John 5:45 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:45, NIV: "But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set."

John 5:45, ESV: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope."

John 5:45, KJV: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust."

John 5:45, NASB: "Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope."

John 5:45, NLT: "'Yet it isn't I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes."

John 5:45, CSB: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope."

What does John 5:45 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Popular culture often portrays Jesus as a soft, fragile, quiet mouse of a man. While Jesus was certainly known for His love and kindness (Matthew 12:20), He was also willing to be confrontational and powerful when necessary. Driving corrupt businessmen out of the temple with a whip is a prime example (John 2:13–22). Purposefully healing on the Sabbath, to provoke a reaction from the hypocritical Pharisees, is another (John 5:1–15; Luke 14:1–6; Matthew 12:9–14).

Here, Jesus shows more evidence that He was not entirely passive. The Pharisees considered themselves absolute experts on the law of Moses. This was their identity. Here, Jesus makes His criticism of these men intensely personal. Jesus has already pointed out that human testimony and His miracles are evidence supporting His ministry (John 5:30–36). He has mentioned that the Scriptures do the same (John 5:37–40). In this passage, Jesus pointedly tells the Pharisees that the very Law they claim to be experts in condemns their actions and supports His claims.

The religious leaders criticizing Jesus (John 5:18) are mostly Pharisees. This sect placed great importance on legalism, and had added many layers of tradition onto the actual law of Moses. Their hope, as is the case in most religions, was that obedience to these rules would earn the favor of God. For Jesus to point to Moses—the cornerstone of Pharisaical traditions—as the very evidence that they were sinners is an intensely personal, direct challenge to their very identity.