Bible Study John Chapter 5 Verses 38-47
John 5:38 – And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Jesus is talking to the Jewish leaders about Him being the Son of God, and them not believing who He is. They believed in John and John was His witness of who He was (And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God -John 1:34). Then He explained to them that He had a greater witness than John, His Father gave witness to who He was when He came to John for baptism (And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased – Matthew 3:17). Jesus is explaining to them because they didn’t have a personal relationship with God and they had never heard His voice and God’s Word was not abiding in them they didn’t believe that He was the Son of God whom God had sent.
John 5:39 – Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Jesus instructs them to search the scriptures, they spoke of Him (To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them – Isaiah 8:20), (Seek ye out of the book of the Lord and read: no one of these shall fail none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them – Isaiah 34:16), (And the beginning of Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself – Luke 24:27). The Jewish leaders had no excuse for not knowing who He was, they were the teachers of the Law. The Old Testament spoke of the coming of Christ and the Mosaic Covenant was given to Israel in order to reveal sin and death. The Law reflected the holiness of a personal God, instructed the people in God’s discipline, reminded them through the priests and sacrifices of God’s salvation, and acted as a pedagogue to lead to Christ. The Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ day diligently searched the Old Testament Scriptures, but did not see Jesus as the Messiah and did not believe in Him.
John 5:40 – And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. Although Jesus came claiming Himself to be the Son of God, the leaders and Jewish people didn’t want to accept His Sonship nor His Lordship. They saw the power of God working through Jesus, but yet they didn’t want to submit themselves to Him as the Son of God. Rather than accepting Jesus as the Son of God, they claimed the power that was being manifested through Him was by Satan rather than God. The religious leaders knew what the Bible said but failed to apply its words to their lives. They knew the teachings of the Scriptures but failed to see the Messiah to whom the Scriptures pointed. They knew the rules but missed the Savior. Entrenched in their own religious system, they refused to let the Son of God change their lives. People haven’t changed, many are like the religious leaders of Jesus’ time, they served God by certain Scriptures, and reject the Bible as a whole for instructions for the professing believer.
John 5:41 – I receive not honor from men. Jesus was letting them know His honor didn’t come from man but from His Father. Their disbelief didn’t take from who He was and who sent Him. The religious leaders enjoyed great prestige in Israel, but their stamp of approval means nothing to Jesus. He was concerned but God’s approval. This is an example for every Christian, we should be concerned whether or not our actions are approved by God. If the highest official in the world approve our actions and God does not, sooner or later God will compensate us for our disobedience.
John 5:42 – But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. Jesus knew that the love of God was not in them. They were serving God with their lips but their hearts was far from Him. “The love of God” here is not love from God but love for God. Love from God is evidence in Christ. Since God loves us, we should love Him (And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might Deuteronomy 6:5). This scripture is part of the Ten Commandments which they should have been familiar with as knowing the Law.
John 5:43 – I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. Jesus came in the Father’s name, revealing God to the people, but they rejected Him. Jesus was letting them know He came from God, sent to mankind to redeem them back to God, they didn’t receive Him as the Son of God, but if someone came in their own name they would receive them. If someone had come in his own name, giving his own ideas in harmony with the people’s ideas, the people would have received him. Even with today’s teaching, the minister’s that are teaching the Word of God, many have been rejected; because people want to hear about blessings without conditions or their responsibility for receiving the blessings.
John 5:44 – How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? The people did not believe in Jesus because they did not seek the honor that comes from God. We see all the time where people are honoring each other, but their honor has not come from God, they’re honoring one another is for this world, but not for the world to come, the New Jerusalem.
John 5:45 – Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. “Trust” means hope. Christ will not have to accuse the people on Judgement Day because the one in whom they placed their hope, Moses will. The people will be condemned by the very Law they professed to keep. The Pharisees pride themselves on being the true followers of their ancestor Moses. They followed every one of his laws to the letter and even added some of their own. Jesus’ warning that Moses would accuse them stung them to fury. Moses wrote about Jesus (And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any many, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived – Numbers 21:9). When the brass snake was hung on the pole, the Israelites didn’t know the full meaning Jesus Christ would bring to this event. Just as the Israelites were healed of their sickness by looking at the serpent on the pole, all believers today can be saved from the sickness of sin by looking to Jesus’ death on the cross, the sting of death, and Him demolishing sin on the cross.
John 5:46 – For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. Moses wrote about Christ in the promises to the patriarchs, in the history of the deliverance from Egypt, in the symbolic institutions of the Law, and in the prediction of a Prophet like himself (I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him – Deuteronomy 18:18). The Old Testament spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ, and Jesus’ chastising them for not desiring to understand the reason for Moses’ writing.
John 5:47 – But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? The ultimate problem was that the people did not believe the Word of God written through Moses. Their rejection of Moses written also indicated they didn’t believe the Words Jesus spoke. Jesus spoke what He had heard from His Father, and the religious leaders and Jewish people didn’t want to accept His words. The Bible is God’s instructions for His people to live by, and just like the Jewish and religious leaders many of God’s people are professing to be believers, but reject the teaching and instructions of God’s written Word.