Day 42: Testimony of Miracles

John 5:31-38 : “If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid. It is another who testifies about me. I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true. You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved. He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me. The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. You don’t have his word living in you; because you don’t believe him whom he sent.

Jesus continues His discourse to the Jewish leadership when He found out they wanted to kill Him. Once again, He brings up the subject of testimony. He says that He can’t testify for Himself, but that there is one who’s testimony they can rely on. He mentions two witnesses:

  • John the Baptist
  • God the Father by way of miracles

Jesus, moving past the horror of the fact that they planned to kill Him, carefully details the case as to why His claims were legally worthy of consideration. He explained to them that yes, John testified, but I have a greater testimony than that of John; and my miracles testify that God Himself agrees with me.

This is not an unusual concept for a Jew. Moses came to Egypt to free them and display God’s glory using signs that God used to testify that Moses was who he said he was. Perhaps the greatest sign that God gave Moses was a sign of death to the firstborn the night before the God freed them. Jesus was about to give the biggest sign of all as well, and it was not to be death this time.

Then, Jesus turns the tables and levels an accusation against them. He claimed that they knew nothing of God because they didn’t accept Him. Here He says that they have never seen or heard God and they don’t have his word living in them. I would think that this is a very heavy accusation to a Jewish religious leader because they took pride in their knowledge of the Bible. To say that they didn’t have God’s word living in them must have hurt their pride. This was a thing that Jesus not only didn’t attempt to avoid, but determined to do. He purposefully hurt their pride. Once again, the Bible doesn’t describe a passive Jesus. He continues on with this tone in the next verses.

Day 23: God’s House

John 2:12-17 : After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days. The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”

The Passover celebrates God’s delivery of Israel from Egyptian slavery. It is also a representation of the Lamb of God that would take away sin, because by the blood of a lamb, the houses of the Jews were passed over by the angel of death which took the lives of all of the first born children of Egypt.

It was required at that time for Jews to make sacrifices, so the animals were being sold in the temple. This obviously troubled Jesus enough to take extreme action. This is one of the notable acts of Jesus that was far from being “meek and mild.”

If the temple is full of marketing, how can a person get to see God? How horrible to think that anything would get in between God and man when man needs God so much.

God should be the main event of the temple. God does not allow competition for our attention. Yes, the Bible does say that God is jealous for our love. He is not jealous of you, but for you. This means he doesn’t want anything to compete with Him for your attention. God knows that there is nothing better for you than to keep your attention on Him. Most of us have had to learn this the hard way.

When the house of God has marketing going on inside of it, it distracts you from giving God the attention He deserves. Does this apply to our churches? I honestly don’t think the Bible is saying that at all. The temple is where God’s presence is. The temple is not your church building. If you are a believer in Jesus, the temple is your body:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 : Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

What would it mean to have our temple become a market place? Perhaps it is when we allow things in this world to fill our minds instead of God. Perhaps it is when we don’t present ourselves as those who have God in ourselves. Here are some questions to ponder: “What about you is more amazing than the fact that God lives in you? When people come to visit you, what do they come to see?” God really is more amazing that anything else and being one that has God living inside is to be one whose most important quality is God’s presence. The church building is not the temple, but we are as believers, and we should encourage each other to keep ourselves true to God and not allow the world to corrupt us.