Sunday – April 16, 2023
Word On Worship – Sunday – April 16, 2023
“What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 “He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true.”
We hear stories these days of people who supposedly went to heaven, came back, and wrote a book about it. A lot of what they write contradicts what the Bible says about heaven, but people buy their books and receive it as true because the authors claim to have eyewitness testimony. It’s interesting that none of the people in the Bible who were raised from the dead wrote books or set up speaking tours to tell everyone what they saw up there! The apostle Paul had a vision of heaven (some think it may have been when he was stoned and left for dead), but he only spoke about it hesitantly 14 years after it happened (2 Cor. 12:1-10).
But John’s point in our text is that Jesus can testify truthfully about heaven because He is telling us what He has seen and heard. He wasn’t speculating or philosophizing about heaven. He was speaking the very words of God, telling us what the Father is like and how we can have eternal life. His witness is reliable and certain. This isn’t the only time that John asserts this. In John 7:16, Jesus said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.” In John 8:28, He said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.” It may sound irreverent, but there is an common phrase that says: “I got this right from the horse’s mouth.” That is what John is saying about Jesus and His words.
Jesus had a large popular following because He healed people and they found His teaching fascinating. They liked the fact that He spoke with authority, not like the scribes and Pharisees (Matt. 7:29). But, the same fickle crowd that shouted “Hosanna” on Palm Sunday on Friday shouted, “Crucify Him!” Their views about Jesus changed with the popular tide of opinion. Yet in spite of the authority of Jesus’ own testimony, the general response to Jesus when He came to this earth was rejection. John 3:19, “Men loved darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” But, by God’s grace alone, there have always been some who have responded by believing.
The point for us is: the reason we should put our trust in Jesus is because we have come to the firm conclusion, based on the apostolic witness, that God is true and that Jesus spoke the words of God. He is who He claimed to be. He is the Christ, the Son of God, sent from heaven to redeem us from our sins. By setting your seal to this, John means that you fix in your mind and heart that Jesus is the promised Redeemer, your personal Savior and Lord. Even if all others forsake Him, you will be faithful even unto death.