30 “I can do nothing by myself. I judge only as I hear. And my judging is fair. I do not try to please myself. I try only to please the One who sent me. 31 “If I give witness about myself, it doesn’t count. 32 There is someone else who gives witness in my favor. And I know that his witness about me counts. 33 “You have sent people to John. He has given witness to the truth. 34 I do not accept human witness. I only talk about it so you can be saved. 35 John was like a lamp that burned and gave light. For a while you chose to enjoy his light. 36 “The witness I have is more important than John’s. I am doing the very work the Father gave me to finish. It gives witness that the Father has sent me. 37 “The Father who sent me has himself given witness about me. You have never heard his voice. You have never seen what he really looks like. 38 And his word does not live in you. This is because you do not believe the One he sent. 39 “You study the Scriptures carefully. You study them because you think they will give you eternal life. The Scriptures you study give witness about me. 40 But you refuse to come to me and receive life. 41 “I do not accept praise from people. 42 But I know you. I know that you do not have love for God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me. But if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 “You accept praise from one another. But you make no effort to receive the praise that comes from the only God. So how can you believe? 45 “Do not think I will bring charges against you in front of the Father. Moses is the one who does that. And he is the one you build your hopes on. 46 “Do you believe Moses? Then you should believe me. He wrote about me. 47 But you do not believe what he wrote. So how are you going to believe what I say?”
This passage highlights the continual conflict that Jesus faced from the Jews. Because of his revolutionary message they could not accept that He was the Son of God, and that His authority came directly from the Father.
In the Passion Translation, Dr Brian Simmons indicates that according to Mosaic laws a man’s testimony about himself is inadmissible. Jesus’ opponents would be fully aware of this law but still insisted on challenging Jesus’ authority.
Even Jesus was unable to convince these Jews of His true identity. In His discussion we observe two very important principles about authority; [i] the authority he exercised was the Father’s authority so under no circumstances was Jesus trying to get His own way, He was only carrying out the father’s orders. [ii] As a significant leader, Jesus had absolutely no interest in getting the crowd’s approval.
Jesus’ testimony is pivotal because if a person does not take Jesus seriously then he/she will not believe that Jesus came from God the Father and it would be impossible to know anything about God. The Bible, God’s Word, will not necessarily lead to eternal life unless the person studying the Word acknowledges that it is all about Jesus God’s Son.
Father God we praise you for Jesus. We believe without a shadow of doubt that He is Your Son and that He is the only way to You. Holy Spirit we ask you to ensure that as leaders we exercise the same kind of authority as Jesus did.
Written by Keith Bennett