Short Meditations in John 1: 34. The Ultimate Testimony
Jn 1:34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
So much of this, we have said, is testimony. It is what John, at this time of his life, mindful that he is old and maybe cannot go on for much longer, is strong on. I was there I saw it – and so did others. And his testimony, now through the mouth of John the Baptist reaches its peak.
“I have seen and I testify.” This is what witnesses do. This is not the language of someone making it up, or of someone who heard it second hand. Luke had done that; he had carefully collected together all the information he could on Jesus from those who had been there (Lk 1:1-4) but John had been there seen it and heard it all (1 Jn 1:1-3) but now he adds to his own testimony that of John the Baptist. God had told him, watch for the one on whom my Spirit comes. He is the one. And he had seen it come on Jesus. Then he declared, “This is the Son of God.”
Now whether that was John the writer or John the Baptist’s testimony, it is a remarkable testimony. It says, make no mistake this is the unique Son of God. Already we have seen John aligning Jesus completely with God (1:1-3,14,18) and we will see it in chapter 3: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him,” (Jn 3:16,17) and we see it near the end of the Gospel: “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (Jn 20:30,31)
It is almost as if his testimonies get stronger and stronger as he goes through the book. There can be no doubt whatsoever, that John is utterly convinced that Jesus is God’s unique Son, God Himself. John more than any other of the Gospel writers is sure of this. The others were focusing on getting down in writing the basics of what had happened in respect of Jesus – his life, his ministry, his death and his resurrection – but John goes a step further; he says this is why all these things happened, because of who Jesus was and is. His Gospel, if we come to it with open hearts, leaves us no room to doubt. He is blatant in his intent – he wants us to believe just as he believes and he believes because he was there and saw and heard it all.