John 5:39-47 Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that come from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuse you, even Moses, in whom you trust. For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?
Jesus accused the Jews of searching the Scriptures because they think they can find eternal life therein, whereas the Scriptures testify of Jesus giving eternal life to those who believe He is from the Father, yet the Jews rejected Him and thus they searched in vain. ‘Testify of me’ – His “works” were only indirect testimonies; the Father Himself has given direct testimony concerning Jesus (John 5:30-37; Mat. 3:17; 17:5). That kind of testimony cannot be derived by the Jews, for they have never heard the Father’s voice; (John 5:37) neither do they have the direct witness of the Spirit as all believers have, for they do not have His Word in them and they refuse to believe in Christ whom the Father has sent (John 5:38, 40). Yet there is one form of direct testimony of Jesus that they (and all others) can know – that is, if you will search the Scriptures.
Christ has never sought men’s honour – Greek: doxa, meaning approval or praise. The eleventh New Testament prophecy in John that is unfulfilled: ‘I am come in my Father’s name, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive.’ All Christ’s works were done in the name of His Father (John 10:25). The future Antichrist will be received by the Jews and they will make a seven-year covenant with him (Dan. 8:25; 9:27). Just as so many come today in Christ Jesus’ name as deceivers (Matt. 24:5, 11, 24) and they have so many followers, yet He will at the time of judgement send them away (Matt. 7:22-23) for misusing His name and His Word (2Tim. 4:2-4).
Christ warned the Jews that they must not think He will have to accuse them, they considered Him an enemy, but Moses whom they trusted as a friend will accuse and condemn them in the judgment day.
‘But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?’ Here Christ bears full testimony to the divine authorship and authority of the Pentateuch. He also affirms that no man can believe His words if he does not believe Moses’ writings, for they confirm each other.