John 5:35 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:35, NIV: "John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light."

John 5:35, ESV: "He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light."

John 5:35, KJV: "He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light."

John 5:35, NASB: "He was the lamp that was burning and shining, and you were willing to rejoice fora while in his light."

John 5:35, NLT: "John was like a burning and shining lamp, and you were excited for a while about his message."

John 5:35, CSB: "John was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light."

What does John 5:35 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus is currently providing evidence to support His radical claims (John 5:18). Rather than telling people, "just believe," or pointing out that truth does not require any human being's approval (John 8:14), Jesus graciously fulfills the requirements of Jewish law by supplying three "witnesses" on His behalf (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6). This is done out of love, in order to see souls saved (John 5:34).

The first witness Jesus refers to is human testimony. When John the Baptist began to preach, he was met with great excitement. There was enough commotion, in fact, that the religious leaders of Jerusalem felt the need to investigate (John 1:19–24). Many people were excited at the thought that John might be the Messiah. However, during investigation, John pointed His testimony towards Jesus (John 1:25–28).

The Gospel of John refers to John the Baptist—a different figure from the author of this Gospel—as a witness to "the" light (John 1:7). "The true light, which gives light to everyone …" is Jesus Christ (John 1:9). Here, Jesus refers to John the Baptist as "a" light, somewhat like a lantern which only reflects. John's entire purpose was to point people towards Jesus (John 1:8–9).

In the following verses, Jesus will explain two more "witnesses"—forms of evidence—which prove His message to be true.