Note: This series is written as a first-person narrative in order to present Jesus in the context he walked with the unknown disciple that narrates presenting my thoughts and sparking more thoughts with his questions. Enjoy.
“Where are your witnesses! The Scriptures require at least two! Prove your case, you blasphemous cur,” the Jewish leader spat.
“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.”
Calling John the Baptist a lamp was a term of honor reserved for rabbis and important people in Scripture.
“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.“
I looked at our new friend, Matthew, saying, “The miracles he’s done proves he’s from God.”
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
“So we don’t gain eternal life from obeying Scripture,” Matthew asked.
“You have to come to Jesus,” young John piped up.
“Who do you think you are,” another Jewish leader raged.
“I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.”
“How dare you!”
“I 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. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.”
“Moses is Isreal’s intercessor! We trust him, not you Nazarene!”
“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
Immediately words from Deuteronomy came to mind. Moses prophesied, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.’”
The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
The leaders began to sputter. A few began whispering quietly among themselves. Jesus turned and left them, with us following. I pondered the prophecy I learned as a boy as we left Jerusalem.
John 5:31-47 and Deuteronomy 18:15-22