June 27,2007; Jesus, Prince of Preachers and Premier Prophet (5 of 12)
Focus Text: John 5.45-47
“Do not think that I [Jesus] shall accuse you [the rebellious Jewish leaders in Jerusalem] to the Father; there is one who accuses you——Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5.45-47).
A present active participle is a verb which depicts present and ongoing action; Jesus told the Jews that Moses accuses [present active participle] you! In other words, the man who lived almost 1500 years earlier was yet speaking and, in this case, accusing the Jews of wrong-doing. This same Moses was the one in whom the Jews trusted, or at least so they claimed. However, if they really trusted Moses, there was a great disconnect in their reasoning and Jesus pointed that disconnect out. “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about me!” The reasoning is ironclad! They could not claim faith in Moses and at the same time deny that which Moses wrote, particularly his writings about Jesus!!
A further ramification falls out of these facts; Jesus stated it succinctly in the form of a rhetorical question. “But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” The two human entities involved, namely Moses and Jesus, stand or fall together. Like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other. The Jews to whom Jesus was speaking wanted desperately to hold on to Moses and at the same time, reject Jesus. However, the logic of Jesus is far too quick to fall to the would-be thinkers who were opposing Him. The case is ironclad! They wanted their cake while being allowed to eat it too; Jesus quickly pointed out the gross inconsistencies in their thinking and that with such ease!
A lesson is obvious here about Jesus. He was not afraid of confrontation and He was always up to the task! The misconception about Jesus and His mild mannerisms when it came to error is just that, a misconception! Although there was a milder side to Jesus, that side was not commonly obvious when error was being confronted. He was quick to point our error even as He did here with these Jewish leaders. He certainly was not timid or retiring when it came to speaking out against doctrines which would condemn the souls of those who believed them; He was especially hard on teachers and public figures.
Like others before us, if we would know the real Jesus, we must go back to the Scriptures. Certainly this should come as no surprise; Jesus expressed the utmost confidence in Scripture when He said, “…for he [Moses] wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” The truthfulness of Scripture was never at question with Jesus; He had absolute and explicit trust in them. Any who would wear the name Christian should also have this same attitude. Those who attack the veracity of Scripture, attack Jesus and are no friend of His!
Know the real Jesus; find Him in the only place His character can be known, the Scriptures!
1. How did Moses accuse the Jews?
2. What did Jesus think about the fact that Moses was one of the authors of scripture?
3. What confidence did Jesus express in Scripture?
4. Is it possible to believe Moses and deny the rightful place of Jesus as Messiah? Why or why not?
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