31 “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. 38 You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.
Verse 31 caught me off guard at first. That is, until I looked into it. You see, this whole time, Jesus is explaining his relationship with God the Father, that they are one in the same. I discussed this further in Ephesians: They are He. Some people were questioning the validity of these claims. Rightfully so, I mean, if someone stands up in a crowd and claims something as bold as this, we would want proof, wouldn’t we? In fact, some people continue to look for proof that Jesus is God, that He is the Messiah, and that God loves us that much.
Jesus first exemplifies John the Baptist, who was sent ahead of Jesus to proclaim His coming to earth. Many believed the testimony of John, however Jesus here says that while John’s testimony led the way, that there is an even greater testimony, a greater authority that we should listen to. This is exactly why I have become so adamant about us seeking God ourselves. Certainly, we can be guided by “men of the faith.” However, they are still merely men. If we wanted to know about someone, wouldn’t they be the purest source of information? Why would we go around asking others about them when we could just approach them face to face? This is Jesus’ point: don’t just rely on the testimony of men. If we trust what man has to say, how much more then can we trust the testimony of God Himself?
Is not a testimony of one’s heart reflected in His actions? We see this repeated in James 2, “ 14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Jesus’ clear point is that His testimony is seen through His actions. The witness, the testimony of who He is, is by what He does. He does what he does because of what is inside of Him. He is justified by works, because it is a reflection of His heart.
We seek out the proof of God, the justification of God in the works of man, of others, yet we do not look to God Himself, we do not ask Him to show us His truth and power. We look to the priest, instead, who is caught in a scandal. We look to the Christian who yells at his kid in the mall. We look to man for examples of God, and therefore define God by the actions of men.
Where are you looking for proof of God?