From the Father

Scripture Reading
Jesus said to the Jews:
“You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. 
I do not accept testimony from a human being,
but I say this so that you may be saved. 
John was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. 
But I have testimony greater than John’s. 
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.”
(John 5:33-36)

Scripture Study

John the Baptist bore witness that Jesus was the Son of God (1:34). Although Jesus had no need to have recourse to any man’s testimony, not even that of a great prophet, John’s testimony was given for the sake of the Jews, that they might recognize the Messiah. Jesus can also point to another testimony, better than that of the Baptist—the miracles he has worked, which are, for anyone who examines them honestly, unmistakable signs of his divine power, which comes from the Father; Jesus’ miracles, then, are a form of witness the Father bears concerning his Son, whom he has sent into the world.

Jewish legal tradition required two or three witnesses to sustain a claim in court (Deut 19:15). Jesus has a list of witnesses beyond the required number: (1) John the Baptist (5:33), (2) his miracles (5:36), (3) the Father (5:37), (4) the Scriptures (5:39), (5) and Moses (5:46) all bear witness to his divine authority and mission.[1]

Scripture Reflection

Today’s Gospel Jesus says that his Father’s works testify to his identity. Jesus’ words are the Father’s words and his deeds are the Father’s deeds. His story is the Father’s story.

Nature speaks of God, the philosophers say true things about God, the arts can reflect him, lives of the saints can indicate him—but Jesus is the icon.

We sense in this passage, if I can put it this way, the humility of the Logos: “The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.” Neither the words nor the deeds of Jesus are “his own.” They are received from the Father. The Trinitarian theological tradition respects this when it speaks of the Son as the interior word of the Father and as having received everything from the Father.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV. 




[1] Curtis Mitch, “Introduction to the Gospels,” in The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010), 172.