rest"

This "boring" and "pointless" genealogy forms a statement prophesying about the gospel of Jesus Christ: "Man appointed mortal sorrow. The Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring the despairing rest." Truly, the entirety of the book is written of Jesus Christ.

5:41-44 Glory From Men

The Pharisees and other Jewish leadership loved the praise and glory from men. Jesus told us that they would have a trumpet sounded before them as they were on their way to the temple to give alms. They would stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners in order to be seen. They would suck in their cheeks and not wash their faces so that people would know that they were fasting and say, "Oh, how spiritual they are!"

These "righteous" acts of theirs would garner glory from other men, but not from God. Jesus tells them that they should be seeking glory from God, not from men. As long as they were more concerned with what men thought of them, rather than what God thought of them, they would never be able to believe.

John tells us in chapter 12,

John 12:42-43 ...Many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing {Him,} lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

If the Lord has been calling you to salvation, or to a deeper walk with Him, don't wait for it to become socially acceptable before you make that commitment - because it never will. Don't wait for your spouse to come around - maybe they're waiting for you! Don't wait until your friends think it's cool - it's never been cool and never will be. Seek glory from God rather than glory from others.

Another In His Own Name

Jesus said in the middle of that,

John 5:43 "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him."

He is here speaking of another man who will come on the scene and who will be fully accepted by the Jews. Today, the Jews eagerly await the arrival of their Messiah. Having hardened their hearts to the fact that He has already come 2,000 years ago, they are waiting for another instead. How will they know him? Most Jews today will answer that question with "He will bring us peace. He will facilitate the rebuilding of our temple."

In Revelation chapter 6, we read of a man coming on a white horse wearing a crown. Like every good counterfeit, he looks enough like the real thing to fool most people. Some Bible commentators believe that he is Jesus Christ. But he is the man we call the antichrist.

The Bible has much to say about the antichrist. He actually has many titles. He is the Man of Sin, the Man of Lawlessness, the Son of Perdition, the Antichrist, the Coming World Leader, the Prince who is to come, the Little Horn of Daniel, etc.

Our study in Revelation 7:1-13 covers this man in great detail - I highly recommend that you pick up the tape or the notes. But in a nutshell, this is who he is: In the future, 10 nations from the former Roman Empire will arise out of the European community in dominance. The antichrist will come to power and make a "firm covenant" (Dan 9:27), a 7-year peace treaty with Israel. The Jews will hail him as their Messiah, who has finally come.

After just 3 1/2 years, he will break it by committing the "Abomination of Desolation" (Matt 24:15) by standing in the very Holy of Holies in the rebuilt temple and proclaiming and exalting himself above all that is called God, claiming to be God (2Thes 2:4). On that day, a horrible persecution will break out against the Jews, such as has never been seen in the history of the world - Hitler's persecution included (Mat 24:21). And he will make war with all those who come to the Lord during the tribulation and overpower them until the Lord comes back (Dan 7:21-22). If the Lord didn't cut those days short, none of them would live (Matt 24:22).

The antichrist is going to come in his own name. As a matter of fact, the entire unbelieving world will accept his name. I presume you've heard of "the mark of the beast" from Revelation 13. There are all sorts of theories about what it is - that it is a bar code tattooed on you, or a microchip implanted under your skin. But in all that conjecture, one thing is very often missed: When you choose to take it, you have your choice of two marks - either the antichrist's name, or the number of his name.

Rev. 13:16-18 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and {he provides} that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, {either} the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

This guy is going to very literally come in his own name, and will be accepted by all who have hardened their hearts against Jesus Christ.

5:45-47 Moses Accuses

Jesus wraps up this discourse by saying, "Hey guys, the Old Testament writings (that you think are giving you eternal life) are the very things that point to Me!" But you've set your hope in those writings without having taken them to heart.

This is the difference between religion and relationship. The Jewish leaders had religion - but they did not have eternal life because of it... Don't waste your time on religion - have a personal relationship with the Lord.

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