Testimony of the Father

Testimony of the Father
Life & Light Community Church
Message from 3/11/2023

Life & Light Community Church began in the early months of 2020. What began as an opportunity for me, my wife and step-kids to continue to worship together, has now evolved into a ministry that has expanded to include close friends, family, and those who are simply hungry for the word of God. You can find us on Facebook, so please, feel free to reach out and join us.

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” So, the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come.
John 8:12–20 (NASB95)

For us to fully understand what is happening in today’s passage, we need to understand that the statements of Yeshua likely reflect Daniel 7:9-14.

“I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, its wheels were a burning fire. “A river of fire was flowing and coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened. “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.

As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.”
Daniel 7:9–14 (NASB95)

This passage speaks of thrones, in the plural, being set up – one for the Ancient of Days, and one for the Son of Man. This idea of co-sitting in heaven, in the position of power, is an important idea in the process of development that reaches its high point in the New Testament. This is a picture of Yeshua, the Son, seated next to the Father, the Ancient of Days.

The Judean Jews claimed to be experts in Torah knowledge and interpretation. Let’s not forget, these Pharisees have already called the crowds who follow Christ ignorant of the Law, the is, lacking knowledge. But Yeshua tells them because they denied the valid testimony of witnesses, they are disqualified from having any opinion about Him. They have missed the fact that He comes from and has been sent by the Father. It is His Father who gives the confirming witness about Yeshua and the Testimony of the Father is true.

When Jesus proclaims, “I am the Light of the world,” the Pharisees accuse Him of testifying about Himself. Because they judge according to the flesh, they do not know that the Father has sent Him. Because the Pharisees do not know His Father, they do not understand that the Testimony of the Father is true, thus, Jesus can judge, and His judgment is true.

Yeshua testifies of Himself when He says, “I am the Light of the world.” Because the Pharisees continue to judge according to the flesh, they cannot understand that the Father who sent Him, also testifies about Him. Thus, Yeshua is not alone, and the Testimony of the Father is true, meaning Yeshua is the One whose judgment is true.

In this message, we seek to answer the question, “What are the implications of understanding that the Testimony of the Father is true, for the Christ follower?”

The implications of understanding that the Testimony of the Father is true, is to understand that when Yeshua says, “I am the Light of the world,” means to know Yeshua is to know the Father – “the Great I Am.”

1). The first implication of knowing that the Testimony of the Father is true, is to know that Yeshua is not alone – the Father is with Him.
Yeshua, and the Father who sent Him, both testify about Yeshua.

When Yeshua declared, “I am the Light of the world,” He was applying the high calling of Israel to be the light of the world to Himself. In essence, Yeshua was claiming divinity – He was claiming to be God. In the Bible, “light” is a symbol of the holiness of God. Yeshua is not merely a light, or another light, He is the One true light – He illuminates the truth, gives people spiritual understanding, and reveals God to all people and what God has does for us. This also defines the unique position of Yeshua as the true light for all people, not just for the Jews.

In staking His claim as the Light of the world, Yeshua makes two great promises to His followers – first, those who follow Him will never walk in the darkness, and second, they will have the light of life. When a person comes to Yeshua in faith, they are walking in His light. We no longer walk in the darkness, that is, we no longer walk blindly in our sin and need for forgiveness, instead, Yeshua guides us in life’s path and into eternal life. “Follows” in the Greek languages is a continuous action – we must “keep on following” Yeshua to have the light of life. The meaning, purpose, and significance of life cannot be seen or known apart from Christ.

The Pharisees level the false charge that Yeshua has no witnesses. Yeshua knows the Law requires two witnesses to be a valid testimony. Yeshua is the first witness, and His witness is true. Everything He has said and done is meant to bring glory to God and lead people to worship, honor, and serve the Father. His actions bear witness that His claims – that He was sent OF and FROM God – are true.

