John 5:36 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:36, NIV: "I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish--the very works that I am doing--testify that the Father has sent me."

John 5:36, ESV: "But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me."

John 5:36, KJV: "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."

John 5:36, NASB: "But the testimony I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me."

John 5:36, NLT: "But I have a greater witness than John--my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me."

John 5:36, CSB: ""But I have a greater testimony than John's because of the works that the Father has given me to accomplish. These very works I am doing testify about me that the Father has sent me."

What does John 5:36 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has angered local religious leaders, by violating their traditions and claiming to be equal with God (John 5:18). Jesus provides several examples of His equality with God the Father (John 5:19–30). At the same time, Jesus notes that human beings have a natural need for evidence. This is why Jewish law required two or three witnesses to establish any fact (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6). In the interest of reaching lost souls, Jesus is willing to provide that evidence. In prior verses, Jesus has given the first of these: human testimony, which came from John the Baptist (John 5:33).

In this verse, Jesus explains the second form of evidence, which is direct observation. In particular, Jesus notes that He has performed miracles—works—which give evidence that He has godly power. Since these are events some of His critics have seen first-hand, Jesus notes that this testimony is "greater" than the witness of John the Baptist. The Baptist's words are compelling, but he performed no miracles (John 10:41). The real-world miracles of Jesus are far more powerful evidence than any human testimony.

This, in fact, is a major purpose for this entire Gospel. John specifically focuses on seven of Jesus' miracles, calling them "signs" (John 2:11). The purpose of choosing only these few incidents is to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God (John 20:30–31). Miracles are used by God sparingly as a wayto prove His message (Hebrews 2:3–4). The fact that Jesus is wielding the power of God is meant to inspire faith in those who see His works (John 3:2).

The third form of evidence Jesus refers to is that of Scripture, beginning in the next verse.