Greater Witness

(John 5:36)

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.

Imagine we were at that time of John the Baptist.

The public ministry of John the Baptist was a spectacular national event which could have surpassed any of the three national gatherings of the Jews in Jerusalem.

John the Baptist was not baptizing people at the temple where Jews would go for their devotion and dedication to God, but his ministry was by the river Jordan.

The very fact the whole nation went forth, away from the temple, and towards the river where John the Baptist was baptizing explains a lot about his authority in God and how much the people acknowledged him as a prophet sent of God.

Jesus Himself acknowledged John the Baptist as a great prophet.

John the Baptist carried an important position as “the forerunner” before the first appearing of Jesus. Therefore given the circumstances and credentials of John the Baptist, what he will say and testify about Jesus carries a lot of credibility.

What was spoken of John the Baptist was as authoritative as when the Old Testament prophets would say “Thus says the LORD!”

The implications of John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus have crucial direct impact about eternal life and salvation of God.

John the Baptist had spoken very daring definite words about Jesus –

(John 1:29)

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

The salvation plan of God simplified in 13 words ..

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

For the Jews hearing this, they already knew their channel of redemption through blood sacrifices.

It was every Jewish man’s responsibility to know the Torah and what was written in it.

Within the content of the Torah, four out of five books recorded their national exodus from Egypt towards the Promised Land and this is where the whole nation learned about covenant relationship with God and blood sacrifices.

They knew, without blood sacrifice there will be no redemption and no continuing relationship with God. And God Himself warned them through Moses, they shall teach and continue to teach what they know and learned from God, to their children and to their children’s children. They need to keep passing on their values of covenant relationship with God to the next generations.

Now when John the Baptist appears, this is his testimony –

(John 1:29)

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Such words from John the Baptist was so powerful, his own disciples left him and went after Jesus.

Andrew, the brother of Peter, was a disciple of John the Baptist and he went over and followed Jesus because of what John the Baptist testified about Jesus.

That happens in the Gospel of John chapter 1. Going on to the Gospel of John chapter 5, Jesus said something even more powerful and authoritative –

(John 5:36)

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.

What happens in between?

Did Jesus discredit or contradict John the Baptist’s testimony?

No, definitely not.

We knew there are those who did not believe in Jesus and it was the same group of people who rejected John the Baptist’ baptism and they were trying very hard to establish their own facts that this Jesus is NOT the messiah.

When I mentioned “they do not believe in Jesus”, what I meant is they do not believe what Jesus taught and said about repentance and entering the kingdom of God. They met Jesus in person, yes they believe in the existence of Jesus but they rejected what Jesus said and taught about the kingdom of God.

So what do they believe in? Everything and anything else except what Jesus actually said and taught.

I strongly believe these were the same group of people where Jesus challenged them “the baptism of John, was it of God or of men?”

Now what Jesus has spoken to them in the Gospel of John chapter 5 about “greater witness than that of John”, does that sound like “final warning for them?

It could means, if they don’t believe John the Baptist; chances are they will miss the next greater witness from Jesus.

Long story short, straight to the point, let me just identify what exactly is that “greater witness than that of John” Jesus Himself was referring to –

 

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead

 

Let me just declare here, the most fundamental important value of my personal faith in Jesus is in the infallible proof of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead!

 

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is factual, indisputable and the most valuable foundational truth of every believer! 

 

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the greatest evident we have received in the entire history of humanity that Jesus is sent of God to be our Messiah.

The resurrection of Jesus is God’s best guarantee Jesus is the appointed mediator between Man and God.

Let’s go through a few scripture reference

 

(1Timothy 2:5)

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”

 

(Revelation 5:6)

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

 

Whatever was written here are not “script writing”.

What I mean by “script writing” is when a writer wants to write a story for a movie production, he spends times at café and starts thinking and make-up a new story.

 

(1Timothy 2:5) – was written by the Apostle Paul, based on what he witnessed and encountered through his missionary journey as church-planter and preacher for the Gospel of Jesus.

The only way to discredit the Apostle Paul’s testimony is to deny his existence and to deny what was recorded in the Book of Acts.

 

(Revelation 5:6) – was recorded by the Apostle John based on what he witnessed as factual occurrence.

If you are Bible School student you might notice something interesting about the Book of Revelation. The most debatable issues about this book is about “when” not “if”. Means to say a lot of debate about the content of this book is about timing, when all these will happen or which part of it already happened.

Remember when Jesus foretold about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in Matthew chapter 24, His disciple ask “when” will it happen. They did not doubt Jesus’ prophesy. John who wrote the Book of Revelation was among the disciples present in Matthew chapter 24.

 

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the greatest witness of God’s salvation plan for mankind. And today, we as Christians, we are living witness of Jesus’ resurrection.

If you read through the accounts of the Gospel and Acts carefully, you might notice the same group of people who rejected John the Baptist’s testimony was the same who rejected Jesus’ resurrection and the testimony of Stephen first martyr of Christianity.

But one among them who repented became a great apostle and defined Christianity to the world.

 

(Acts 11:25-26)

Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people.

And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

 

That turning point of Paul’s life was recorded in Acts chapter 9, where Paul encountered the risen Christ in person!

In those days the true mark of an apostle appointed by Jesus the head of the church and founder of Christianity, is they must be eye witness of the risen Christ.

So did Paul meet the risen Lord as Peter, James and John did?

The answer is a definite yes!

The church will not exist and we will not be where we are if Jesus did not rise from the dead. Through faith in God’s promises and message, we are living testimony of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

 

In-His-Service

David Z