The second witness is the Father who sent Him and God’s witness is true. God has clearly acted in and through Yeshua – His life, words, and work demonstrate the presence and power of God. The confirming witness for Yeshua is God Himself – the Father and the Son make two witnesses, the number required by the Law. Once again Yeshua meets the requirements for the Law. Yeshua does not disagree with the law that says two witnesses are needed for a valid testimony. Instead, He simply claims His testimony is true because He knows where He came from, and He knows where He is going. Yeshua comes from the Father and only speaks the words that come from the Father. When Yeshua spoke, He testified for Himself and because He spoke the words of the Father, He testified for the Father as well.

The religious leaders do not understand that the Father and the Son are together – they lived in each other and were with each other. Even though the Son came from the Father and was sent by the Father, the Father who sent the Son came with Him and provided testimony for Him. Yeshua came down out of heaven, sent from and by the Father. Human eyes cannot penetrate or see the spiritual world – the spiritual dimension must come into the physical dimension and that is exactly what Yeshua has done. As often happens, when a witness is presented, the opposite side seeks to discredit the witness by attacking their person, thus breaking the power of the witness. “Where is Your Father,” is most likely referring to the accusation of the illegitimate birth of Yeshua. Yes, it is possible they were simply asking why Joseph is not making an appearance to give his testimony, but that is highly unlikely. What is more probable is that the Pharisees are, once again, judging according to the flesh – by appearances – in other words, they want physical proof!

As Christ followers who have placed their faith and trust in Yeshua, we do have a few advantages in our favor. We have the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, which record the actions of God in human history – including the physical birth of His Son in the physical realm. We also have other witnesses – family members, church members, friends, and even our own experiences – which make our faith very personal. Just the same, we need to guard our hearts that they do not become hardened to the evidence that continues to mount as a witness to the Father-Son dynamic of God and Yeshua.

Questions for discussion/reflection:

What evidence do you have that you continue to walk in the Light of Yeshua? If none, what must you do to change this?

What evidence do you see, in the world or in others, that the Father and Son are indeed together? If you see none, why do you think this might be?

When was the last time you caught yourself asking the Lord for physical evidence? You know, “Come on, Lord! Just give me a sign!”

The implications of understanding that the Testimony of the Father is true, is to understand that when Yeshua says, “I am the Light of the world,” means to know Yeshua is to know the Father – “the Great I Am.”

2). The second implication of knowing that the Testimony of the Father is true, is to know that Yeshua is the only One who has judgment that is true.
Yeshua is the only One who does not judge according to the flesh!

The Jewish religious leaders are, once again, judging by human standards – they are judging by the flesh – because they do not know of the divine origins of Yeshua. People tend to judge according to the flesh – by what they see – because they seek physical evidence, however, Yeshua cannot be judged simply by the flesh – by physical appearance. These Pharisees are no different, they too seek physical evidence – because they are judging by appearance – they seek to see Yeshua’s Father.

The tragic fact is, they do not know Yeshua or His Father – those who do not believe do not know Yeshua. They can see Yeshua standing before them as a man, but they can only know Him by what they see – as a man. “Where is Your Father,” is like saying, “Bring on this other witness. We would very much like to speak with him!” Yeshua affirms that they neither know Him or His Father – their unwillingness to “know” Yeshua while He is among them, prevents them from knowing the Father, who was just as truly among them.

Yeshua has a Father-Son relationship with God – He knows God in a very intimate and personal way as His Father. He has come from the presence and “household” of His Father. Yeshua has, in fact, come down from the spiritual dimension – He alone knows the facts of the spiritual world. The authority that Yeshua has comes from the Father – by implication the Judean Jews have no authority, therefore, they are rendered powerless to judge.

The Pharisees rejected His claim and refuse to accept Yeshua as Messiah, as Lord, so naturally, they do not know Him, for the only way to truly know Yeshua is to follow Him as Messiah, as Lord. The Pharisees miss the fact that Yeshua has been sent OF and FROM God. This means Yeshua has come from the spiritual dimension into the physical dimension making Him the only One who truly knows both dimension. Yeshua is truly the only One who can judge impartially – not by appearances or according to the flesh, by the will of the Father.

