But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through His name.John 20:31
A man’s credentials carry more weight when verified by the testimony of others. This is why employers look for referrals, official transcripts, and so forth. It is not enough to state who you are and what you’re capable of accomplishing. Most men want to hear about your abilities and accomplishments from the lips of others, and then they want to see a demonstration of your abilities. In other words, they want your performance to speak for itself. “Don’t just tell me what you can do; show me.” Jesus first demonstrated His deity by performing a miracle of healing that neither the man nor the angel had been able to do. He then followed up by claiming to be God. And when the people rejected His word, He called upon the testimonies of John the Baptist and Moses, men whom they all trusted. These were the greater witness because they confirmed the deity of Christ.
Jesus heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda (vv. 1-14).
The site of the Pool of Bethesda is no longer known for certain, but a basin does exist in this general area into which small amounts of water trickle periodically. It is believed that the water sources have been blocked by debris over the centuries, but that in Jesus’ day water would have flowed freely into this pool. The Bible does not say that the angel was visible. It could be that whenever a fresh supply of water flowed into the pool, people assumed an unseen angel was causing the disturbance. Angels do exist, and I believe they are instrumental in assisting us with healing and protection, so it’s not unreasonable to assume there truly was an angel present. It’s also reasonable to believe people could be healed by stepping into the water, for even today bodies of water abound all around the globe where healing has been scientifically proven. Not only are these natural bodies of water beneficial to those with skin and joint diseases, but some have also been healed of such diseases as AIDS, cancer, blindness, obesity, and high blood pressure. The “secret” lies in high concentrations of minerals that our bodies need, minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and silica. Here are ten such places where a bath in their waters can leave you feeling not only refreshed, but healed:
- Tlacote, Mexico
- Nadana, India
- Yankalilla, Australia
- Pamukkale, Turkey
- Nordenau, Germany
- Blue Lagoon, Iceland
- Ma’in Hot Springs, Jordan
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
- Budapest, Hungary
- Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado
The fact that so many naturally-occurring sources of therapeutic waters exist throughout the world points to a great God of mercy. But not everyone is able to take advantage of the healing properties of the water. This lame man is an example of someone who could not help himself. He was so close to healing, and yet so far away. Then Jesus stepped in and did what this man could not do for himself, and where even the angel had been insufficient. If the man had known with whom he was speaking, he might have expected Jesus to stir the water Himself and then place the man in the water. Although our Lord certainly could have done it that way, He who created the water and gave it properties of healing did not need the water to meet this man’s need. He simply spoke the word, and the lame man stood and walked.
Jesus claims to be equal with God (vv. 15-30).
The fact that Jesus healed this man angered the religious leaders. Yes, they were hung up on the fact that Jesus “performed the work of healing” on the Sabbath Day, the day of rest. But that was not their main concern. The real burr under their saddle was that Jesus claimed to be God.
There are people today who will try to tell you that Jesus was a good man, but not God. Yet in this passage, the Lord Jesus Christ makes no effort to hide His identity. We know this because the Jews wanted to kill Him, and their reason was because He made Himself equal with God (v. 18). Jesus had restored strength to feeble legs, but He went on to assert that He also has the power to raise the dead. Essentially Jesus told the religious leaders, “Anything God can do, I can do too because He and I are one and the same.” The Jews did not want to believe that Jesus is God. They looked for Messiah to come, yes, but not this Man. They were not interested in being liberated from their sin; they only wanted to be freed politically from Roman oppression and corruption. They had no need for eternal life, only for a comfortable life in the world that they knew and loved. This is why they rejected Jesus.
Others also bear witness to the deity of Christ (vv. 31-47).
After giving a compelling argument for His own deity, Jesus then said, “Don’t take My word for it.” And He went on to present to them three other witnesses—references on His résumé, you might say—that prove He is who He says He is.
The Words of John the Baptist
The entire mission of John the Baptist was to proclaim that Jesus is the Messiah, the One sent from God to be the Savior of the world.
The Works of Jesus
The fact that Jesus could perform deeds that no man or angel could do was testimony to the fact that He is God, for only God is greater than men and angels.
The Writings of Moses
Jesus was very direct here, telling them, “Search the Scriptures, for you believe you have eternal life based upon what you read in them, and they testify of Me. I have no need to judge you before God; the words that Moses wrote in the Torah stand as your judge. For had you believed Moses, you would believe Me also, for he wrote of Me. But if you don’t believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?”
To Sum It Up
This same message applies to you and me today. If you don’t believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, One with God, then you might as well throw your Bible away. On second thought, don’t throw it away, but search it, search it diligently, pleading with God to show you the truth about Jesus Christ. He told us everything we need to know in the pages of His Word. Anything else that has been written has either expounded or confounded the truth. God’s Word is truth (Jn 17:17).
If you do not accept the deity of Christ, nothing else matters. If you do not accept the deity of Christ, you cannot enter heaven. Jesus is the only way to heaven. I leave you with these words of Jesus from today’s chapter: “Truly, truly I say to you, ‘He who hears My word, and believes on Him who sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed from death unto life’” (John 5:24). Jesus is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
This week’s reading
NOTE: I use the term “week” rather loosely here. Due to my schedule, I’ve come to find out that I cannot write every week. But I’ll write as often as I can, for this message is important. Please comment below with your own thoughts on this subject. I would love to know where you stand in your relationship with Christ, and if what I have written has helped you in any way. Until next time, may God richly bless you!
This week’s memory verse
All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and he who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.John 6:37
Photo taken at Princess Beach in Destin, Florida, 2019