Most religious founders and leaders, except Jesus, heard voices, saw visions and had dreams. Abraham believed he saw angels and Moses was convinced that God had carved the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. The prophets believed that they were mouthpieces of God. The judges, kings and public leaders saw themselves as instruments of God’s Spirit. Jesus did not fit any of these claims. How did He differ from all the other religious personalities? What did he say about himself? We do have his answer in John 5: 31-40.
“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.” “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who has sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, nor does his world dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify of me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
Jesus pointed to four reliable and valid witnesses that did the claiming for him. Jesus mentioned John the Baptist, but there were others that heard the voice from heaven and saw a dove settle on Jesus as a sign that the Father was pointing out his Son to the witnesses. The Risen Jesus alone had more than five hundred witnesses (I Cor.15: 6). There were singles like Mary and Joseph, Simeon and Anna, Peter and Thomas, a number of women and a Roman officer in charge of the crucifixion. God allowed these people to recognize his Son. The heavier proof was the work Jesus had come to do. It was overwhelming. Nicodemus, a teacher and leader put it best: “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him,” (Jn.3: 2). And no one has ever matched Jesus.
The third witness was his Father or God the Spirit. From the cradle to the grave Jesus was about his Father’s business (Lk.2: 49). He insisted that he functioned under the direction of the Spirit of God (Lk.4: 18; Jn.5: 19; 8: 28-29). It was in the Spirit that the kingdom of God was being offered to man (Mt.12: 28; Lk.11: 20). One could mock Jesus as a man, but to mock the Spirit was against God and unforgivable (Mt.12: 30-32). And it was the Father that was exalting the Son (Jn.8: 54). In simple terms, we may question Jesus as a person but not the work of the Spirit or God. The fourth witness were the Scriptures and they were the handing down of the Spirit of God. The Son was God’s spoken word (Jn.1: 1-14). Jesus said, “I do nothing on my own but speak what the Father has taught me,” (Jn.8: 28). Therefore, to believe in what Jesus was doing and teaching was the same as believing in God. It was also the plain truth how God was setting man free (Jn.8: 32). In Jesus, God has opened a way for man to return to him (Jn.14: 6). It was God that claimed he had placed the eternal destiny of man in the hands of his Son (Jn.3: 35-36). He did it because he loved this world for it was His special project (Jn.3: 16; 1: 3-5).