John 5 v 31 - 47

''What evidence can you produce that your claims are true?'' the Jewish religious leaders demanded of Jesus. In the Jewish Law no one could be out to death on the evidence of only one witness; it had to be a minimum of two. Well, Jesus cites John the Baptist who had as we have seen repeatedly borne witness to Him. His other witness on His behalf is God, His Father: and how do we know that God supported Him? By His words of wisdom and by His miracles and by the testimony from within human beings. When you hear the Words of Jesus read in church, does not your heart stir within you? Those who were open-hearted such as Nathaniel experienced the call of God as Jesus spoke. So, what mistakes were these Jewish rabbis making in their studies? 1. They read Scripture with a shut mind. They read it to support and bolster their own positions rather than discover more about God. They loved their ideas about God, rather than God Himself. For us, the Bible is there to test our beliefs, not prove them. 2. They worshipped the Bible's words, they were committed to Bibliolatry. The Bible is not to be worshipped in the same way Muslims worship the Koran. It is the record of God's revelation, not the revelation itself. That is why we can happily have different translations of the Bible and can put our Bibles on the floor. We are to read the Bible as pointing to Jesus Christ, for He is the full revelation of God to man and woman. The function of the Scripture is not to give life, but to point to the One who can. The Jewish religious leaders had been reading it wrongly, because when the Messiah appeared, despite all their studies, they did not recognise Him! If we do not know of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ then we are not yet a child of God, however much we study and memorise the Bible. As John wrote in his first chapter, the Word of God became flesh and moved into the neighbourhood!


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