May 5, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
The fourth Verily, verily teaching is that the religious/civil leaders did not receive the witness of Jesus and the prophets. Remember, the Lord is speaking to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews (John 3:1).
Notice that Jesus speaks in this verse of We. Is this We He and the disciples? Frankly, they are just beginning their ministry. How much “witnessing” have they already undertaken? The Old Testament prophets are more likely. Often in the New Testament, Jesus and the writers invoked the teachings of the prophets as truth that should have been known and understood. Yet, many in the day of Christ were either willingly ignorant or simply chose not to believe all that the prophets prophesied about the coming Christ. Some in Jesus’ day received Him and some rejected Him. What was the difference? The difference seems to be that which a person believed about the teachings of the prophets.
Perhaps the We is Jesus and John the Baptist, or Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Father. There is no way to know for sure, but one thing we can know. One thing that Jesus said was a Verily, verily truth; people do not receive the witness of those who know and who have seen. They didn’t in Jesus’ day and they don’t today. How many times have you seen something, or something has been proven to you beyond any shadow of doubt? Then you share it with others only to have them ignore you, reject you, mock you, or simply disregard that which you know to be true. These usually become an “I told you so” type of thing.
In verse eleven Jesus employs the use of We, in verse 12 He uses the word I. He brings it home to a personal level. He tells Nicodemus, If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? Jesus who has seen the glories of Heaven, who knows all about everything ever created on Earth puts this leader of the nation on the spot. Consider this, if a pastor warns about the danger and damage of using illegal drugs to the physical body and a person decides to use the drugs anyway, they have not believed the pastor. If they will not believe that which can be seen, has been reported, and is known of the danger of illicit drug use, how will they believe the pastor when he tries to describe the unseen spiritual truth about the body being the temple of the Living God? They won’t. If they will not believe the physical they will not by extension believe the spiritual. That is the fourth Verily, verily teaching of Christ.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.