Jesus’ Deity Testified

Jesus’ Deity Testified

Jesus’ Deity Testified
Text: John 5:30-38

For the past number of messages we have been in this very important chapter. I emphasize its importance not to belittle other passages, but to highlight the importance of the theological truth being expressed here directly from the lips of Jesus Christ.

The doctrine of the deity of Christ is set aside by many religions and cults, many of which will argue that the doctrine was added later by the followers of Christ, but He never claimed to be God himself. This entire chapter refutes that heresy.

The stage is set by the healing of a man impotent for 38 years, with the critical point being that it all takes place on the Jewish sabbath. From then we looked at three messages where we saw Jesus’ deity claimed (v17-18), explained (v19-23), and revealed (v24-29).

If you haven’t been with us, I encourage you to go back and listen at least to the last message to help you see what’s going on. Jesus makes huge claims to be equal with God in Activity 19-20, Ability v21, Authority v22, and Adoration v23, and then reveals His deity by His role in the two resurrections; the first being the resurrection to eternal life, and the second being the resurrection to judgment.

But, these are huge claims. When you make a huge claim, you’re going to need further testimony to back you up, and while Christ’s miracles gave validation to His person, here we will find Him appealing to external testimony.

v30 – a summary of what He’s being saying. That this is a summary statement is by Christ switching from the third person “the Son” to the first person, “I”. “I can of mine own self do nothing” i.e. I do nothing independently. It’s not that Jesus lacked the ability, but His nature forbids a diversion from the Father’s will.

“as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just” i.e. his communion is so intimate with the Father that He judges as the Father would judge. How is this possible? Because He is equal with the Father. He clarifies this intimacy, “because I seek not mine own will…” I am in perfect unity with the one who sent me.

“The distinction between the Persons of the Trinity, and the unity of their essence at the same time, must always be a deep thing to man, hard to conceive, and harder still to speak or write about” – JC Ryle

v31 – is Jesus saying there’s a possibility what He is saying is not true? John 8:12-14. What He is saying is that if He is the sole testimony, then His testimony would not be true. There must be more witnesses. 

v32 – this is a key text to understanding the following verses. Because of the following verse, many think the Lord is here referring to John the Baptist, but I agree with most of the reformed commentators that this is referring to God the Father. Bearing in mind that the testimony of John was now over by this stage, “witnesseth” in the present tense, shows it cannot mean John.

Now some had heard the testimony of the Father at the baptism, but not these Jews v37.
So Jesus appeals to three parts of the Father’s testimony to Him and His deity.


“Ye sent unto John” i.e. you Jews sent people to John because you knew He was a prophet. Many of the Jewish religious leaders went out to see and hear John. Matt 3:7 John called them a generation of vipers.

“he bare witness unto the truth” – you knew him to be a prophet, and prophets speak the truth, and Jesus is getting them to think of what John said, which if they would remember, he spoke of the one standing before them.

v34 – Either a) He means John’s testimony wasn’t the testimony of a man speaking of a man. It was the testimony of God through a man. Everyone knew John was a man sent from God. Or b) The Lord literally meant He did not receive human testimony as a vital part of proving His authenticity, even though it may be helpful for others.

v34b – i.e. I’m reminding you of these things, because if you remember John’s message you will remember it was a message of salvation. Jesus is essentially calling them to remember and heed what John said, because by doing so they would be saved.

Jesus was addressing Jews who accepted the prophet but rejected His message. And I wonder is that the same here tonight. You accept me, but you haven’t yet accepted my message! Dear sinner, don’t misplace your affections. Don’t appreciate me without appreciating the Son of God. If you do that, you are in danger of the damnation of the Pharisees!


v36 – so this testimony is greater than John’s, it is the testimony of His miracles. These are the testimony of the Father, “the works which the Father hath given me” which include His miracles. They were given by the Father to be performed by the Son to strengthen the witness of who He was.

They knew John was from God. His message and power were evident to all. But Jesus comes performing miracles and they don’t believe. They clearly bore witness of His heavenly origin, but they were wilfully blind. Even when Nicodemus said what he did John 3:2. Also note John 7:31; 10:25,37-38.

JC Ryle calls us to certain things about these miracles: Their number, greatness, publicity, character (not just exhibitions), appeal to the senses (they stood against scrutiny). 

“the works which the Father hath given me to finish” He didn’t just do what He wanted, just as He didn’t just say what He wanted, “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me” John 17:8


There’s some debate over the witness the Father has given. I think the context helps as “his word” in v38 seems to apply to the referred witness in v37. This third witness opens up a new stream of thought the Lord will use to challenge them.

We will look at this next week, but the words to follow are a tragic inditement against the Jews, and agains every unbeliever. You have no excuse!

Your unbelief is without warrant. Your rejection of Christ breaks my heart.