Everyone has an opinion. There is a lot going on in this world. People get angry because of ‘other’s beliefs’, they twist and trample, they push and yell. But God speaks, everyday! His Book is written. The most misunderstood of all men is the man, Jesus Christ. Today, we open The Book and let Jesus do the talking. TO him who has ears to hear, let him hear:
“By myself I can do nothing.
As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is true because I do not live to please myself but to do the will of the Father who sent me. You may say that I am bearing witness about myself, that therefore what I say about myself has no value, but I would remind you that there is one who witnesses about me and I know that his witness about me is absolutely true. You sent to John, and he testified to the truth.” (John 5:30-31, Phillips).
Do you remember what the testimony of John was? Here’s a refresher:
(John 1:32-34, Phillips) – Then John gave this testimony, “I have seen the Spirit come down like a dove from Heaven and rest upon him. Indeed, it is true that I did not recognise him by myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water told me this: ‘The one on whom you will see the Spirit coming down and resting is the man who baptises with the Holy Spirit!’ Now I have seen this happen and I declare publicly before you all that he is the Son of God.!”
1:35-36 – On the following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. He looked straight at Jesus as he walked along, and said, “There is the lamb of God!”
Back to Jesus and the words which flowed from His mouth:
“Not that it is man’s testimony that I accept – I only tell you this to help you to be saved. John certainly was a lamp that burned and shone, and for a time you were willing to enjoy the light that he gave. But I have a higher testimony than John’s. The work that the Father gave me to complete, yes, these very actions which I do are my witness that the Father has sent me. This is how the Father who has sent me has given his own personal testimony to me.” (John 5:35-36, Phillips).
So what was ‘the work’ so far? Well, just from the one account, up to chapter 5 in the Book of John, it is recorded that:
-Jesus ‘saw’ Nathaniel ‘under the fig tree’ even when He was too far to physically ‘see’ Nathaniel.
-Jesus had the empty waterpots filled to the brim with water, and when they were served to the master of the wedding feast, it was wine of the best sort!
-Jesus stood up to the Temple priests and turned over the money-changers’ tables and the tables of merchandise saying “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” (John 2:16). And being challenged by what authority He had to do this, Jesus answered the Jews, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”(John 2:19). (This speaking of the future work of Jesus being put to death on the cross and in three days rising again! This spoken of in the presence of the religious leaders. Jesus speaks!)
-Jesus also spoke with Nicodemas at night…who said this about Jesus: “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”(John3:2). So Jesus taught Nicodemas, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). But The Pharisee, Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, he didn’t understand, “How can these things be?” he asked Jesus.
So Jesus answers, not just for Nic at night but for you and me in dark places with questions. Jesus gave him the theme of His whole Story: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that every one who believes in him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life.”(John 3:16, Phillips). Listen very carefully now, Jesus has more to say.
“Be quiet everyone with your opinions! Be quiet about your take on things, Jesus is talking:
“You must understand that God has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it – through him. Any man who believes in him is not judged at all.”(John 3:17, Phillips).
And if you don’t believe that is true, in the very next chapter of the Book, , Jesus is in the presence with …a Samaritan. (Well, today, think of someone that you absolutely ‘hate’ and view as ‘evil’ and listen to how Jesus spoke with the woman:
“Please give me a drink,” Jesus said to her, for his disciples had gone away to the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
“If you knew what God can give,” Jesus replied, “and if you knew who it is that said to you, ‘Give me a drink’, I think you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water!”
“Sir,” said the woman, “you have nothing to draw water with and this well is deep – where can you get your living water? Are you a greater man than our ancestor, Jacob, who gave us this well, and drank here himself with his family, and his cattle?”
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring in the man himself, welling up into eternal life.”
The woman said, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may stop being thirsty – and not have to come here to draw water any more!”
“Go and call your husband and then come back here,” said Jesus to her. “I haven’t got a husband!” the woman answered. “You are quite right in saying, ‘I haven’t got a husband’,” replied Jesus, “for you have had five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband at all. Yes, you spoke the simple truth when you said that.”
The woman didn’t feel condemned, NO! She felt in AWE! AWE of Jesus and His gentleness, His graciousness. Can you hear the tone in His voice? His voice, His voice! He is THE VOICE:
Jesus speaks: “Believe me, …the time is coming when worshipping the Father will not be a matter of ‘on this hill-side’ or ‘in Jerusalem’. Nowadays you are worshipping with your eyes shut… Yet the time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshippers will worship in spirit and in reality. Indeed, the Father looks for men who will worship him like that. God is spirit, and those who worship him can only worship in spirit and in reality.” (John 4:21,23, Phillips).
The Samaritan woman, despised by all the jews around, and perhaps even the people in her area, she responds to Jesus: “Of course I know that Messiah is coming, you know, the one who is called Christ. When he comes he will make everything plain to us.”
And Jesus speaks and reveals Himself to the outcast woman on this very day: “I am Christ speaking to you now,” said Jesus. (JOHN 4:25,26, Phillips). Jesus speaks, yes, to an outcast, to one who is lost and alone, Jesus speaks:
“I am Christ speaking to you now.”
Jesus was right saying that the ‘works’ testify to who He is! Can you hear Him speaking? It’s so much different from the view of everyone around. We might cry: “What’s going on today?” Actually, the answer is: “Nothing different from the days Jesus walked the earth.”
So at times, we feel ‘paralyzed’ by all the evil things going on, and the addictions, and the sickness, and the hatred, and the warring. But if you keep reading the Story, the very next chapter, Jesus speaks to a paralytic. Oh yes, and this guy was probably real discouraged, but Jesus, He speaks:
“Do you want to get well again?” (Can you hear Him? He has such a gentle voice.)
“Sir,” replied the sick man, “I just haven’t got anybody to put me into the pool when the water is all stirred up. While I’m trying to get there somebody else gets down into it first.” “Get up,” said Jesus, “pick up your bed and walk!” Later Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, “Look: you are a fit man now. Do not sin again or something worse might happen to you!” (John 5:8,14 Phillips). Yes, Jesus speaks to us all!
Until now, God is working-Jesus Himself has said: “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” (John 5:17).
In only 5 chapter, amazing testimony is given about the ‘work’ that Jesus was given to do by His Father. Jesus speaks.
You pore over the scriptures for you imagine that you will find eternal life in them. And all the time they give their testimony to me!” (John 5:37-39, Phillips).
“But you are not willing to come to me to have real life!” (John 5:40, Phillips). (Please, let it not be said of us who are listening!)
“Men’s approval or disapproval means nothing to me,…” (John 5:41, Phillips).
“… but I can tell that you have none of the love of God in your hearts. I have come in the name of my Father and you will not accept me. Yet if another man comes simply in his own name, you will accept him.”(John 5: 42,43, Phillips).
” How on earth can you believe while you are for ever looking for each other’s approval and not for the glory that comes from the one God?” (John 5:44, Phillips).
Jesus speaks. His words are clear. They aren’t easy, but they are True! Let’s stop looking around for ‘each other’s approval’ and instead be about our business and giving glory to Him! How? By getting to know Him, more and more,and more and more by hearing His voice. Jesus speaks the Way. And yes, spending time with Him, truly He is the Life!
God make us hungry for Your word, longing to hear Your Voice!