The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 5:31-35 is, when viewed by itself, a difficult passage. Jesus says that he doesn’t give testimony about himself. This, of course, is testimony. Then he says that John’s testimony is accurate. The problem? John is a person. There’s another challenge, that in this world we do accept human testimony. We seek reliable witnesses. Is John reliable? Jesus says he is. And again we notice that Jesus is, in effect, giving testimony about himself by endorsing John’s statements.
Jesus may very well be pointing to the idea that we do need to weigh the evidence we receive. We may receive this or that person’s testimony. However, we want to find what is reliable. That’s the job we all have when we consider biblical evidence. It is written evidence which presents itself as a factual account of plausible events in real times and places. What’s the quality of evidence? Many will accept it at face value.
There’s another, more important, question in this passage. What are we going to do with that testimony? Do we recognize that John is directing us to Jesus, the light of the world? Though the proofs may not be the exact kind of information we would look for in our time and culture, they point very clearly to a Jesus who is divine, who loves the world, and who is actually able to give his life for our redemption. This is the testimony of John.
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