The Verdict


My favorite TV shows and movies are courtroom dramas. I love the long mystery that plays out in a stuffy, reverberating hall, culminating with the discovery of “Who dunnit?” One of the most memorable of these scenes comes from the movie A Few Good Men, where Tom Cruise, as the prosecuting attorney, with raised voice shouts, “I want the truth!” And Jack Nicholson’s character quips back, “You can’t handle the truth!” At the end of the day, the truth is what we all long for. The scene in today’s passage takes place in a courtroom of sorts, where witnesses bring testimony to the only truth that has the power to grant life.

  • What is the truth by which you live? Is it bringing you life?


5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. According to verse 5, who overcomes the world?
  2. Whom or what are the “three” that testify and agree (vss. 6-7)? What do they agree upon?
  3. What key words are repeated in these verses? What is the effect of the repetition?
  4. What fundamental truth is John trying to get across by presenting the testimony of all the different witnesses mentioned in the passage?
  5. If you were put on trial today, would a jury conclude that you “have the Son of God”? What would the evidence be?


The only way to overcome the world is through Jesus. The witnesses that step up to the world’s grand courtroom and testify to this are the water of Jesus’ baptism, the blood which Jesus gave on the cross, and the testimony of the Holy Spirit. As if that were not enough, John presents one more witness—the God of the universe. If a person claims to believe in God, he or she must also believe that Jesus is the Savior of all. The testimony demands it. Jesus died a real death, shedding real blood, to make a way for real people like us to have eternal life. Court adjourned.

  • Thank God that he sent his son Jesus to make a way for you to overcome the world.
  • Ask God to give you the power and desire, through the Holy Spirit, to testify for Jesus in your everyday life.