The other day, we were having our cell meeting at our home. We discussed on the portion from the Book of John chapter 5 verses 30-35. There was an interesting question that was raised, and here is the answer which we discussed. You also would have thought about this question. Please share your views as well in the comments section below.
The question is:
Jesus says,“If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true”. Then why is Jesus witnessing about Himself in the same passage? If Jesus witnesses about Himself, will that witness be true?
Here is the passage for your reference.
30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. 31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
Let’s first have a look at the word meaning of ‘witness’ from different sources
Witness (noun) means ‘a person who sees an event, typically a crime or accident, take place’ or an ‘evidence/proof/testimony’. Witness (verb) means to see (an event, typically a crime or accident) happen OR to have knowledge of (a development) from observation or experience.
From original texts
The Greek word used in this passage is martureō which means to be a witness, that is, testify (literally or figuratively): – charge, give [evidence], bear record, have (obtain, of) good (honest) report, be well reported of, testify, give (have) testimony, (be, bear, give, obtain) witness.
This term ‘witness’ is often used in a courtroom setting. In a court proceeding, a witness may be called (requested to testify) by either the prosecution or the defense.
There are various forms of witness
A percipient witness or eyewitness is one who testifies what they perceived through his or her senses (e.g.: seeing, hearing, smelling, touching). A hearsay witness is one who testifies what someone else said or wrote. An expert witness is one who allegedly has specialized knowledge relevant to the matter of interest. Example: A doctor. A reputation witness is one who testifies about the reputation of a person or business entity, when reputation is material to the dispute at issue.
A witness is someone who has, who claims to have, or is thought, by someone with authority to compel testimony, to have knowledge relevant to an event or other matter of interest.
Now, let’s come to the point which Jesus said.
If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true
Which means, usually a witness bears record of another person. If a witness bears witness about Himself, his witness is not true. The question here is: Why then Jesus witnesses about Himself?
Hope you got the question!
Let us explore three reasons on how the self-witness of Jesus becomes true.
Firstly, even if Jesus bears witness of Himself, His witness is TRUE.
Because Jesus said so!
14 Jesus answered and said to them, “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 and where I am going.
Jesus cannot tell lies, so we can trust His own witness about Himself
Secondly, Jesus witnesses what He has seen and heard FIRST HAND
Only Jesus has the true-knowledge of the great God
If Jesus remains silent about His identity, we will never come to know about Him. If Jesus remains silent about God the Father, no man will ever know about the Father, because no one has seen the Father God in His all fulness of glory. No man has ever heard the voice of God in its full majesty. Only Jesus has seen God in His all fullness, because Jesus came from the Father. Therefore Jesus is the only source of the true first-hand witness of God, the Father.
Hence, the witness of Jesus is 100% TRUTH.
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him John 1: 18
Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. John 6: 46
Have you ever doubted God? Ask Jesus. He will truly reveal who God is, and His witness is true. Have you ever doubted the identity of Christ. Search the scriptures, there are numerous witnesses about Jesus, from the Father, prophets etc. You can trust the scriptures and believe in Jesus, the Son of God.
Thirdly, Jesus witness about Himself so that we can be saved
but I say these things that you may be saved John 5: 34
Jesus says/reveals all these things, so that we may be saved through His witness. Yes, that’s the ultimate goal of witnesses in the Bible.
Now, what is your role and mine? It is to witness what we have heard/seen/observed/experienced FIRST HAND from Jesus Christ. God is not asking anything more. He simply asks us to testify what we have seen.
That’s what John also does
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (I John 1)
For more reading….
7 Scriptural Witnesses (from Book of John)
- John the Baptist about Christ John 1: 34
- The Works of Christ John 5: 36
- The Father about Christ John 5: 37
- The Old Testament John 5: 39
- Jesus Christ about Himself John 8: 14
- The Holy Spirit about Christ John 15: 26
- The believers John 15: 27
Has anyone ever seen God?
The Bible tells us that no one has ever seen God (John 1:18) except the Lord Jesus Christ. In Exodus 33:20, God declares, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14) so when people saw Him, they were seeing God. In our fallen human condition, if God were to fully reveal Himself to us, we would be consumed and destroyed. Therefore, God veils Himself and appears in forms in which we can “see” Him. However, this is different than seeing God with all His glory and holiness displayed. People have seen visions of God, images of God, and appearances of God, but no one has ever seen God in all His fullness (Exodus 33:20).
Is Jesus truly God Himself? (2 min video in English and Malayalam)
- e-sword application