WHEN IT COMES TO THE VERACITY OF THE CLAIMS OF CHRIST THERE IS NO HIGHER COURT OF APPEAL THAN THE GODHEAD
Background of testimony in court;
How do you establish the truthfulness of the testimony?
How do you establish the credibility of the witness?
Can you believe what he is saying?
– OT law – truth established on the basis of two or three witnesses
– our complicated judicial process allows for all sorts of courts of appeal right up to the Supreme Court
I. (:12) LOFTY CLAIM OF CHRIST: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD / THE LIGHT OF LIFE
A. Another of the “I am” sayings
“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am’”
B. The Light of the World
“the Light of the World”
Jews stumbled over this emphasis of the need to be a light to the Gentiles around them. They wanted a nationalistic emphasis instead.
Implies that the world is in a state of darkness and death and separation from God.
C. The Light of Life
“he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
II. (:13) LYING CLAIM OF PHARISEES: UNSUBSTANTIATED TESTIMONY
“The Pharisees therefore said to Him, ‘You are bearing witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.’”
Mistake of outright dismissal of the claims of Christ without further examining any of the evidence
Morris: The leaders of the opposition to Jesus are the Pharisees. They do not address themselves to the main question. Indeed, they do not speak of light and darkness at all. Typically, they fasten on a legal technicality. . .
But light establishes its claim. It does so, not by arguments, but by shining. Light must always be accepted for itself, and that notwithstanding the objections of the blind.
III. (:14-18) LEGITIMATE CLAIM ACCORDING TO THE GODHEAD
A. (:14) Legitimacy Proven by Personal Knowledge of Heaven
(as opposed to their Ignorance)
“Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true; for I know where I came from, and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from, or where I am going.”
First qualification for any witness in court is that they must have intimate personal knowledge regarding the subject matter; no mere hearsay testimony.
Hendriksen: This knowledge, moreover, is not only immediate, intuitive, and reflective but also complete.
B. (:15) Legitimacy Proven by Spirit of Mercy
(as opposed to Spirit of Hypocritical Condemnation)
“You people judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone.”
Stedman: You reject my claims because you look only at appearances. You judge according to the flesh. You regard me as nothing but a troublesome tub-thumper, a rabble-rouser who makes claims he has no right to; one who has no political influence, no wealth, no standing and no political power, and so you reject me. You even think I came from Nazareth, in Galilee, and for that reason you say I am not the Messiah. But you never investigated and found that I was born in Bethlehem, according to the word of the prophet. You do not know me at all. You judge by superficial things. You think that as the Messiah I am supposed to lead a revolt against Rome — and I will, in God’s time — but because I do not do it yet you reject me. You never read the Old Testament that says many things have to come before that.” Like many people today they were saying “No” to Jesus because of insufficient evidence. But they never bothered to look at the evidence that was there. “I do not judge people by outward appearances,” Jesus declares. “I know what is in the hearts of men.”
C. (:16-18) Legitimacy Proven by Joint Testimony of the Godhead (Father and Son)
1. (:16a) Conclusion: I Stand for All the Truth All the Time
“But even if I do judge, My judgment is true.”
2. (:16b) My Testimony is Not Unsubstantiated
“for I am not alone in it, but I and he who sent Me.”
3. (:17) Established Principle of Veracity of Two Supporting Witnesses
“Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true.”
4. (:18) What Better Two Witnesses Than God the Father and God the Son?
“I am He who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
IV. (:19) SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE RENDERS PEOPLE INCAPABLE OF BELIEVING THE TRUTH
“And so they were saying to Him, ‘Where is Your Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘You know neither Me, nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.’”
“These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.”
Stedman: Why did they not arrest him? Because the invisible hand of the Father was restraining them. We have already seen that, despite their rejection of Jesus, their ignorance, and their unwillingness to accept his claims — and, as a result, all the hatred and the scorn they felt for him — they could not stop him. Even though he spoke out in public right in the temple courts where the offering was taken, where everybody had to pass through, yet no one could arrest him because the Father was with him.