Be Well Rounded and Believe
by David Thompson
Have you ever been in a courtroom or watched shows like Law and Order? The lawyers know that if they are really going to persuade the jury and the judge, a witness to the events in question is important. And, for the prosecution, if the witness is involved in the crime a second witness is mandatory for corroboration. The more witnesses the lawyer has to attest to the facts in the case the better. If the lawyer really wants to make a compelling argument at this point, he or she presents a witness that has special credibility.
John in John 5:36-47 begins with John the Baptist attesting to Jesus' identity and power. This testimony should certainly carry more weight than Jesus speaking for Himself. In the courtroom a criminal, even though he or she swore an oath to tell the truth often does not. So Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not hold much stock in Jesus' testimony. Where were the "corroborating" witnesses? Of course they would discount one witness, especially since John the Baptist was a relative and no friend to Herod or to the religious leaders who were interrogating Jesus.
So what does Jesus do? He states the fact that His Father in heaven has put Him here and has given Him powers no ordinary man has. Unfortunately, the Pharisees and other religious leaders couldn't hear God, and often times stated that the powers Jesus had came not from the Father, but from the devil.
Jesus was not finished yet. He realized that these men were very knowledgeable in the scriptures (primarily the first five books - called the Septuagint) and believed in Moses' writings most of all. So Jesus "called an audible" and pointed out that Moses spoke of Him (Genesis 3:15; Numbers 21:9, 24:17 and Deuteronomy 18:15). Jesus let the words of Moses accuse them. I am sure that Jesus had these top religious leaders "spitting nails" and especially after accusing them of not believing Moses.
Jesus warns not only them, but us as well. The bible tells us not to be just "...hearers of the Word only, but doers..." (James 1:22). The actual scripture reads "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." But turning it backwards emphasized my meaning better. If we just read the Word regularly, we could be deceived. Ask God and the Holy Spirit to make you more than a hearer and literally become a doer to what you read. Over time many spiritual truths will start connecting and you will be stronger due to it.
Dear God, thank you for your Word and all that is there to teach us about you, your Son and the Holy Spirit. Help us to become doers of the words that we read. Also help us to be aware that knowing a bunch of words about you will not necessarily save us. So give us the help to believe in your Son because of what we read. Amen!