11 July 2014

John 5:30-45

“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me and have life.” (v. 39)


Grenada is a place where everyone is close to the places of power. The education minister lives next door, the finance minister sits in a pew nearby, the prime minster drives down the road on his way to work. A small nation is much more closely connected to those persons who hold the highest public office. That means, for good or for bad, a lot of things get done through the relationships and connections that people have with each other. It's often a case of not what you know, but who you know, to get things done.

Our passage today continues the explanation of the Son and the Father and our connection to the Father through the Son (John 5:1-29). The words in this passage are again addressed by Jesus to the religious leaders of the Jews of that time, particularly those seeking to kill him (verse 18). The God-like activity of Jesus (verses 1-18) and the authority Jesus claims from a relationship with the Father (verses 19-29) are all backed up from a variety of sources. These sources 'testify' to Jesus, much like witnesses would if he were on trial (which of course he is soon to be in the narrative of John's Gospel). John the Baptist was a lamp pointing to Jesus (verses 33-35). The miracles point to Jesus (verses 36). The Father points to Jesus (verse 37). The Scriptures (verse 39) and even Moses (verse 46) point to Jesus. Jesus realises, sadly, that the religious leaders missed all of the pointers. They miss who Jesus is and they miss out on God's love (verses 42-43). It is a reminder that religious orthodoxy does not determine our relationship with God the Father, but that we are connected to the Father through a relationship with the Son, Jesus. In the kingdom of God it's not what you know, but who you know, in the best possible meaning of that phrase.

To Ponder

  • "In the Kingdom of God it's not what you know, but who you know" - Do you agree? How does that make you feel?
  • How close do you feel to the places of power? How helpful/unhelpful do you find this?
  • How are you as a witness to who Jesus is? What might you do to be better?

Bible notes author

Dr Andy Dye

Andy Dye is a mission partner for the Methodist Church in Britain serving with the Methodist Church in Grenada, South Caribbean. He has a background in science, science teaching and mission work.