John 5:30-47 Scriptures Witness Christ

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Scripture Witnesses Christ

Jesus talks about the scriptures that he had available to him:  Our Old Testament.  He commended the people of his day for searching the scriptures and finding the truth.  In both the Old testament and the New Testament Jesus can be found.  However, are we going to know about him or are we going to know him?  The reason that the Bible is written is so that we can know God through Christ.

A children’s book like the Jesus Storybook Bible helps us to see how each story whispers his name.  Children need to be raised on the whole Bible as a story of redemption.


Jesus let us see you in the pages of scripture.  Let us not know about you, but help us to know you.


  1. What is the occasion of Jesus’ prayer?
  2. What are the themes of the prayer?
  3. How is Jesus mentioned in the Old Testament if we do not see his name?
  4. How have you found Jesus in the Old Testament?
  5. How would you teach children to find Jesus in the whole Bible?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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17 Responses to John 5:30-47 Scriptures Witness Christ

  1. Mary says:

    Ok Professor Worrall, I am going to go on a slightly related rabbit trail, per our conversation yesterday. ☺ This is where I felt led to focus today and my reflection on it.

    Observation: I was just reviewing the first 5 chapters of John before beginning this section, and while skimming over Jn. 1 immediately made a connection to a verse I had studied earlier this week, Psa. 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Whoa, wait a second! Jesus is called the Word and also a light, and Scripture is called God’s Word and also a light. That is amazing! How did I miss this correlation before?

    Interpretation: As a light, both God’s spoken (now written) and incarnate Word helps us to see the truth, God’s will, and the path of righteousness, in a world that’s filled with sin and darkness. Jesus says that we are a light as well, and we are called to “shine” before the world so that He may be praised (Mt. 5:14-16).

    Now, I would like to study the word “light” for several hours, but I will have to force myself to stop and work on some assignments and come back to it again at a later time. I have a couple study Bibles and a Bible Dictionary out right now and am flipping back and forth through different passages in the Bible that mention “light” and am getting excited. I LOVE studying the Bible! I remember the lampstand in the tabernacle, and all the other items, and they seem to me (without current further investigation due to time) to all represent Jesus. I also recall a lecture I heard from Dr. Sigler that mentioned a correlation between the Garden of Eden and the Tabernacle, and would love to explore that in depth sometime…He still owes me the powerpoint.

    It is interesting that you should ask how Jesus is revealed in the Old Testament, because all too often I think we miss him in the text when he is in plain sight, myself included.

    Application: Lord, I am constantly reminded what a dark world we live in as I study spiritual warfare in AdPsych this week, the beheadings by ISIS, Satanic Temples being built, all the murder, rape, and kidnapping on the news, and the cold hearts of people all around me. Thank you for your Word, which gives me hope, peace, comfort, and joy, as well as direction and purpose in my life amidst all this corruption. Help me to be bold in sharing the gospel with those who don’t know you. Give me opportunities and help me to seize them. Speak through me. Shine through me. All the praise is yours. Amen.

  2. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) The people He is praying about were people who were reading the truth found in Scripture. Through reading the truth, they knew Him instead of only knowing about Him.
    2) Some of the themes in this prayer are the emphasis of the truth found in Scripture. There is the reminder to believe in Him and receive Him.
    3) Jesus is mentioned throughout the Old Testament, though not explicitly with the name Jesus. There are mentions of the “Son of God,” “Immanuel,” “King,” “Messiah” and so on.
    4) Jesus is present throughout the entire Old Testament. He is also prophesied throughout.
    5) I would make connections between both the Old and New Testament to show that Jesus is present through the entire Bible. I also want to check out the Jesus Storybook Bible. It looks great!

  3. karas says:

    I think being here at Moody has really helped me see how Jesus is evident throughout the whole Bible. Just studying the OT leads to showing that He is there. I think for children, after knowing for myself how I see Jesus in the OT, I would ask questions as we read through the OT stories to help them see how Jesus is foreshadowed or present. The NT does this very well for us, and I could use what it already shows to help me make connections.

