MORE ABOUT JESUS
Dr. Chuck DeVane, Pastor
Lake Hamilton Baptist Church
Hot Springs, Arkansas
April 26, 2020
30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
— John 5:30-47, ESV
Why did you gather with the church today? Did you pick a place to make you feel good, or feel good about yourself? Or, do you assemble with the body of Christ to learn more about Christ? Why are you here?
Why do you read your Bible? Are you looking for secret answers to financial success, or some special knowledge to make you superior to others? Or, do you search the Scriptures to see more about the Savior?
I could ask similar questions about any number of spiritual disciplines practiced by people who call themselves Christians. These are important things done for important reasons. But they are only right in God’s sight when done for the right reasons. So, why do you do attend church services, read the Bible, pray, and other such things? The great hymn writer Eliza Hewitt said it simply and best:
More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of his saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.
We come to worship to experience “more about Jesus.” We study the Bible to learn “more about Jesus.” We should order every aspect of our lives so that they are “more about Jesus.” To help us in this pursuit comes this grand text in the Gospel of John that teaches us “more about Jesus.”
More About Jesus’ Motives
Why did Jesus do the things that Jesus did?
More important that a person’s hands is a person’s heart. The hands won’t work if the heart won’t beat. And it is a person’s heart that gives the motives for the things the hands do.
Jesus, with the heart and hands of God, did many things. He preached many sermons, healed many people, even raised a few from the dead. But why did Jesus do the things that He did? The text reveals at least two reasons.
Jesus was captivated by God’s will. His earthy life and ministry was dictated by “not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me” (vs. 30). Remember that Jesus is fully God and fully man, Son of God and Son of Man. As a man He was poor and not rich, castigated and not championed, executed in an early death rather than living a long, rich, prosperous life.
So much for His best life now. The humanity in Jesus surrendered to the deity of Jesus in order to accomplish the overall plan of Almighty God. Why such surrender?
Jesus was concerned about saving souls. Everything Christ did was “so that you may be saved” (vs. 34). Jesus was motivated by eternity. So, He spent His earthly life to redeem God’s people, so that we can have eternal life by grace alone through faith alone in the atoning work of Christ alone.
One always leads to another. You show me a father or mother, a pastor or a church member, or anyone who is totally dedicated to the will of God, and they will bring a harvest of souls in their wake. Jesus only left a hundred or so you could count, but there were thousands of others influenced who eventually came to Christ, and millions perhaps billions more since He first came to earth.
When Jesus comes again, the only ones to benefit will be those who did God’s will and those who are saved, which defines both the Christ and the Christian. Think about it, and make your life more about Jesus.
More About Jesus’ Witnesses
What did others say about Jesus?
You’ve heard of the false cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses, so let’s take a look at the true testimony of Jesus’ witnesses. This passage tells us more about Jesus from the mouth of four witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist testifies about Jesus. “You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth” (vs. 33). John the Baptist preached on the deity and eternality of Jesus Christ, the one who was born after him but came before him. John the Baptist preached on the humanity and atoning work of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. John the Baptist preached on the necessity of repentance toward and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was a good witness for Jesus Christ!
Miracles testify about Jesus. “The very works I am doing bear witness about Me” (vs. 36). Jesus did not do miracles to show off, to raise funds for an airplane, or any other of the false reasons the false prophets used today. Jesus did real miracles, things that only God can do, to testify to the fact that He was, is, and always will be God. They gained attention for the gospel message, God testifying about God.
The Father testifies about the Son. “The Father who sent Me has Himself bore witness about Me” (vs. 36). Speaking of God testifying about God, the Father spoke on several occasions concerning the Son. The Son spoke on every occasion with the authority of the Father. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit speaks constantly to draw people to the Father through the Son. God is always testifying about God.
The Scriptures testify about Jesus. “You search the Scriptures …, and it is they that bear witness about Me” (vs. 39). Get baptized and get involved in your church. Understand that your very salvation is a work of God, a miracle of grace. Dedicate yourself to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Then, get into the word of God, the Scriptures. You will know more and more about Jesus. You will be more like Jesus, in ways that will bless you and try you.
More About Jesus’ Enemies
If Jesus is so good, and He is, and if Jesus has such excellent witnesses to testify on His behalf, and He does, then why in the world would Jesus have any enemies? The world, the flesh, and the devil are always hostile to the King of kings and the kingdom of God, and never more so when all three are combined in false religion.
This is an otherwise positive text in John’s Gospel that has a negative context. Jesus’ original audience for these saying were “The Jews [who] were seeking to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (ref. 5:18). By the time of John’s writing, the late first century, Jerusalem had been sacked, the Temple burned down, and the religious ruler Pharisees had scattered to the wind. John simply refers to them as “the Jews,” meaning the religious hypocrites who set themselves up in opposition to the Son of God. It was, and is, easy to spot them.
Enemies of God “do not have the love of God within” (vs. 42). They may appear to love God and the things of God outwardly, but within they only have love for themselves and the things they can use religion to gain, like money and power. Their messages are always more about them, sometimes more about you, but never more about the sound doctrines of Jesus Christ.
Enemies of God distribute and promote false teaching, and false teachers flock together. “If another comes in his own name, you will receive him” (vs. 43) and “you receive glory from one another” (vs. 44). I’ve watched enough religious television, for research purposes of course, to notice how many times the televangelists refer to one another and one another’s false “word of faith” doctrines. The more you learn about Jesus, the more you are able to recognize these wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Enemies of God do not believe in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. “You do not believe,” (vs. 47) is their bottom line. If one does not believe in the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ, if one does not believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, if one refuses to accept these truths from the inspired and authoritative word of God, then one does not believe in God.
Jesus famously said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (ref. Matthew 12:30). He has had enemies ever since. Actually, we were all once His enemy, until God revealed to us more about Jesus. Now, more about Jesus is what our lives are all about.
More About Jesus
This text raises a lot of questions and provides some good answers. But there is more about Jesus, in John’s Gospel, in the New Testament, in the entirety of the word of God. All of the Bible bears witness about Jesus, more and more about Jesus.
More about Jesus let me learn,
More of his holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.
More about Jesus in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing his voice in ev'ry line,
Making each faithful saying mine.
More about Jesus on his throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More if His kingdom's sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of peace.
Dr. Charles F. "Chuck" DeVane, Jr., is the Pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. His weekly sermon article, "The Gospel Truth," has been published in newspapers in Arkansas and Georgia. Dr. DeVane is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served in the pastorate for over 20 years. Contact Pastor Chuck at PastorChuck@lakehamiltonbaptistchurch.org