Jesus is Who He says He is: the only way to the Father and Eternal Life
If I alone testify in My behalf, My testimony is not valid and cannot be worth anything. There is Another Who testifies concerning Me, and I know and am certain that His evidence on My behalf is true and valid. You yourselves have sent [an inquiry] to John and he has been a witness to the truth.
But I do not receive [a mere] human witness [the evidence which I accept on My behalf is not from man]; but I simply mention all these things in order that you may be saved (made and kept safe and sound). John was the lamp that kept on burning and shining [to show you the way], and you were willing for a while to delight (sun) yourselves in his light.
But I have as My witness something greater (weightier, higher, better) than that of John; for the works that the Father has appointed Me to accomplish and finish, the very same works that I am now doing, are a witness and proof that the Father has sent Me. And the Father Who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me. Not one of you has ever given ear to His voice or seen His form (His face-what He is like). [You have always been deaf to His voice and blind to the vision of Him.] And you have not His word (His thought) living in your hearts, because you do not believe and adhere to and trust in and rely on Him Whom He has sent. [That is why you do not keep His message living in you, because you do not believe in the Messenger Whom He has sent.]
You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life. I receive not glory from men [I crave no human honor, I look for no mortal fame], But I know you and recognize and understand that you have not the love of God in you.
I have come in My Father's name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval. How is it possible for you to believe [how can you learn to believe], you who [are content to seek and] receive praise and honor and glory from one another, and yet do not seek the praise and honor and glory which come from Him Who alone is God?
Put out of your minds the thought and do not suppose [as some of you are supposing] that I will accuse you before the Father. There is one who accuses you, it is Moses, the very one on whom you have built your hopes [in whom you trust]. For if you believed and relied on Moses, you would believe and rely on Me, for he wrote about Me [personally]. But if you do not believe and trust his writings, how then will you believe and trust My teachings? [How shall you cleave to and rely on My words?]
(John 5:31-47 AMP)
Jesus had healed the lame man and the leaders of the people were seeking to be rid of him. Jesus had just equated himself with God in explaining his work on the Sabbath and equating it with God's work.
Now, he goes on to provide the testimonies for the Son.
He fully disavows purely personal authority due to requirements of the Law Deuteronomy 17:6; although in John 8:14 Jesus states his testimony would be valid if he did testify for himself. But He defers all things to the Father and does not act independently and provides 3 witnesses for who He is.
The Father's authorization of the son is mediated 3 ways:
1. The witness* of John the baptist
2. The witness of the miracles or signs.
3. The witness of the scriptures. (Of course they were the entire OT).
*The word for witness in the Greek also can mean martyr.
First, the witness of John the Baptist. The Baptist's testimony was a human one and, not the most important, yet Jesus mentions it that "you might be saved". Jesus reminds them that many of them and some of the leaders had been prepared to listen to John and enjoy his 'light'. Jesus is saying: Go back, and remember John's message of repentance and whom he pointed to as the one who was to come.
The Baptist was not the light but gave witness to the light. (The 'burning light' was a rabbinic idiom for a famous man but the light of the world was more than a famous man!).
We, also, are witness to Jesus. We are not the light, but give witness to the light, the Son of God.
Giving witness to Jesus, pointing to him, is the privilege of every disciple. The most regularly used way for people to come to Christ is the testimony of others who have found Jesus for themselves.
D.T. Niles' classical definition of evangelism: "One beggar telling another beggar where to find bread".
2nd, the witness of miracles/signs. The miracles here are called 'signs'. They carry more weight than the Baptists's testimony. They're part of Jesus' entire mission and include his miracles and his death and resurrection. Actually, they include the entire unending work of our Lord: his world transforming saving, renewing, liberating, healing, teaching, comforting, directing moving throughout the world and its citizens. But as Jesus is explaining, each must come to God through Jesus himself.
John 5:36 "...the works that the Father has appointed Me to accomplish and finish, the very same works that I am now doing, are witness and proof that the Father has sent me.
John's Gospel lists seven of these work (signs)s:
1. The turning of water into wine (2:1-11)
2. The healing of the official's son (4:43-54)
3. The healing of a paralytic (5:1-15)
4. The feeding of the multitude (6:1-14)
5. The walking on the water (6:16-21)
6. The cure of the blind man (9:1-41)
7. The raising of Lazarus (11:1-44).
Each miracle or sign shows Jesus' power in a different part of human life on earth.
Obviously, the Father has placed his seal of approval on the work of Jesus on earth. The fact that is Jesus and what he did on earth historically is difficult unless you see him as Thomas did: "Lord and God'. John 10:28.
3rd, the witness of the Scriptures. This one, I learn about each day as I read the Old Testament. This is what I believe. All scripture is about Yeshua (Jesus). It's all about him, what he does, how he comes to us and the results for us. It's all about God's love. The entire Old Testament is about the Son. He says in John 5:39:
"...And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me!"
Scripture as Luther put it is the "cradle of Christ".
(The Jews when in exile and without their Temple and sacrifices, began to study the Scriptures meticulously. They began to substitute their interpretation of the Scripture (oral Torah) for their own faith.)
Jesus states the Jews have not heard nor seen God. He states they do not have God's word living in their hearts because they do not trust in nor rely on Jesus, who was sent.
God has revealed himself in the Scriptures which at the time was the entire Old Testament. Jesus agrees they have studied diligently the sacred writing but their study is not helpful because they do not see Yeshua, the Messiah in those writings. It isn't mastery of the Scripture as literature that will give the eternal life, but the Son himself gives that life and it is the Son that is introduced and explained in the Scriptures. (They totally missed Him).
The basis for this is a prior decision: "...you refuse to come to me."
The heart. The human will.
"But I know you..."
(John 5:42 AMP)
Jesus gives a scathing accusation of the Jewish leaders for their refusal to come to him for the life he offers. They fail because they esteem human praise above God's praise. Theirs was a faith of human merit. They seek salvation through obeying the commandments.
(This explains their irate, paranoid defense of the oral law, the additional regulations they had put on the people which conflicted with Jesus from the start.)
It was a thoroughly human religion allowing no place for the living God and not allowing any understanding of the horrible predicament of humanity when in God's presence, and that humanity was totally infused with the power of sin.
Jesus pointed beyond themselves to the divine, beyond human merit to God's grace.
There was evidence that many Jews believed that Moses' intercession for the people of God continued and that Moses was their Savior and intercessor with God. If that is so, Jesus' comment is shocking. Moses, their savior is in fact their accuser and judge because the covenant with God at Mt Sinai is now fulfilled in the new covenant in the Son and his gift of the Spirit.
In verse 43 Jesus tells them they will receive another who will come in his own name. I think this is the antichrist that the Jews will make a 7 year covenant with. Many will still be blind. (Daniel 8:25; 9:27).
Those who thought they had the most (the Jews) truly had/have the least. They would not come to Jesus for their very life.
Jesus was speaking to the Jewish religious teachers.
But He also speaks to the Gentile. We put our faith in much other than our Lord. Some do not come to him at all. Others come to Jesus but don't stay. The things of this life beckon and we find it hard to say no. Then those who put their full faith and trust in Yeshua will learn by the Spirit, grow in His Spirit, obey by the Spirit and do great works in the Spirit.
Jesus is who He says He is.
To win the prize we must abide in Him. The prize is eternal life with Him forevermore. Halelujah!