A Tragic Case of Misidentification
Read John 8:15-18 (ESV)
“You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”
What is at stake in Jesus’ discussion with the religious leaders? Why is Jesus’ true identity so important?
In 1 Samuel 16:7, God told the prophet Samuel: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” If Samuel had not listened to the Lord, he would have anointed the wrong son of Jesse to be king of Israel! There was a lot at stake in correctly identifying God’s chosen king. Samuel’s first instinct had been to look at outward appearances to judge who was worthy. But that is not how God judges someone. He judges according to what He sees in our hearts.
Today, we are continuing to examine Jesus’ discussion with the Jewish leaders regarding His identity. Jesus had just claimed to be the Light of the World which they correctly recognized as a claim to deity. They knew Jesus was claiming to be God. But they didn’t recognize His claims as truth.
Yesterday, we saw that the religious leaders attempted to use Jesus’ own words against Him by claiming that He was testifying about Himself. So, according to His words in John 5:31, His testimony must not be true. But today, we see Jesus correct their math. He pointed out that because He bears witness about Himself and because the Father who sent Him bears witness about Him, that equals two witnesses. This fulfills the requirement found in Deuteronomy 19:15 that “only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.”
Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law. Frankly, He had more than just two witnesses. In John 5:30-40, Jesus listed out His witnesses. In addition to Himself and the Father, Jesus also mentioned John the Baptist, the many miracles that He Himself had worked, and the Scriptures that “bear witness about me” (v. 39). But given all of this evidence, the religious leaders were still not willing to accept Him as the Messiah.
Thus, the charge that Jesus leveled against them was that they misjudged Him because they judged according to the flesh. They lacked spiritual discernment so they judged according to temporal, earthy things. But the stakes of misjudging God’s chosen Messiah are high. In misidentifying Him, they were forfeiting their salvation.
What about you? Have you accepted the evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Light of the World. If you have, you will have the “light of life” and “no longer walk in darkness” (John 8:12). Or have you misjudged Him? If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I urge you to reconsider His testimony, His witnesses, and His evidence. Don’t ignore the nagging question about the identification of Jesus Christ. There is much at stake and much to be gained or lost.
Lord, I know that Your testimony is true. You are the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Thank You for giving me the light of life. In You, I have salvation. I have life eternal and everlasting joy in Your presence. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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