John the Baptist denies he is the Messiah
In John 3 we see John the Baptist telling his followers that he is not the Messiah. They had been getting worked up, because John the Baptist was losing his followers to Jesus. It was important that he make sure they understood who Jesus was, and the verse above is solidifying that idea. “Whoever receives his (Jesus’) testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.”
Why do we want people to testify? Why do we need it? If two kids are yelling in the other room, you call them in and ask, “what happened?” You want to hear their testimony. Sometimes their stories don’t match, so you call in someone else who was in the room and ask what they know. Why? Because you want to get to the truth. You want to know what you’ve heard is reliable.
I don’t know about you, but I go through times in my life when my faith is not as strong. I have even been known to have moments where the devil gets into my head and makes me think, “Jill, Isn’t all this Christian stuff hogwash?” Then I might think to myself, “Is it?”. No it isn’t Hogwash, and I’ll tell you the testimonies that I trust.
In John 5 we hear Jesus telling us about the testimonies we can trust. One is the scripture. In scriptures, we hear testimonies about our Lord. Jesus says in John 5:39, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me”. The scriptures bear witness to who Jesus is, both Old and New testament.
John the Baptist Testifies
Have you ever been to one of those churches? The kind where the pastor is so compelling you’re pretty sure he could talk you into almost anything short of drinking the Kool-Aid? The kind of preacher who you know in your heart is telling the truth and the Holy Spirit is working through His words. This is how John the Baptist was to His followers. They were sure his words were true, so it meant a lot when he pointed these loyal followers to follow Jesus. He was humble enough to know that Jesus was more important, and that for their sake he must testify to the Truth. In John 5:33 Jesus says, “ You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.”
John 5:37 says, “And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me.” When Jesus was baptized, God was testifying. The Father and the Holy Spirit were present. Matthew 3:16-17 God the father speaks about who Jesus is, “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold,the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Actions sometimes speak louder than words
Jesus’ actions, miracles, signs and wonders all pointed to Him as our Messiah, our savior. In John 5:36 Jesus says, “For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.” I find the more I pay attention to the miracles and blessings around me, the more I see (like when you buy a car, suddenly there are more of them on the road). I become more aware of my Lord at work in the world around me, and in my life.
All of these ways to know Jesus as the truth are amazing, but one that I truly cherish is being able to hear the personal testimonies of other believers. God is still at work among us and that is a wonderful, faith building thing.
Don’t Neglect this Salvation! Hebrews 2:1-4, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
Testify! Have you been called to be a witness?