Last week, I shared an article from David Ferguson on the seven “I AM” statements found in John’s gospel. Today, I want to continue that idea and share with you the seven witnesses in John. Each witness testifies to the divinity and mission of Jesus.
First, we have the testimony of John the Baptist. In John 1:29-34, John sees Jesus coming toward him and proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” He is our Passover Lamb, given by the Father to atone for our sins.
Second, we have the testimony of Nathaniel. In John 1:43-51, we have Jesus calling his first disciples. He calls Philip to follow him and he, in turn, goes to find his brother Nathaniel but he is unsure. After an exchange with Jesus Nathaniel testifies to the deity of Jesus by saying, “… you are the Son of God!” Not only is Jesus our Passover Lamb, given to taking away our sins but he is also the only begotten of the Father (John 3:16).
The third witness of Jesus is Peter. In John 6:66-69, we have a large number of disciples turning back from following Jesus. Jesus turns to the twelve and asks, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter responds and says, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Peter’s testimony is that Jesus alone has the words needed for eternal life and is the Holy One of God which means he alone was sent by God.
The fourth witness is Jesus’ testimony of himself. In John 10:22-30 we see the Jews confronting Jesus and asking him to speak plainly concerning his identity. They have already been told the truth and Jesus knows it. He responds by saying, “I and the Father are one.” Jesus tells us that he is not just a great man or teacher but is God in the flesh (Immanuel).
The fifth witness to the deity of Jesus is found in John 11:27. Mary and Martha are grieving their dead brother and wondering why Jesus waited so long to come. Knowing they are hurting Jesus says to Martha, “your brother will rise again” and Martha quickly retorts, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” She clearly misunderstood or maybe she doubts his words. To which Jesus says, ” I Am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he life, and everyone who believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus is making it as clear as possible and Martha makes her great testimony of Jesus. She says, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” Martha testifies to us that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one of God.
The sixth witness is doubting Thomas. I dislike that title given to him because it disregards his entire history of faith and obedience to label him based on one moment of doubt. After refusing to believe that Jesus has risen from the grave, Jesus appears to Thomas. He challenges him to touch him, put his finger in the wounds and believe. In response to this new evidence, Thomas in John 20:28 says, “My Lord and my God.” Thomas reminds us that Jesus must be more than a Lamb and sin offering. We must allow him to be our Lord and God.
The seventh and final witness in John’s gospel is John himself. In John 1, he begins by telling of Jesus deity and eternal nature and even how he became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). But at the end of his gospel account of Jesus, he tells something even more powerful. In John 20:30-31, John tells us that he wrote his gospel account to cause belief in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. He even tells us that this faith will result in life in his name.
Each of these witnesses tells us something important about Jesus and helps us to truly believe in him and walk in accordance with that faith. Jesus is the Christ, the Lamb of God, who came to take away our sins. He is the only begotten Son of God who is equal with God in all aspects of deity. He demands our submission to him as Lord and Christ, as the living embodiment of God himself. Lastly, he says that we are put that belief into practice and let him give us life.
Oh, what a wonderful Savior we have in Jesus Christ.