Jesus courageously thwarts the Jewish leadership’s challenges in Jerusalem by using their legal system to reveal His Divine Authority and greatness.E Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by learning from the great Prophets, like Elijah and John the Baptist and become a better man by honoring and seeking the intercession of the Saints through the Virtue of Piety, and by boldly asking Jesus to perform miracles by growing in Faithfulness.
After Jesus entered Jerusalem for a Jewish feast (likely the Feast of Pentecost/Weeks), healed a cripple on the Sabbath, and proclaimed He is the Son of God, the Jewish leaders persecute and scheme to kill Him. Responding to their evil accusations and murderous plot, Jesus reveals the reality of His closeness with God the Father, and that the Son has been given the authority and power to execute judgment on the good and the evil.
Approaching the Jewish leadership’s charges as if it were a legal trial, Jesus follows the Jewish legal tradition that requires two or three witnesses to prove a claim (Deut 19:15). Jesus introduces John the Baptist as His first witness. John’s witness to the truth, is not just confirmation Jesus is the Messiah, but that Jesus is Truth itself (Jn 14:6). Jesus describes the Baptist as, a “burning and shining lamp”, a reference to John’s message which reveals Jesus is the Light of the World. Jesus also uses words that described Elijah (Sir 48:1), again mysteriously revealing John is the New Elijah who announces the coming of the Messiah (Mt 17:12).
Though Jesus honors John the Baptist, Jesus does not rely on John’s testimony, mysteriously alluding to His divinity by revealing He does not need the testimony of mere human beings. Jesus next points to His miraculous works as a second witness in His defense. Even more stunning, Jesus points to God the Father as His third witness. Using the Jews’ deep reverence for Scripture, Jesus confirms the Scriptures provide a powerful fourth witness for Him. After this (v 37-47), Jesus will give a final fifth witness in His defense, revealing that the great prophet Moses provides actual written testimony on Jesus’ behalf (Gen 49:10; Deut 18:15-19).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be impressed by how Jesus, the Son of God with Human Knowledge superior to any man, uses Reason to dominate the rebellious Jews: He has a superior understanding of Jewish law; He systematically uses the Jewish legal process to irrefutably confirm His Character and Authority; the perfection of Magnanimity (meaning, “greatness of soul”, a part of Fortitude), Jesus confirms His greatness by the greatness of His witnesses, God the Father, Moses, and John the Baptist, witnesses who cannot be denied or discredited by His accusers; He forces His accusers to recognize His recent miracles which have been widely witnessed by the masses and caused great awe.
Honor and seek the intercession of the Saints
Realize: Though Jesus does not need the witness of men, He uses human witnesses to pave the way for the Gospel (Elijah, John the Baptist), demonstrating the importance of witnesses in the lives of men; these witnesses in Heaven have the power to intercede to God on you behalf.
Believe: Reflect upon the Cloud of Witnesses of the Saints (CCC 2683-2684).
Pray: Almighty and Most Gracious Father, help me build the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I always give proper honor to the Saints, I seek to be guided by their lives, and I regularly ask for their intercession on my behalf to You.
Boldly ask Jesus to perform miracles
Realize: When men fail to acknowledge His miraculous works, Jesus exhorts men to examine and believe in His works to grow in faith.
Believe: Reflect upon the Miracles of Christ (CCC 156, 515, 547-550).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Faithfulness so I may believe and regularly ask for Jesus to perform miracles in the world, if they be in accordance with the Will of the Blessed Trinity.