“You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth (John 5:33).
“He was the lamp that was burning and was shining” (John 5:35a).
J.C. Ryle, commenting on these verses, points out the honor the Lord Jesus Christ gives to His faithful servants:
See how He speaks of John the Baptist. ‘He bore witness of the truth’ – ‘He was a burning and shining light.’ John had probably passed away from his earthly labors when these words were spoken. He had been persecuted, imprisoned, and put to death by Herod – none interfering, none trying to prevent his murder. But this murdered disciple was not forgotten by his Divine Master. If no one else remembered him, Jesus did. He had honored Christ, and Christ honored him.
These things ought not be overlooked. They are written to teach us that Christ cares for all His believing people, and never forgets them. Forgotten and despised by the world, perhaps, they are never forgotten by their Savior. He knows where they dwell, and what there trials are. A book of remembrance is written for them. ‘Their tears are all in His bottle’ (Psalm 56:8). Their names are engraved on the palms of His hands. He notices all they do for Him in this evil world, though they think it not worth notice, and He will confess it one day publicly, before His Father and the holy angels. He that bore witness to John the Baptist never changes. Let believers remember this. In their worst estate they may boldly say with David – ‘I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks upon me (Psalm 40:17).