Hello again everyone. Today, we are going to be continuing our look at the doctrine of the Trinity in Scripture. We’re in the NT now and we’re in the book of John. Our goal has been throughout to try to see the self-understanding of Jesus and try to see the inter-relations that are going on between the three persons of the Trinity. The more I learn the doctrine of the Trinity, the more I am amazed with it and my recent encounter with Jehovah’s Witnesses, which will continue Saturday, left me in even more awe.
Our text tonight is John 5:41-47.
41“I do not accept praise from men, 42but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?
45“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
Jesus does not accept the praise of men? How does this go with the Trinity. He is not talking about worship here. He is talking about rather the endorsement. He does not go to humans to get his credentials. He goes straight to God. Jesus did not go around seeking glory in the eyes of the crowd but rather in the eyes of God.
This is what Christ condemns them on and let it be clear that Jesus was tough with his opponents. Where did we get this idea of gentle Jesus meek and mild? Look at the accusation he gives starting in verse 42! He’s talking to the Jews and telling them that he knows that they don’t have the love of God in them.
In fact, he makes it as a knowledge claim! Look at these people! These were the ones following the Law of YHWH meticulously! They were studying the Scriptures as Christ himself acknowledged. They were living in defiance of a pagan empire and resisting all that was coming in from it! They had been willing to die in faithfulness to YHWH and Jesus says they don’t have the love of God in them?
We Christians must learn to take the words of Christ seriously even if we don’t like them at times. Some of us may feel our feathers ruffled a bit in our Politically Correct society. Jesus was not Politically Correct. My friend Ergun Caner once stated “If it’s politically correct, it’s probably biblically corrupt.” PC is a cancer killing our society as it kills truth. It does not allow real discussion of the issues because that could hurt someone’s feelings.
Christ looks at that generation of Jews and tells them that the love of God is not in them. Now this is not a charge against all Jews for all time, but just the ones that denied who Jesus is. The same could be said of any Gentile also who denies who Jesus is. No one should get special condemnation for being Jewish, but they don’t get special benefit at the cross either.
Jesus tells the Jews that they’re ready to accept anyone else in another name, but they don’t accept him. The implication is that if they believed the Father, they would believe him. They are looking to look good in the eyes of one another, but they are not seeking the praise of God. This must have been an amazing claim to the Jews listening at the time.
However, Jesus takes it further and says that he is not their accuser. Instead, their accuser is Moses. What he says is remarkable. First off, it implies that he knows that Moses wrote about him. It also implies that he knows what Moses will be doing on the last day. Finally, it implies that the listeners who paid so much attention to the Law did not believe what Moses wrote.
At this point I conclude with the thought of if we’ve really looked at Jesus and how he must have seemed to his contemporaries. Have we really considered these words or have we just read them from time to time without letting them reach us?