John's Gospel - a new look no 8 Witnesses for Jesus
The four witnesses
John’s Gospel - A New Look: No 8
Four witnesses are enough - John 5:31-47
In a court of law, witnesses are called to prove or disprove the guilt of the accused. Sometimes the accused is called to the witness box, but ultimately it is the testimonies of those who saw what happened, which carry the most weight.
Jesus is on trial today, charged, not with any crime against mankind, but of being an imposter and a fraud. Those who witness against him are often uninformed and unreliable witnesses. They argue their case from the emotional point of view that he could not be who he claimed to be, because his claims are impossible. There is no evidence to support this viewpoint, only prejudicial bias, and this would be tossed out of the court.
In this section, the writer brings four witnesses to the table. Firstly he admits that while Jesus could testify about himself, this would not be accepted. Secondly he brings John the Baptist who, at the baptism of Jesus, saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus (Mt.3:17). Thirdly he appeals to the works that Jesus did. John chooses from the many miracles Jesus did, just seven such signs. These miracles are legitimate witnesses as they were not done in secret but rather in public and recorded by the four Gospel writers. These Gospels have been proved time and time again to be reliable. The final witness is the record of God’s dealings with his people and recorded in the Old Testament. These “writings” as John calls them, point clearly and unambiguously to Jesus as the Messiah and Saviour.