Tuesday in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time

1 John 5:6-9

God’s Testimony concerning His Son

Testimony is important when seeking the truth about a particular matter.  From the beginning, the Mosaic Law required two or three witnesses to establish evidence (Deuteronomy 19:15).  John has spent his entire letter bearing witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.  And he has also indicated the witness of the Spirit that believers have within.

But now the Apostle is going to put the exclamation point on who Jesus is by bringing with the One whose testimony cannot be questioned—and that One, of course, is God.  John begins by saying that Jesus came by “water and blood.”   The few commentators I read suggest that the water refers to the heavenly witness Jesus received at his baptism and the blood his crucifixion.  The additional statement, “not by water only but by the water and the blood,” seems to stress his sacrificial death on our behalf. 

I’ve no problem with this interpretation, but I might suggest another: that both the water and the blood suggest his natural birth—an important matter to John who insists that Christ came in the flesh (4:2).  We also remember that both water and blood came forth from our Lord’s side when pierced by the Roman’s spear—which breach birthed of our Lord’s Bride, the Church, foreshadowed in Eve’s “birth” from Adam’s side. 

But of greater importance than all of this is when the Apostle tells us that “the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is truth.”  So whether it was the Holy Spirit coming upon Mary at his conception, testifying to Jesus at his baptism, filling him without measure, working through him to perform miraculous signs—all of these and more are evidences of the testimony of the Spirit of Truth to whom Jesus was and is—and “the testimony of God is greater.”  In other words, God has testified that this is His beloved Son in whom He is well-pleased; there is nothing man can add to that.

So the Spirit, water, and blood agree in their testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, who came in the flesh.  Other ancient versions read, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one” (see KJV and NKJV).  This was a later addition; even so, where the Holy Spirit testifies, the Father and Son testify the same, so there is no need to fret.  God has spoken about His Son: Let all the earth be quiet!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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