Witness for the Defense

Gospel of John #16: An exposition of John 5:30-47. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, February 27, 2011.

I like courtroom dramas.  Just the other night I enjoyed an evening watching the classic Twelve Angry Men with Henry Fonda.  The whole movie takes place in the jury room as 12 men seek to work their way through the evidence and arguments of a trial to decide the guilt or innocence of the accused.  Of course it all started for me with Perry Mason.  I was fascinated by how Perry, Della Street and Paul Drake were able to get at the truth.  At the same time I could never understand how Hamilton Burger and Lt. Tragg could keep their jobs seeing they always arrested and charged the wrong man!  I guess the thing that attracts me is the notion that the truth is what matters ultimately.  I’m fully aware that in the “real world” the system is warped.  It seems it is more about putting on the best show or “winning the argument” than it is a pursuit of truth but in theory, if not always in reality, it is about the truth.  What really happened?  Did they do it?  Is she guilty as charged?

In love and kindness He stopped at the feet of a hopeless invalid and spoke words of life.  Instantly the man was made whole.  Rather than sharing in the joy of this miracle the religious establishment wanted to punish a Sabbath breaker.  The Lord Jesus became the object of their wrath.  As they persecuted Jesus for His supposed violation of the Sabbath, Jesus gave His justification, which resulted in the charge of blasphemy.  Two very serious charges – Sabbath breaking and blasphemy.  That is the context of our text this morning found in John chapter 5 beginning at verse 30.

Text: John 5:30-47

Jesus is about to call a few witnesses in His defense.  He begins with God the Father 5:32.  He is a little more specific in 5:37-38.  When did the Father bear witness?  At Jesus’ baptism (Mt. 3:17) and again at the transfiguration (Mt. 17:5).  Twice the voice of God was heard, audibly, to declare, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

But in this text Jesus presents three witnesses on His behalf.

  1. John the Baptist testifies to the purpose of His coming.  (5:33-35)
  2. His miracles testify to the truthfulness of His message.  (5:36-37)
  3. The Scriptures testify to the glory of His person.  (5:39-47)

There is one other witness that I would add…

Acts 17:30-31: The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.

In short God is saying, “I’ve made it clear to the whole world that this is My only begotten Son, and the days of patience are forbearance are over.  Now I command you to come to Him because I’m going to judge the whole world through Him.”

Do you really need more proof?
What could be added to make you believe?

If you will not accept the testimony of God the Father, John the Baptist, the miracles, the Scriptures and the resurrection – what would you believe?

You will not be able to say, on that day, “I didn’t know.  I never heard.”  The evidence is in.  Testimony has been given.  Now it is up to you to deliver your verdict.

This entry was posted in John, Sermon Podcast, Sermon Series. Bookmark the permalink.