30. CLOSING TESTIMONY FROM THE MESSIAH HIMSELF
(From St John's Gospel: John 5:16-47)
(Solemn Truth, Father/Son, Judgement, Life, Belief & Unbelief, Heaven & Hell.)
It was because Jesus did works of mercy on the sabbath that the Jews began to persecute him. (John 5:1-15)
His answer to them was: "My Father goes on working, and so do I."
But, that only made the Jews more intent on killing Him, because, not content with breaking
the sabbath, He spoke of God as His own Father, and so made Himself equal to God.
To this accusation Jesus said to them:
the Son can do nothing of Himself;
He can do only what He sees the Father doing:
so, whatever the Father does, the Son does too.
For the Father loves the Son,
and shows Him everything He can do.
And He will show Him even greater things than these;
works which will astonish you.
Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life,
so too, the Son gives life to anyone he chooses.
(Remember, His raising of the widow's dead son at Nain,
Luke 7:11-17; and His raising of Lazarus, John 11;38-44.)
The Father Himself judges no one;
He has entrusted all judgement to the Son,
so that all may honour the Son as they honour the Father.
Whoever refuses honour to the Son,
refuses honour to the Father who sent Him.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever listens to My words,
and believes in the One who sent Me,
has eternal life;
without being brought to judgement,
he has passed from death to life.
I tell you most solemnly,
the hour will come - in fact it is already here -
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and all who hear it shall live.
For the Father, who is the Source of Life;
has made the Son the Source of Life.
And because the Son is also the Son of Man,
His place is also to do all judgement.
Do not be surprised at this,
for the hour is coming
when the dead will leave their graves
at the sound of His voice:
those who did good, will rise to the resurrection of life;
and those who did evil, to the resurrection of judgement.
I cannot of Myself do anything;
I can only judge according to My Father's will,
and My judgement is just;
because mine is never to seek My own will,
but only the will of Him who sent Me.
Were I to testify on My own behalf,
my testimony would not be accepted;
but there is another who can give witness of Me
and I know his testimony is true.
You sent messengers to John, (The Baptist)
and he gave his testimony to the truth: (John 1:19-34; Matthew 3:13-17)
not that I depend on the testimony of men.
It is for your salvation that I speak of these things.
John was a burning and shining light,
and you, for a time, were happy to rejoice in his light.
But, I have a greater testimony than that of John:
the works that the Father has given Me,
these same works which I do,
testify that the Father has sent Me. (Read also John 10:14-42)
By them, the Father Himself gives testimony of Me,
to you who have never heard His voice, or seen His shape.
But His testimony finds no home in you,
because you do not believe in the One He has sent. (Read also John 8:1-59)
Search the Scriptures,
for you believe that in them you have eternal life.
These same Scriptures give testimony of Me;
but you will not come to me, that you may have life.
Human approval means nothing to Me.
Besides, I know you only too well:
you have no real love for God in you.
I have come in the Name of My Father,
and still you refuse to accept Me.
Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father.
You place your hopes in Moses.
He, Moses, will be your accuser. (Deuteronomy 18:15 and 31:24-26;)
If you really believed him, you would believe Me too,
because it was Me he was writing about. (John 5:39; Matthew 8:10-12)
If you refuse to believe what he wrote,
how can you possibly believe what I say? (Luke 16:31)
HEAVEN & HELL
(The Messiah's parable of Lazarus & the Rich Man)
There was a rich man who clothed himself in purple and fine linen,
and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And there was a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores, who
lay at his gate, longing to fill himself with the scraps that fell from
the rich man's table. Dogs would come and lick his sores.
When Lazarus died he was carried by the angels to the bosom of
Abraham. And, when the rich man died his place was in hell.
In his torment, he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off
with Lazarus in his bosom.
So, he cried out, "Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus
to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, for I am
in agony in this flame."
"My son," Abraham replied. "Remember, that in your lifetime
good things came your way, while bad things came to Lazarus.
Now he is being comforted, while you are in agony. But that is
not all: there is a great gulf fixed between you and us, to stop
anyone crossing from our side to yours, or from your side to ours."
The rich man replied, "Father, I beg you then: send Lazarus to
my father's house, for I have five brothers, to give them warning,
so they will not come to this place of torment too."
"They have Moses and the prophets," replied Abraham.
"Let your brothers listen to them."
"No, father Abraham," said the rich man. "If someone goes to
them from the dead, they will repent!"
"If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets," said Abraham.
"They will not listen, even if someone rises from the dead."
It is important to remember: that every person, from the moment his/her life is conceived in
is a child of God and has his/her own unique place in God's Creative Plan. Though we differ from one another
in our physical and intellectual capacities and natural gifts, and the stage we are at in our own particular stage
of growth and development or decline; from beginning to end, we are all equal in the dignity we share as
human beings and the love and care and respect we owe to one another. Not one of us may be excluded.
With love to all.