This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. – 1 John 5:6-12
God’s testimony about his Son is convicting to any who will listen. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is the Savior of the world. He really came as a man, suffered, died, and was buried. He rose from the dead and as author of life brought life and immortality to light.
As I consider that testimony I think of Jesus’ baptism: The Father speaks from the clouds (which Mark says were ripped open) and testified: “This is my Son whom I love. With him I am well pleased.” I think of the Spirit’s attestation – coming in the form of a dove and alighting on Jesus. I think of Jesus facing down Satan in the wilderness: refusing to give in to Satan’s temptation. I think of Jesus’ glory revealed on the mount of Transfiguration. I think of Jesus’ encounters with the woman at the well. The way he wouldn’t let the rich young man slide when he presumed he had done enough to win his own salvation. I think of Jesus teaching his disciples to pray. Of his silence before his accusers, and his kind word of hope to the repentant thief on the cross.
John speaks of the water, the Spirit, and the blood all agreeing in their testimony about Jesus. There are many different interpretations about these three witnesses. I will invoke the Martin Luther rule here, something to the effect of: When you come to a place in Scripture you don’t understand, simply praise God and continue reading. We praise God because he is above our understanding. We praise God for even if we don’t understand him or his word, we can be certain of his love and of the salvation he has won for us.
There are many things in the Bible that we might struggle to understand. I am thankful for those things I can understand that give witness to God’s love in his Son, our Lord Jesus.