When I was reading John today, I thought about the verse (5:39) I just wrote an entry about...suspecting that the verb "search" was an imperative (a command; this a particular verb "mood" in Greek), I looked it up.
I was incorrect. "Search" in John 5:39 is not imperative, but indicative—Jesus was stating the fact that if they search the Scriptures, which they could freely do, they would see that the Scriptures testified that He was the Son of God.
Being curious, I investigated a little further, and came across this wise tidbit: In Mark 1:15, early in Jesus Christ's earthly ministry, he preaches a simple and clear message,
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: Repent ye, and believe the gospel."These verbs, "repent" and "believe," are in the imperative mood. My Online Bible describes the imperative mood, using this verse as its example, in this way:
"The imperative mood corresponds to the English imperative, and expresses a command to the hearer to perform a certain action by the order and authority of the one commanding. Thus, Jesus’ phrase, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel" [Mark 1:15] is not at all an "invitation," but an absolute command requiring full obedience on the part of all hearers." [Greek lexicon entry #5794]Although determining the imperative mood from the English text is not always obvious, we should all have the heart attitude that we are willing to give absolute obedience to the commands of the Scriptures—for that is what they are, and that is what we are required by our Creator to do.