Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Scripture Testifies of Christ (Jn.5:39-47)

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev Dr Stephen Tong on 27 June 2010 in True Way Presbyterian Church. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: John 5:39-47

Jesus said, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.” (Jn. 5:39)

One of the greatest blessings on earth is to be able to hear the truth. It does not come all the time and to everyone. Jesus, the Word become flesh, is a significant moment in history and the Jews had the opportunity to listen to Him directly. Christ said that of those born of women there is none greater than John the Baptist because all the prophets did not have the chance to witness Christ in the flesh. John the Baptist saw Jesus Christ and prepared the way for Him. All the Old Testament prophets did not have the opportunity although they longed for it.

The Jews who saw Jesus directly also missed the opportunity because of their unbelief. They see and hear but never understand and perceive. Christ cannot be separated from the Bible. The Jews heard the prophecies but rejected the Messiah. Christ came in the name of the Father and the Jews rejected Him but if someone else came in his own name, they would accept him because they sought to glorify one another. But if they truly want to know the truth, they will find that Jesus is true.

Jesus said, “Do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.” (Jn. 5:45). Moses wrote about Christ. But they have treated the shadow as more important than reality. They want the word of Moses but they rejected the Messiah, whom Moses testified. They thought Moses would stand with them but instead one day they would find that Moses would accuse them.

Jesus taught that the Old and New Testament could not be separated. The Old Testament contains New Testament. The New Testament fulfils the Old Testament. We need to understand the integrativeness of the entire Bible. There is an organic relationship between books of the Bible. We will tend to build partial understanding when systems are studied in isolation.


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