  4. Jenna says:

    1. Jesus isn’t praying in this passage, but this is towards the end of His response to the pharisees and those who were seeking to kill Him for claiming God as His Father.
    2. Jesus is defending himself in this passage by listing the people and things that testify to His authority. John, Jesus’ works, the Father, and even the Scriptures testify of Jesus.
    3. Moses predicts a Prophet like himself who will lead the people, Isaiah prophesied of a Servant of the Lord, and, according to the author of Hebrews, the whole sacrificial system itself points to Jesus as our faithful High Priest and once-for-all sacrifice.
    4. I see Jesus in every part of the Old Testament, shown in types of people from the Old Testament (like David), in prophesies of His coming, and in God’s promises to His people.
    5. There are some stories that more obviously reference Jesus, like Genesis 3:15 and God’s covenant with Abraham, but as a whole the whole Old Testament and New Testament are the story of God and how He has chosen to redeem His people – which Jesus is instrumental in. If kids can understand this metanarrative, they will see Jesus everywhere!

  5. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. What is the occasion of Jesus’ prayer?
    It doesn’t seem that Jesus is praying, but he is still talking to the Pharisees about his authority.
    3. How is Jesus mentioned in the Old Testament if we do not see his name?
    The OT is filled with themes of redemption (Abraham and Isaac being a chief example), but also the times where you see Israel fail, but you see the Lord’s provision. That’s a picture of the work of Christ! All of the OT points to Christ. My pastor preaches the Gospel through each of the passages he teaches on, and we are going through the book of Numbers right now!
    4. How have you found Jesus in the Old Testament?
    There are so many places! Abraham and Isaac, God provides the sacrifice of His own Son, Jesus. Passover, Jesus is our sacrificial lamb. Moses, he is himself such a type of Jesus. The priests, just as they made intersession for Israel, Jesus makes intersession for us. There is SO much more that could be written, but these are just a few of the big ones I think of.
    5. How would you teach children to find Jesus in the whole Bible?
    Always showing how the sin in the OT shows a need for Jesus, how the redemption themes always point to the coming Messiah, etc…

  6. Dominic Shortridge says:

    3 and 4.
    As Jesus describes that it was in fact he whom Moses was writing about we can begin to make connections between him and the entirety of scripture. When I think of the 1st testament I think of the ordinances and the laws that guided daily Jewish life. In these laws stood the boundaries for sexual health, for domestic wellness as well as commercial integrity in agriculture. In these few mandates it can be easy to get caught outside of the framework of the heart of the law and only see them as ritualistic and ancient commands. As often as I observe and think about these some odd hundred laws my mind continues to flow back to Jesus as the source and the integrity behind all of these principles. It is Christ who is the law, and it is he who upholds and fulfills each of these commands. Similar to a 2 part cinema sequel, the 2nd “act” of Christ was present and acting during the entire 1st act. In the first act we know creation, order and law, and in the second we can also know salvation, redemption and intimacy.

  7. The occasion for Jesus’ prayer is that we would not miss knowing Him instead of knowing things about Him. That we would grow so confident in our relationship with Him that we can believe with full assurance that when we stand before God He will say “You are Mine, I KNOW you.”

  8. Nick says:

    It’s always crazy to me that, even though Jesus was prophesied long before he came, and he performed sign after sign, the people still did not believe. What else did they want? He came and testified about himself and about God, yet the Pharisees believed it to be a false testimony. They just wanted more. Something that I need to work on in my life is being content with what Jesus has done for me and not wanting more, like the Pharisees.

  9. nataliaria says:

    While I suppose that Jesus’ speech in chapter five could be understood as a prayer, I believe that His main audience is the people in front of Him, making this passage more of a sermon. This particular sermon, or perhaps indictment is a better term, was incited by the religious leaders’ negative response to His healing at Bethesda, and their resulting doubt of His authority and status as the Son of God.

    In this passage, Jesus continues to talk about the nature of His authority, now also challenging His listeners on their failure to recognize the continuity between Jesus and the Old Testament words, and their lack of faith in either institute.

    I believe that there are “foreshadowings” of Jesus in the Old Testament in many of the practices that constitute the Abrahamic/Mosaic/ OT covenants; God’s faithfulness to deliver His people, the scapegoat practice, and many of the sacrificial elements of Israelite faith.

