Key Verse 36-40
36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.
37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,
40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
To understand chapter 5, we must first be aware that Jesus is speaking to a group of Jewish leaders (v. 16-47). Jewish leaders of his Jesus’ time were known for being hypocritical and very legalistic. Many times (Jesus being very direct here) tells these leaders (aka. The Pharisees) that they are misunderstanding the heart of God.
Primarily looking at verse 39-40, see how Jesus tells them straight up: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Jesus knew the hearts of these leaders. He knew that all their lives they were devoted to living such a “good”, “moral”, and “legal” life but yet, they had no clue in why they were living it. They were engulfed in this trap that it was living a “good” life was what got them to heaven and not the PERSON who gives them the right into heaven.
Verse 39-40 is actually a very real struggle that even Christians today struggle with.
As Christians, it is easy to forget the PERSON we are living for. As we get to the daily life of our faith, it is easy to think of Christianity as a life of doing the “right” thing and forgetting the PERSON we are doing these “right” things for.
In our season of Lent, as we devote to Scripture. We take a moment to daily remember that in our devotion to scripture, we go to Jesus who gives us life. In simpler terms, we remember that it’s not reading Scripture that gives us eternal life, it is believing in Jesus who is what Scripture is about that gives us eternal life.