Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 5:36

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But I have greater witness - However decisive the judgment of such a man as John may be, who was the lamp of Israel, a miracle of grace, filled with the spirit of Elijah, and more than any prophet, because he pointed out, not the Messiah who was to come, but the Messiah who was already come: nevertheless, I am not obliged to depend on his testimony alone; for I have a greater one, that of Him whom you acknowledge to be your God. And how do I prove that this God bears testimony to me? By my works: these miracles, which attest my mission, and prove by themselves that nothing less than unlimited power and boundless love could ever produce them. By my word only, I have perfectly and instantly healed a man who was diseased thirty and eight years. Ye see the miracle - the man is before you whole and sound. Why then do ye not believe in my mission, that ye may embrace my doctrine, and be saved?

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Greater witness - Stronger, more decisive evidence.

The works - The miracles - healing the sick and raising the dead.

Hath given me - Hath committed to me, or appointed me to do. Certain things he intrusted in his hands to accomplish.

To finish - To do or to perform until the task is completed. The word is applied to the “termination” of anything, as we say a task is “ended” or a work is completed. So Jesus said, when he expired, It is “finished” John 19:30. From this it appears that Jesus came to “accomplish” a certain work; and hence we see the reason why he so often guarded his life and sought his safety until the task was fully completed. These works or miracles bore witness of him; that is, they showed that he was sent from God, because none but God could perform them, and because God would not give such power to any whose life and doctrines he did not approve. They were more decisive proof than the testimony of John, because:

1.John worked no miracles, John 10:41.

2.It was possible that a man might be deceived or be an impostor. It was not possible for God to deceive.

3.The miracles which Jesus performed were such as no human being could work, and no angel. He that could raise the dead must have all power, and he who commissioned Jesus, therefore, must be God.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Our Lord returns to his declaration of the entire agreement between the Father and the Son, and declared himself the Son of God. He had higher testimony than that of John; his works bore witness to all he had said. But the Divine word had no abiding-place in their hearts, as they refused to believe in Him whom the Father had sent, according to his ancient promises. The voice of God, accompanied by the power of the Holy Ghost, thus made effectual to the conversion of sinners, still proclaims that this is the beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleased. But when the hearts of men are full of pride, ambition, and the love of the world, there is no room for the word of God to abide in them.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 204-13

The Jews had so perverted the law that they made it a yoke of bondage. Their meaningless requirements had become a byword among other nations. Especially was the Sabbath hedged in by all manner of senseless restrictions. It was not to them a delight, the holy of the Lord, and honorable. The scribes and Pharisees had made its observance an intolerable burden. A Jew was not allowed to kindle a fire nor even to light a candle on the Sabbath. As a consequence the people were dependent upon the Gentiles for many services which their rules forbade them to do for themselves. They did not reflect that if these acts were sinful, those who employed others to perform them were as guilty as if they had done the work themselves. They thought that salvation was restricted to the Jews, and that the condition of all others, being already hopeless, could be made no worse. But God has given no commandments which cannot be obeyed by all. His laws sanction no unreasonable or selfish restrictions. DA 204.1

In the temple Jesus met the man who had been healed. He had come to bring a sin offering and also a thank offering for the great mercy he had received. Finding him among the worshipers, Jesus made Himself known, with the warning words, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” DA 204.2

The healed man was overjoyed at meeting his Deliverer. Ignorant of the enmity toward Jesus, he told the Pharisees who had questioned him, that this was He who had performed the cure. “Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath day.” DA 204.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 201-13

This chapter is based on John 5.

“Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.” DA 201.1

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