And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. – 1 John 5:11 ESV
1 John 5:6-12
Jesus is still on trial. Yes, He endured the trial before Pilate. He went through the mockery of a trial before the Jewish religious leadership and the high priest. He even had to submit to the inquiries of Herod, the puppet king of Jews, placed there by the Roman government. And after those trials were over, He was pronounced innocent and then sentenced to death. He died for claiming to be the Jewish Messiah. He was executed for claiming to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world. The plaque that was placed above His head on the cross declared His crime: King of the Jews. And He died.
But Jesus remains on trial today. There are millions upon millions who remain unconvinced and even unaware of His claim to be the Son of God and the Christ, the Messiah. There are those who have heard His claims and who even boast of believing in Him, but who reject His as having been divine or sinless. They simply view Him as having been a good man, a capable teacher, a moralist whose beliefs and actions are well worth emulating. But they reject any idea that suggests He was somehow God in human flesh. The same was true in John’s day. The local church to whom he wrote his letter had recently experienced a split, as a portion of their fellowship had departed over the issue of Jesus’ deity. They had refused to believe that Jesus was God in human flesh. They had rejected the idea that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. They had been teaching that sin was not a reality and, therefore, there was no need for a Savior from sin. In their self-righteousness, they believed they already had right relationships with God and were in no need of someone to die a sinless death in their place. But in rejecting Jesus, they were actually putting Him on trial again. Whether they know it or not, by their actions and beliefs, they are asking Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” (Luke 23:3 ESV). They are demanding, “If you are the Christ, tell us!” (Luke 22:67 ESV). “Are you the Son of God, then?” (Luke 22:70 ESV). The very same things Jesus had heard while standing before the religious council or the Jews. Some, like Herod, simply treat Jesus with contempt and scorn, mocking Him for claiming to be the Son of God.
But John would remind us that there is one witness whose testimony stands the test of time. There is one who unequivocally and unapologetically testifies to the veracity of Jesus’ role as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. John writes, “Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son” (1 John 5:10 ESV). At Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan by John, God verbally confirmed the Sonship of Jesus. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 ESV). On the mountain top, when Jesus had been transfigured before Peter, James and John, they heard God speak similar words. “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him” (Matthew 17:5 ESV). All throughout the Old Testament Scriptures, God had spoken of the coming of His Son as Savior. Isaiah wrote, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1 ESV). God had told Abraham that all the nations of the world would be blessed through him – through his offspring. And Paul clarifies that, “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16 ESV). God had made it clear that Jesus would be His Son and that, as His Son, Jesus would bring hope and healing to a lost and dying world. Even Jesus, while visiting His hometown of Nazareth, stood in the synagogue and read the following words from the book of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18-19 NLT). Then He simply stated, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:21 NLT). God testified. Jesus confirmed it. He was and is the Son of God. And “this is the testimony of God that he has born concerning his Son” (1 John 5:9 ESV). “That God gave us eternal life and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11 ESV). Case closed.