This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
In Scripture God placed a high demand for veritable witness. In Deuteronomy 17, according to the Law, if someone was going to accuse another person of something, they must be able to prove it with “two or three witnesses.” God took the witness of men very seriously. Again in Matthew 18, Christ says that in matters of church restoration, there should be “two or three witnesses.” The job of a witness, in both Old and New Testament, was to provide a reliable account of the facts which he or she knew. The listener was given the choice based upon the character of the witness to determine if the facts given were true or not.
In 1 John 5, John talks about a time when God Himself became a witness. In Matthew 3, when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, God spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Again in Matthew 17, on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured in front of John the Apostle, God spoke again and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”
John says in 1 John 5, “if we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” Basically, John was saying, “you listen to the testimony of men, how much better is the witness of the omniscient God?” God has testified. No number of earthly witnesses can amount to the veracity of Holy God. And what did God say? “This is my beloved Son, hear ye him.” So what did Jesus, His Son, have to say that we must hear? John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Therefore, if the Bible is true, and God is honest, then Jesus is the only way for any man to gain access to God. Our confidence need not rest in the witness of men, although there is plenty of veritable witness. No, rather, let our confidence be found in this – God has spoken, and He said to trust Jesus.
Food For Thought: How was God a witness about Jesus?