If the unbelieving Jews who wanted to kill the Lord (5:18) would search the Scriptures for Jesus (5:39) they would find that the Scriptures testified of Him (5:39 cf. Lu. 24:27)
Of course, the things of the mystery are “unsearchable” in Old Testament Scripture (Eph.3:9). The Old Testament Scriptures testified of Christ as Israel’s king, but said nothing of Christ as Head of the Body of Christ.
The reason these unbelieving Jews thought they had eternal life in the Scriptures (5:39) was because they rested in the Law (Rom. 2:17). And the reason they rested in the Law was because they thought they could keep the Law good enough to be saved (Cf. Luke 18:9-14).
Our Calvinist friends believe sinners cannot come to the Lord, but John 5:40 doesn’t say that, it says they would not. But if they would have come, they would have had “life,” i.e., eternal life. And so will you, if you’ll come to Him.
The Lord received not honor from men (v.41) because He didn’t need honor from men, having already received it from His Father at His baptism (Mt.3:17) and later on the holy mount (II Peter 1:16,17). But why not receive honor from men anyway? After all, it couldn’t hurt! Or could it? You wouldn’t want to be honored by the Mafia, and the Lord didn’t want to be honored by sinful men. Had they come, they would have honored Him, but they would not.
When John 5:42 says “ye have not the love of God in you,” this doesn’t mean God didn’t love them, it means they didn’t love God! The Greek word “of” is in the genitive of relation. The only other time in the New Testament we find this is in Luke 11:42, where it says that the unbelieving Jews here passed on the love of God. Well, you know they wouldn’t pass on God’s love for them! They were passing on the idea of loving God! For them to love God would mean giving up their sins and their covetousness. So John 5:42 means they didn’t love God. Too many Scriptures have to be twisted to believe that God doesn’t love them.
What did the Lord mean when He said He came in His Father’s name (John 5:43)? While many things are involved in this, it all boils down to the fact that He came to do the Father’s will (6:38). It wasn’t His will to be born in a stable or die on a cross, but aren’t you glad He said, “Not My will, but Thine be done”?
Of course, there were consequences to doing the Father’s will. Men received Him not because of it (5:43). Why not? He wasn’t the kind of Messiah they were looking for. In looking for a Messiah, men look for a man who gives orders, not takes them! A man like the Antichrist!
Antichrist will come in his own name (5:43). If coming in His Father’s name meant the Lord did His Father’s will, then when Antichrist comes in his own name, it means he will do his own will (cf. Daniel 11:36). Antichrist will be like Satan in this respect. Satan did according to his will, saying “I will” five times (Isa. 14:13,14).
Now how ‘bout you? Do you do your own will, or your Father’s? Are you like the Lord, or more like Satan and the Antichrist? Like Antichrist, you may “prosper” if you do your own will (Dan. 11:36), for the world loves self-willed men. But it will only last until God puts a stop to it at the Rapture. Why not instead learn to sing Have Thine Own Way, Lord and mean it!
Since the Jews honored the kind of man who did his own will, the Lord asked them how they could believe (John 5:44). They trusted in Moses (5:45) when they should have trusted in Christ (cf. Eph. 1:13).
Your whole world is built on trust. You trust the alarm clock to wake you up on time, and your car to get you to work on time. You trust the boss won’t fire you even though you are doing a good job. You trust the police to protect your family, and the military to protect your nation. Now imagine what would happen if all the ones in whom you trust let you down? As chaotic as your life would be, it is nothing compared to the eternal loss you’ll suffer if you continue to trust in the Law instead of Christ to be saved.