Testimony of the Father
37And the Father who sent Me, He has testified about Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38Also you do not have His word remaining in you, because you do not believe Him whom He sent.
37And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
No one can honor the Father unless they honor the Son. From the time of Jesus’s birth until now, people try to honor God the Father without acknowledging, believing in, or honoring the Son. In this sermon on John 5:37–38 titled “Show Us the Father,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones challenges the listener to ask any pagan today how they will get to heaven. Their response may be “I believe in God” or “God is love and all good people go to heaven.” They assume a knowledge of and a relationship with the Father while ignoring Jesus. This has always been the case. However, in the Gospel of John, Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that Jesus taught that no one can know, honor, or see the Father without believing in the Son. In the context of John 5:37–38, Jesus had just performed a miracle. But the Jews denied it, denied him, and denied His claim to be the Son of God, equal in divinity to the Father. However, as John the Baptist testified to this truth, Jesus now declares that the Father also testified of the identity of the Son, affirming the claims of Jesus. The Father, in the Old Testament, New Testament, baptism of Jesus, and the transfiguration of Jesus all affirmed Jesus’s claims to be His Son and fully equal with Him. Both in written form and audibly, the Father testified as such. Therefore, believing in and honoring Jesus is absolutely essential to knowing God.
- The Jews were ignorant and arrogant in their claims about God. They knew nothing about God but spoke confidently.
- No one has seen or heard God directly. We cannot know God through our own searching. We need God's self-revelation.
- God has revealed himself in various ways, e.g. to Jacob, Moses, Isaiah. He has especially revealed himself in Christ.
- Christ is the eternal Son of God who has come from the Father. He speaks from first-hand knowledge of God.
- John the Baptist bore witness to seeing the Spirit descend on Christ and hearing the Father's voice.
- At the transfiguration, Peter, James and John saw Christ's glory and heard the voice from heaven. Peter testified to this.
- Philip asked to see the Father, but Jesus said to see him is to see the Father. He reveals the Father.
- The Jews rejected the evidence and testimony about Christ because God's word did not abide in them. They were spiritually dead.
- God's word tells us about God's glory and holiness, our sin, God's promises of salvation, and Christ the fulfillment.
- Simeon and Anna believed God's word, so recognized the infant Jesus as the salvation of God. The word gave them spiritual life.
- If God's word abides in us, revealing our need and Christ as the only Savior, we will believe in Christ. Otherwise we remain spiritually dead.
- The preacher pleads with people to face themselves, their need of Christ, and the reality of meeting God. Come to Christ and live!
The Book of John
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.