Jesus on Trial

Bruce Fiol

READ : John 1:1-5, 9, 14; 20:30-31

How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.


Imagine a courtroom. The accused, on trial for his life, takes the stand. Questions
must be answered: Who is he? What has he done? What do the witnesses say about him?

John, as it were, calls Jesus to the stand and masterfully designs his Gospel around
the answers to those questions. We hear Jesus seven times state who he is. Bible students
refer to these declarations as the “I AM statements.” Each one reveals profound insight
into the person of the Son of Man.

Next, the apostle describes seven “signs” (as he calls them), miracles that attest to
Christ’s deity. Jesus has angered his religious contemporaries. They plot his death, even
though by his miracles he has proven his claims to be God. But they regard that as

Finally, John calls seven witnesses to the stand—people who had heard Christ’s “I
AM” affirmations and seen his miracles. And we hear their consistent testimony: Jesus is
the Son of God!

Statements, signs, witnesses: three sets of seven. To the Jewish mind three is the
picture of completeness and seven speaks of perfection. Jesus Christ—complete
perfection! John has presented his indisputable evidence. He rests his case. Every person
must now decide what he will do with this evidence. The decision carries eternal


Spirit of truth, grant us eyes to see Jesus.