Gospel: John 5:31-47*
If I bore witness to myself, my testimony would be worthless. But Another One is bearing witness to me, and I know that his testimony is true when he bears witness to me. John also bore witness to the truth when you sent messengers to him, but I do not seek such human testimony; I recall this for you, so that you may be saved.
John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were willing to enjoy his light. But I have greater evidence than that of John—the works which the Father entrusted to me to carry out. The very works I do bear witness: the Father has sent me. Thus he who bears witness to me is the Father who sent me. You have never heard his voice and have never seen his likeness; therefore, as long as you do not believe his messenger, his word is not in you.
You search in the Scriptures, thinking that in them you will find life; yet Scripture bears witness to me. But you refuse to come to me, that you may live. I am not seeking human praise; but I know that the love of God is not within you, for I have come in my Father’s name and you do not accept me. If another comes in his own name, you will he wrote, how will you believe what I say? accept him. As long as you seek praise from one another, instead of seeking the glory which comes from the only God, how can you believe?
Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father. Moses himself, in whom you placed your hope, accuses you. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?
“If I bore witness to myself, my testimony would be worthless.”
Bearing witness is to testify to the presence of God. John the Baptist bears witness to Jesus for him to be recognized. He points out to people that he is there in their midst. Greater than the witness of John is Jesus’ own works, which the Father entrusts to him. The Jews who oppose him rely on the Torah for light and life. They fail to interpret their sacred writings because they take glory in their own interpretations. They have devised ways to understand the Hebrew Bible. They compete with one another with regard to giving the best interpretation of the biblical verses.
Jesus tells them that if they are reading the Scriptures right, then they should be led to believe in him. The whole scriptures point to him as God’s Son and source of salvation.
Interpretation of a biblical verse or passage is flawed if it is taken out of its context. Biblical verses must not be interpreted apart from the whole Bible and divine revelation. Worse happens if the Bible is taken out of the Church that has produced it, transmitted it and lived by it in their mission, prayer and liturgical life throughout the centuries.
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