The Pharisees will not see the Father as they have demanded because the Father is in Yeshua – those who do not believe do not know God. No one has ever seen God – at any time – the only way to know God is for God to reveal Himself. God must come from the spiritual dimension into the physical dimension. This is exactly what Yeshua has done – He has come to reveal God the Father to all people! Yeshua did not come to judge but to save, so Yeshua reserves the right for Himself to judge. The Son of Man has been given authority to judge, and when that future day of judgment comes, Yeshua will judge according to the Fathers will. So, we could say that while Yeshua did not come to judge, His coming forced a decision – and a rejection of Yeshua led to judgment.

Far too many Christ followers believe the lie we are not to judge others. The fact is, we are to judge others, but we are to do so without hypocrisy. In other words, if you call someone out for lying, you had better not be lying yourself. If you call someone out for stealing, you had better not be a thief! We are especially to judge the actions of those in the church – again, without hypocrisy. We can NEVER judge someone heart, but we know right from wrong, and we are to call out wrong actions – in other words we are to call out sin. But this is to be done in love and with gentleness, never with the intent of causing harm or hurt. A gentle correction will help the brother or sister in Christ return to the Lord and their former calling. This is the lesson we learned last week, never call out sin in hypocrisy!

Questions for discussion/reflection:

When was the last time you caught yourself judging someone or something simply by human standards, according to the flesh? If you have not, what steps do you take to prevent this?

Is there some part of your life you are rejecting Yeshua as Messiah? If so, what steps do you need to take to change this? If not, what steps have you taken to prevent this?

What steps are you taking to continue to grow in the knowledge of both the Father and the Son? If you are not, why?
The implications of understanding that the Testimony of the Father is true, is to understand that when Yeshua says, “I am the Light of the world,” means to know Yeshua is to know the Father – “the Great I Am.”

People today are very willing to acknowledge the greatness of Yeshua as a man – but not to acknowledge Him as God. By human standards, Yeshua was the greatest man who ever lived. But human standards are not enough to explain and help us understand the true identity of Yeshua. Calling Yeshua “great” is faint praise, at best, in the light of His identity as God. Simply admiring Yeshua as a great leader or teacher falls short, as well. Our response should be to adore Yeshua as Lord and Savior.

This is one of the reasons John mentions the treasury – it is in close proximity to ALL the Temple officials and guards. Remember, last week I mentioned the challenge pit before the Pharisees and scribes was like that of drawing a line in the sand and daring them to cross that line. Well, Yeshua has crossed that line! Notice the progression of this conversation – it began in Galilee and moved to Judea; from Judea it came to Jerusalem; it then moved from the streets of Jerusalem to the Jerusalem Temple, finally it has moved from the grounds of the Jerusalem Temple into the very heart – the seat and symbol – of the Temple authority – the treasury unit.

This is a direct challenge to those who consider themselves experts in Torah knowledge and interpretation – you need to know Me before you reject Me. In our day, this is a direct challenge to those who see Yeshua simply as a great man – you need to know Me before you reject Me. For people to truly know God, He must reveal Himself in the physical dimension. This is what Yeshua has done – He is the revelation of God to humanity. He has come in the flesh as the “visible image of the invisible God,” thus, the only way to truly know God is to know Christ.

The task now falls to us – we must be the visible image of the invisible Christ. We must live our lives – in thought, in actions, in words – in such a way, that people “see” Christ in us. We bring peace where there is chaos; we offer forgiveness where there is no forgiving; we bring hope to the hopeless; we bring purpose to those wandering aimlessly; we bring value to those thought to be worthless; we show people the significance of life when life doesn’t seem worth living. But, perhaps our most important task is to love those deemed unlovable and to love them like the end is near. We must make Christ known!

Ours is a difficult task, for when God does come and a person does not accept and believe in Him, that person will never get to know God. We must be diligent in doing our part to make Christ, and our Great God, known to all those we meet.

We do all things for the glory of God, through Christ our Lord,
Amen and amen.
Next Week: John 8:21-30

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