The religious leaders did not approach Jesus for proof, in order that they may believe that he is the Messiah. They came to him in an effort to discredit him. Jesus calls them on this. He tells them that he wouldn't expect them to believe his own testimony of himself. He tells them that they have already had someone who has testified about him. He even points out that they sent people to investigate John the Baptist. He tells them that everything that John. He realizes that even though they have listened to John, they are still looking for a reason to disqualify Jesus. He points out that they listened to everything that John said, and yet they are still coming to Jesus to seek more proof. They are doubters. Jesus could heal all of the ill in Jerusalem and they would still be seeking more proof. I love his next statement. He tells them that they have the testimony of John, but Jesus has no need of human witnesses. Jesus has the testimony of God the Father. I am sure that they religious leaders would have heard the story of Jesus' baptism by John. When the Father said this is my son in whom I am well pleased. He is drawing their attention to that witness. That is a much greater witness to himself, than the witness of John. He goes on to tell them, that the Father has testified further about him. He says that they do not have His message in their hearts, because they do not believe Jesus. He accuses them of searching the scriptures for eternal life. They look over the scriptures that testify of Jesus, and refuse to believe in him for the same eternal life that they are seeking. He tells them that he doesn't need their approval. He has no need for the approval of men, especially men who do not have the love of the Father in them. He says he has come in the name of the Father, and they have rejected them. He accuses them of accepting other teachers who come in their own name, while rejecting Jesus, who has come in the name of the Father. He says that it is no wonder that they don't believe. They are more than ready to honor one another, but they have no use for the honor that comes from the one who is sent by the Father. He tells them that it is not him that accuses them but Moses. Moses will testify against the religious leaders. If they believe Moses, then they should believe Jesus, because Moses wrote about Jesus. He says that because the will not believe what Moses wrote about Jesus, that it is no surprise that they will not believe the words of Jesus.
When we approach the scriptures we come with already settled ideas. We can be like the religious leaders and seek ways to discredit the message, or we can approach it looking for means to bolster our faith. I believe the scriptures to be God-breathed. It is written by the hand of men under the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the most well-preserved documents from that time period. It is a document that men have tried to destroy numerous times through the years. All of mans efforts to destroy the scriptures have failed. There are thousands of manuscripts from which we translate the scriptures. Some of the documents from the same time period are limited to a mere handful of manuscripts. It is amazing to see the hand of God protecting his word through the ages. It is that divine protection that sends me to God's word with the motive of finding reasons to strength my faith, rather than to find reasons to discredit it. All of the prophets spoke about Jesus. They even detailed the means of his death. Everything that was due to happen in the life of Christ is spoken of in the Old Testament, and yet these religious leaders can not accept the testimony of Jesus. If they will not believe the word of the prophets, then why would they believe the testimony of a simple carpenter from the backwoods town of Nazareth? It is no wonder that they refuse to see Jesus as the Messiah.