Do you believe the words of Jesus?


“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 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. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:39-47

Do you believe the words of Jesus — that He is the only-begotten Son of God, come into this world a true man that He might fulfill God’s law for us and then suffer our condemnation and punishment by His death on the cross?

As Jesus’ words make clear, not all who claim to be God’s children and read and study the Scriptures understand the message of God’s Word. Not all see their utter sinfulness and failure to measure up to the demands of God’s holy law, and not all look to Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross in faith for mercy, forgiveness, and everlasting life.

Jesus’ hearers in John 5 read and studied the Scriptures — particularly the Torah, the writings of Moses — and thought they could please God and be acceptable in His sight by their keeping of God’s commandments. They failed to see that the commandments revealed their sinfulness and that the Scriptures pointed to the coming Messiah and Savior who would redeem them from their sins and iniquities by His innocent sufferings and death on the cross. Though the Old Testament Scriptures pointed them to Jesus the Messiah and to His atoning sacrifice as the only way to be acceptable in God’s eyes, they failed to see that Jesus was their Messiah and Savior — their only hope for salvation and partaking of the glories of God’s everlasting kingdom.

Instead of hearing God’s Word, they accepted men’s words and interpretations. Instead of seeking glory from God, they sought honor and glory from men and rejected the truth of God’s Word.

As Jesus said, He did not need to accuse them before God the Father; the very writings of Moses, which they read and studied and claimed as the basis for their beliefs, condemned them for their failure to keep God’s commandments and their refusal to look to Christ Jesus and His perfect sacrifice for pardon and forgiveness.

If Jesus’ hearers believed the writings of Moses, they would also believe Jesus’ words, repent of their sinful ways, and look to Jesus and His cross for mercy. Why? Because Moses wrote about Jesus and His coming.

Jesus is the Offspring of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15), Abraham’s Offspring through whom the nations of the world would be blessed (Gen. 12:3; 22:18), the substitute Lamb offered up in the place of God’s people foreshadowed by the ram offered up in the place of Isaac (Gen. 22:13-14), the perfect Lamb of God foreshadowed by the Passover Lamb and Israel’s sacrifices (Exo. 12:1ff.; John 1:29), the Prophet like unto Moses (Deut. 18:15-19).

And, of course, if we also include the Writings and Prophets of the Old Testament, we would know the place of Messiah’s birth, that Jesus is God Himself in human flesh and blood, that He would suffer and die and redeem us from all our sins, that He would rise again and establish an everlasting kingdom, that He would ascend into heaven, that He would come again in glory and be our judge, that the only way to be saved is to turn from our sins and look in faith to Messiah Jesus and His cross and place our hope and confidence in Him.

Do you believe Jesus’ words? Do you believe Him when He reveals your failure to keep God’s commandments? When he reveals the fact that you are a sinner and cannot stand in God’s judgment on the basis of your own life and works? Do you believe His words, as well as the testimony of Moses and all the prophets, that Jesus is God the Son and the Messiah and Savior? Do you believe that only through faith in Him and His atoning sacrifice on the cross can we sinners be pardoned by God and acceptable in His sight?

If you do not come to Jesus and believe His words, if you do not trust in Jesus as your Savior, the words of Moses and all the prophets condemn you.

In John 3:35-36, we read: “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

O gracious and merciful Father, we Thank You for the gift of the Son and for forgiveness and life through faith in His name. Grant that we hear and believe the witness of Your Word and the witness of the Son that we might repent of our sins and trust in Messiah Jesus, and so receive the everlasting joys of heaven. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.]

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