    I have encountered the Jesus Storybook Bible before, and found it to be an engaging and (mostly) biblically accurate way to communicate the message of the Bible to young readers. Additionally, I have recently begun teaching a John Piper curriculum in 1st-5th grade Sunday School, which also emphasizes the Bible as a whole book centered upon Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. I believe that understanding the Bible like this is essential to a deep and complete understanding of the significance of Jesus to our faith.

  10. Stephanie Luck says:

    1. This passage does not appear to be a prayer, but rather a speech.
    2. Jesus is explaining His authority throughout the passage. In this particular section He is showing how the Old Testament spoke of Him, thus receiving authority from the Scriptures.
    3. and 4. Throughout the Old Testament it is evident that God’s redemptive plan involves a Messiah in the future. There are countless places where this is affirmed: Deut. 18:15; Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 53; etc.
    5. I would teach them the the whole Bible as a part of God’s full redemptive plan. So often kids (and adults) do not know the timeline of the Bible and history, and certainly not how everything fits together. When people know God’s plan, it is not hard to see the stage being set for Jesus’ coming.

  11. Rachel says:

    Jesus is the Gospel. His entire life screams redemption. Every story in the Holy Scriptures whispers “the best is yet to come” and “everything sad will come untrue” (Jesus Storybook Bible quote :)) I am currently teaching through the Jesus Storybook Bible curriculum and end each lesson with this question: What did you learn about Jesus today? Jesus is the creator, the healer, the forgiver, the true king, the good shepherd, and the righteous judge. He is the good news.

  12. Kathleen says:

    Since coming to Moody, I have learned how to see the whole Bible as a story. The Old and New Testament classes helped me see how the entire Word of God fit together. I had never had someone layout the Bible for me in that way. I think the best way to teach that Jesus is in the Old Testament is to show children. Asking them questions about what they are reading can encourage them to see the foreshadowing of what is to come. Jesus is made clear in the OT. It is our job as teachers to help our students see scripture as one big story and not a bunch of little stories that are not related.

  13. Bethany says:

    4 and 5
    Jesus is everywhere in the Old Testament. This is something that I really didn’t notice until I started caring a lot more about the Bible and actually studied it. Everything in the Old Testament points to the desperate need for the Messiah (Jesus) and the preparation for his coming. He is also referred to as the sacrificial lamb. I would show children how the Old Testament highlights a need of a Savoir because of our clear sin nature.

  14. Beth Coale says:

    Late because of senior trip:
    1. His prayer/ expressed desire/ hope is that they will come to Him.
    2. A theme could be great expectations. Jesus is very disappointed with the people because He wants so much better from them.
    3. He is foreshadowed and He is the promise and future hope for Israel and the world
    4. In the ram that took Isaac’s place, in the sacrifice at Passover, in the story of Jonah, in the story of Joseph, in the theme of redemption throughout the Old Testament
    5. Help them see the things listed in #4

  15. Amy says:

    I was on Senior Trip, so a few of my post are late.
    1. I don’t think that Jesus is praying in this passage. It is a speech-ish conversation with the people.
    2. Truth
    3. Jesus is mentioned in the OT as Messiah, the One to come, Emmanuel, and even in Trinitarian words such as “we” in the creation narrative.
    4. Jesus is all over the OT. One of my favorite types of Christ in the OT is in Gen. 22 where Abraham obeys God and goes to sacrifice his son.
    5. Children love stories. I think story telling is a key way to share the Bible with kids. However, the children need to know that these stories are TRUE stories, not just fairy tales.

  16. Ashley says:

    1. Jesus prays as John bears witness about him.
    2. The themes of the prayer are humility, testimony, purpose, and being sent.
    3. Every story points to the coming and salvation of Jesus, but there are specific instances in which certain verses/chapters/books prophesy about Jesus.
    4. I have found the heart of God in the old testament, and therefore I find Jesus.
    5. I would teach children to see how everything points towards the fact that humans are sinful and God is God, and that we need a way to get to him…and that is in and through Jesus.

  17. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    In this prayer it says that he may seek God’s will and not his own, that is a prayer that I ask and I need to continue to ask and seek God’s purpose instead of trying to make and find my own. My life, my testimony is not my own and it is God’s. The people that are mentioned in these verses are people who are seeking to understand God more. God’s words are the Bible and we must believe what it says to listen to God.

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