We play a game at our dinner table known as “embarrassing mistaken identity stories.” We all seem to have an embarrassing story to share. Those are funny stories, but there are also the false identity stories that have become all too common. Many of these lead to sad, if not tragic consequences. Who can you trust? How can you know if the person at the other end of a personal message or phone call really is who they say they are?
- Consider a situation you’ve personally experienced, or one you’ve heard about, where there is damage due to an identity issue.
READ THE WORD: JOHN 5:30-38 (ESV)
30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- What point was Jesus making in verse 31?
- Who did Jesus name as witnesses throughout the passage?
- What do you suppose are the “works” Jesus referenced in verse 36?
- In verse 37, Jesus spoke of God the Father as a witness. Why is it that we miss the message of this witness?
RESPOND TO GOD
Jesus is who he says he is. Not simply because he says so (although he certainly has the authority). There is also the witness of John, who clearly identified him as Messiah. Jesus says he doesn’t actually need human testimony, but if that helps us to believe, so be it. He points to a testimony from God the Father as a witness which never dies. His identity is confirmed with his complete dependence upon and submission to the will of the Father. It is confirmed by prophecy, and affirmed by his work on earth (think miracles, resurrection). Jesus is who he says is he is. And because of that, we can believe that all he promises is true.
- Thank Jesus for all the ways his identity has been testified to. Praise him that he is who he says he is!