John 5:30-44

Witnesses to Jesus

30 1"I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and 2my judgment is just, because 3I seek not my own will 4but the will of him who sent me.
31 5If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true.
32 There is 6another who bears witness about me, and 7I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true.
33 8You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth.
34 Not that 9the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved.
35 He was a burning and 10shining lamp, and 11you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
36 But 12the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For 13the works that the Father has given me 14to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, 15bear witness about me that 16the Father has sent me.
37 And the Father who sent me 17has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, 18his form you have never seen,
38 and 19you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.
39 20You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and 21it is they that bear witness about me,
40 yet 22you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
41 23I do not receive glory from people.
42 But 24I know that you do not have 25the love of God within you.
43 I have come 26in my Father's name, and 27you do not receive me. 28If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and 29do not seek the glory that comes from 30the only God?

John 5:30-44 Meaning and Commentary


In this chapter the apostle treats of the nature of faith and love; of Christ the object of both, and of the witness that is bore to him; of the necessity of believing the testimony concerning him; of the confidence of prayer being heard, and concerning whom it should be made; of the happiness of regenerate persons, and of their duty to keep themselves from idols. Faith in Christ is the evidence of regeneration, and where that is, there will be love to the author of regeneration, and to them that are regenerated; and love to them is known by love to God, and keeping his commandments; and keeping the commandments of God, and which are not grievous, is a proof of love to God, 1Jo 5:1-3; and whereas every regenerate man overcomes the world, it is by his faith, the evidence of his regeneration, that this victory is obtained; nor can any other man be pointed out that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God, 1Jo 5:4,5; and Christ, the Son of God, the object of this victorious faith, is described by his coming by water and blood, of which the spirit is witness, who is a true one; and six witnesses of the truth of this and his divine sonship are produced, three in heaven, the Father, Word, and Spirit, who are the one God, and three on earth, the Spirit, water, and blood, who agree in their testimony, 1Jo 5:6-8; wherefore this testimony concerning the Son of God ought to be received, since it is the testimony of God, which is greater than that of men; besides, he that believes in Christ has a witness of this in himself, and honours God, whereas he that believes not makes God a liar, not giving credit to his record concerning his Son; the sum of which is, that God has made a grant of eternal life to some persons, which is in his Son, which those that believe in the Son of God have, but those that do not believe in him have it not: all which show the necessity of receiving the above testimony; and the ends proposed in writing these things were, to believe in Christ, and that it might be known they had eternal life in him, 1Jo 5:9-13, and from faith in Christ the apostle passes to confidence in prayer, as a particular effect and fruit of it: as, that whatever is asked according to the will of God is heard; and that such who are satisfied of this, that they are heard, may be assured that they have the petitions they desire to have, 1Jo 5:14,15, and whereas it is one branch of prayer to pray for others as well as for ourselves, the apostle directs who we should pray for; for the brethren in general, and in particular for such who have sinned, but not unto death, and life shall be given to such: but as for those who have sinned unto death, he does not say prayer should be made for them, for though all unrighteousness in general is sin, yet there is a particular sin which is unto death, and is not to be prayed for, 1Jo 5:16,17; but happy are those who are born of God, for they do not sin this sin; and through the use of the armour of God, and the power of divine grace, they keep themselves from the evil one, and he cannot come at them, to draw them into this sin; also they know that they are of God, and are distinguished from the world, which lies in wickedness; yea, they know that the Son of God is come in the flesh, and hath given them an understanding of the true God, by which they know that they are in him, and in his Son Jesus Christ, who is with him, and the divine Spirit, the one true God, and the author and giver of eternal life, 1Jo 5:18-20; and the chapter, and with it the epistle, is concluded with an exhortation to these regenerate ones, as they had kept themselves from Satan, that they would also keep themselves from idols of all sorts, 1Jo 5:21.

Cross References 30

  • 1. ver. 19; John 8:28; John 14:10
  • 2. John 8:16
  • 3. John 4:34; John 6:38; [John 7:18; Romans 15:3]
  • 4. See Matthew 26:39
  • 5. [John 8:13, 14, 18, 54; John 18:21]
  • 6. ver. 37
  • 7. John 7:28, 29
  • 8. See John 1:7, 19
  • 9. 1 John 5:9
  • 10. 2 Peter 1:19
  • 11. [Matthew 13:20; Matthew 21:26]
  • 12. [See ver. 34 above]
  • 13. John 10:25, 38; John 14:11; John 15:24; [John 2:23; Matthew 11:4]
  • 14. See John 4:34
  • 15. [John 3:2]
  • 16. See John 3:17
  • 17. John 8:18; [Matthew 3:17]
  • 18. See John 1:18
  • 19. [1 John 2:14; 1 John 4:13, 14; 1 John 5:10]
  • 20. [Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 3:15]
  • 21. See Luke 24:27
  • 22. ver. 43; John 3:19; John 7:17; [Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34]
  • 23. ver. 34; [Matthew 6:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 2:6]
  • 24. See John 2:24, 25
  • 25. Luke 11:42; See Jude 21
  • 26. John 10:25; John 12:13; John 17:12
  • 27. John 1:11; John 3:11, 32
  • 28. [Matthew 24:5]
  • 29. Romans 2:29
  • 30. John 17:3
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.