The Rejection of the Testimony of the Son of God.

(Revised notes of an address on John 8:19-29.)

How very solemn is the consideration of the rejection of the testimony of the Son of God by the Jews. The Lord Jesus had been speaking the words of the Father, and revealing His works of power, yet were they entirely ignorant of Him who had sent the Son into the world, so that when the Jews asked Him, "Where is thy father?" He replies, "Ye neither know me, nor my Father." Their blind unbelief had prevented them from receiving and enjoying the greatest revelation that was ever brought to men. Every moral feature of the Father had been set forth in that blessed Person who had been brought up with Him, who was the nursling of His love, and who was daily His delight before the foundation of the world. In Him the Father's grace had been shining forth, and the secrets of His bosom unfolded.

Fain would the adversaries of the Lord have seized Him, but "No man laid hands on Him; for His hour was not yet come" (John 8:20). When the hour came for Him to die, He gave His life, even as He said, "I lay down my life . . . no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and 1 have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10:17, 18). His life was lived on account of the Father, to secure His glory in accomplishing all that was given Him to do, and when the time came for Him to leave this world, He gave His life as a voluntary offering, to lay the basis in redemption for the accomplishment of all His will. His perfect obedience was manifested in His every activity in life, and in the sacrifice of Himself in death.

Through death He would enter the Father's presence, and there the Jews could not come. As having refused Him, and the testimony that the Father had given Him, they would die in their sins. Their rejection of this heavenly testimony proved that they belonged to this world, and that morally they were from beneath; their opposition to the Son of God being manifestly inspired by the god of this world. The life that He lived, and the words that He spoke bore eloquent witness that He was from heaven. But the Jews were so blind that they could not discern who He was, nor could they tell whence He came. How different it was with the disciples! for Simon Peter had said, "Lord . . . Thou hast the words of eternal life; and we have believed and known that Thou art the holy One of God" (John 6:68, 69).

Those who had companied with Jesus had seen something of the heavenly character He bore, and therefore knew that He was the holy One of God, but in ignorance the Jews enquire, "Who art thou?" So far as they were concerned, the manifestation of the heavenly life, the revelation of the Father's grace, and the wonderful testimony of the Son had been in vain. They might be very religious, zealous for the traditions of the fathers, with great pretensions as to the service and worship of God, and all the while in deadly and bitter opposition to the truth that God had sent, and to Him who brought it. His works and words plainly declared who He was from the beginning of His public ministry, but they would not have Him.

If the light of God, come in the Person of the Son, revealed God in His great compassions, it also exposed those who rejected His testimony, so that He says, "I have many things to say and to judge of you." What could He say of those who had rejected such words and such works? They had not the life of God in them, for He was true, and had they been true, they would have received Him whom the Father had sent. As sent of the Father, the Son spoke the things which He had heard of Him, the things that brought out the features of God's nature, all His moral excellencies, and His grace for men. His ear was opened morning by morning, the dependent One, to hear the words of the Father, the words that were not only for the Jews but for the world.

Although the Jews had refused the testimony of the Son of God, knowing Him not, they would yet realise who they had rejected. This would be after He had fulfilled the type of the brazen serpent, giving Himself in love that eternal life might be the portion of all who believe in Him. The fruits of His great work on the cross, and of the testimony that He bore on earth, will yet be displayed in glory, and will manifest before the whole universe the greatness of the Son's mission as come into the world on account of the Father.

Rejected by the Jews, the Son had the deep consolation of the Father's company, even as He said, "And He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him." Nothing could interfere with the communion that ever existed between the Father and the Son, that which belonged to them in the relationships of the Godhead, but there was a communion that existed between the Son in Manhood and the Father, that which subsisted in relation to the carrying out of the Father's will on earth. And how blessed this communion! the Son in the perfection of obedience never seeking His own will, but only and ever the will and pleasure of the Father. Saintly men have sought to live for God in this world, but only One could say, "I do always those things that please Him."
R. Duncanson.