John 5:37-42
John 5:37 (KJB)
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
Shape - Appearance or form
Here Jesus is restating the fact that the Father has borne witness of the ministry and person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He also states that it was God who sent Him into this world. (John 3:17 KJV) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. None of those in attendance have ever seen the Father nor heard His voice at any time. God will only be heard by those whom He has saved and the unbeliever will never hear Him. It is like the Bible to the unbeliever, they cannot understand what is written because they do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. This means that those who are unsaved will never interpret the Bible correctly. (1 Cor 2:14 KJV) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. This also means that there will be no direct means of testimony from the Father for all will come through the Lord Jesus Christ. (Heb 1:2 KJV) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; This is why those who reject the Son will also be rejecting the Father and can never have any kind of direct relationship with Him, even though some false religions teach that it is possible.
John 5:38 (KJB)
And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
Here is an indictment of the Scriptural barrenness of the people. If they had believed the Hebrew Scriptures, then they would have been prepared to receive the Messiah. The word of God was not inside them. To the Jews the word of God was a cold, hard law which was to be obeyed, even with the many additions of men. Since they were not pursuing the truth in the Scriptures but were using the law as a means of gain, the truth in the Scriptures remained hidden since they were dead to the truths. Therefore, the truth about the Messiah and His ministry was foreign to them, even though it was handed down in the Scriptures for hundreds of years. This shows a major point, just because someone knows the original languages, does not mean they know the God of the original languages. Jesus was not believed by the Jews because, in reality, they did not believe the Scriptures but that is normal for unbelievers.
John 5:39 (KJB)
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Think - Seem, suppose, or appear
Jesus is here telling the Jews that because they search the Scriptures, they believe that they have eternal life. Just because a person knows the Scriptures as these did who knew the law, it does not mean that they were saved because they searched the Scriptures. In fact, the opposite is true. Those who are saved will search the Scriptures to gain a greater understanding of them and to know God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ better. The Jews had the law of Moses and the prophets but head knowledge does not translate into salvation. Just because they had the Hebrew Scriptures does not mean they were saved even though they thought that they were all saved being part of the nation of Israel. The problem is that they were not searching the Scriptures to ascertain truth because they had, then they would have seen the descriptions of the Messiah which appears in every book of the Hebrew Scriptures. The written word of God testified to the incarnate word of God but the Jews did not see this being in spiritual darkness.
John 5:40 (KJB)
And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
First of all, these Jews will not come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation because they were under the impression that they already had it and unfortunately that same lie is believed and propagated today. Secondly, a person cannot come to Christ of their own volition because every human being is spiritually dead and a dead person cannot do anything except be buried or be resurrected. (Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) The only way a person becomes saved is if God does the saving through grace because no one can keep the law perfectly unto salvation.
John 5:41 (KJB)
I receive not honour from men.
In comparison to the witness given by the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the witness of men fades in comparison. Jesus had no need to be honored by men, since His mission was to die for those named before the foundation of the world. Normally men honor those who are in agreement with them but since the world was in spiritual darkness, the witness of the Father of lights was far more important. If a sinner honors a Christian, that means that Christian is walking in agreement with the sinners. The world loves and takes care of its own and God takes care of His own.
John 5:42 (KJB)
But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
Jesus here is showing His omniscience in that He knows full well what is in the hearts of the leaders of Israel. He knows that there is a cold deadness in their hearts and that the love of the Father is not in them, that is, they are unsaved because the love of God is only implanted in the true believer by the Holy Spirit. Their Scripture searching did not yield for them the eternal life they believe they had dwelling in them. The essence of religion is that it lacks the love of God and exchanges it for the love of the world. We can see this situation today in the environmental churches which care more for a tree or a whale than they do their own souls and the souls of others.