Jesus is continuing to address the Jews who confronted the man for carrying his bed on the Sabbath. He was doing EXACTLY as Jesus had instructed him to do. And nothing he was doing was against the Law God gave. It was only against their nit picking restrictions added on top of the Law. But that is not what Jesus is addressing with them right now. Instead He is addressing the fact that they are angry that He revealed Himself as the Son of God.
“How. Dare. He!” Jesus had placed Himself on par with God. If anyone else had done that they would have been guilty of blasphemy. They would deserve the righteous indignation of the Jews. They would also deserve the wrath of God. But when Jesus makes this claim, He is PERFECTLY within His rights. He is speaking only the truth. Jesus is going to tell them straight up why they can believe His claim.
Jesus starts with the earthly witness available to them; John the Baptist. John preached that the Messiah was at hand. He was coming in their lifetime; in fact RIGHT NOW! Israel had been waiting for hundreds of years for their redeemer. Now they were being told that He walked among them now! That was an exciting message! Everyone wanted to receive that message; until the second half of it was given. The part where change was expected on their part. “That wasn’t part of the deal! He was just supposed to come and rescue us from our oppressors. That’s all we really need. We are decedents of Abraham and that’s all that matters.” So they took back their approval of John’s message.
Jesus then moves onto the most powerful witness of all; the works that are being done right in front of them. The works themselves speak of God’s hand moving through Jesus. The Holy Spirit brought about these wonders at Jesus’ command and the Father’s approval. I have heard prayers offered many times that include, “if it’s Your will please…..” Jesus didn’t need to include that stipulation because He intimately knew the Father’s will. He was living it every day. And as proof of Jesus’ obedience to the Father and their relationship, God made certain EVERY prayer Jesus made was fulfilled.
The final witness that Jesus brings up is God’s words through the prophets. Everything spoken about Him through Moses on was being fulfilled in His life. He was the living embodiment of all the promises. If they would have looked with hearts desiring the truth, instead of biased halfhearted glances, they would have found the scriptures shouting the truth about Him. Jesus told them that Moses himself would be accusing them of willful blindness.
Jesus was the true judge of their behavior, but He refused to condemn them. Time and again He spoke of previous generations condemning them, but He Himself forgave them with His dying breaths. His desire was for each of them to recognize the truth right in front of them, but He knew they wouldn’t. That too though was part of God’s plan. Not that He MADE these men reject Jesus, but that He knew they would and He would use that rejection to open the door for the rest of the world. Yes, Jesus pushed their buttons, but if they would have stopped even once to consider the truth He was speaking, they might have seen the truth. Nicodemus did. I wonder how many others finally recognized the truth.
Father God, I’m guilty too of not seeing what is right in front of me at times. Sometimes I search so hard for the “hidden meaning” that I miss the main point that is spelled out right in front of me. Can’t see the forest through the trees. Help me Lord see the whole truth, not just the parts I want to hear. Open my eyes, ears, and heart to everything You have to say.