As Jesus went through His years of ministry on earth, He rubbed some people the wrong way, particularly some of the religious leaders of the time. One Sabbath day, as Jesus was in Jerusalem, He came upon a man who had been paralyzed for thirty-eight years and healed him. As Jesus saw the man lying on a mat at the pool of Bethesda. People would go to this pool for healing. It was believed that an angel would sometimes stir its water and the first person to enter the pool at that time would be healed. When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed, the man replied that he had no one to put him in the pool when the waters were stirred up and someone always got to the water before him. Jesus told the man to pick up his mat and walk and the man was immediately healed (John 5:1-9).
As the now-healed man was walking with his mat, the religious leaders pointed out to the man that, as it was the Sabbath, it was not lawful for him to be carrying his mat. When the man told them that Jesus had healed him, their anger against Jesus burned even more than before. When they came upon Jesus in the Temple, they questioned why He was doing these things on the Sabbath. Jesus responded that His Father was always working and so was He. He was simply doing what His Father was doing. Now, the religious leaders sought, even more, to kill Jesus, as He was not only breaking the Sabbath but was also calling God His own Father. He was making Himself equal to God (John 5:9-18).
Jesus did not deny the accusation of the religious leaders. He endorsed it. Jesus stated His case, pointing to the authority given to Him by God. And then, as a lawyer calls on witnesses to prove his case, Jesus also called on three witnesses. The first witness was John the Baptist (John 5:30-35). John had been sent by God to prepare the Jewish people for the coming of Jesus. John knew who Jesus was and declared it to the people. He bore witness to the truth about Jesus, the truth that He was to Son of God.
Jesus’ second witness was the witness of the works He performed, His miracles. Jesus said that His works were a greater testimony than that of John. Throughout the Gospel accounts, we read of Jesus healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, making the lame walk. We read of Him turning water into wine, feeding thousands of people with a few loaves and a couple of fish, calming a storm, and even walking on water. All of the works that Jesus did were the works given to Him by God to accomplish. They bore witness to the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, sent by the Father (John 5:36).
The final witness that Jesus presented was the Word of the Father (John 5:37-47). God’s Word was highly regarded by the people of Israel, especially the law that was given to them by Moses. The words of the law, as well as the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures, were inspired by God. And those Scriptures bear witness to Jesus. He was the Messiah promised in the Scriptures, but the religious leaders and many of the people were blind to that. Why? Because, as Jesus pointed out, they searched the Scriptures but did not have the love of God in their hearts. Because they did not have the love of God in their hearts, they did not see Jesus for who He really is.
Jesus is the Son of God, the promised Messiah. And the proof that He is who He said He is comes from the testimony of those who knew Him for who He was, the testimony of the works that He performed and continues to perform, and the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God found in the pages of the Bible.