Jesus Is God
JESUS IS GOD
Up to this point in the gospel of John everyone and everything has declared Jesus to be God.
- In chapter 1 the Holy Spirit declared Him to be God
- John the apostle also declared Him to be God in chapter 1.
- John the Baptist declared Him to be the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world in also in chapter 1.
- His miracle at Cana in chapter 2 “manifested His glory” and proved He is God.
- His authority over the temple in chapter 2 proved that He is God.
- The fact that He knows what people think and He knows their history in chapter 3-4 indicates that He is God.
- And His ability to heal a royal official’s son in chapter 4 and a man in chpt. 5 who has had an illness for 38 years all says He is God.
- And now, in this discourse found in verses 17-42 our Lord Himself says that He is God.
And this discourse is here for two primary reasons. One: to confirm and bolster the faith that many of us already have.
- Events in life; hardships, false doctrines, human weakness are just a few of the tools that Satan will use to make us doubt and perhaps abandon our faith, but what Jesus says here is intended to reassure us that our faith is not misplaced.
The second reason for this discourse is to convince non-believers that Jesus is God; not just a man, not just a good man, not just a noble man or even a highly spiritual sensitive man, and not a lunatic or liar as some would have you believe, but God.
- And the reason why is it so important to believe that Jesus is God is because John the apostle says in Jn. 20:31 that anyone who denies that Jesus is God cannot have eternal life and will tragically die in their sins.
So, what Jesus says in this discourse confirms our faith and will hopefully convince others to believe.
- So, let’s look at what Jesus says.
When you come to vs. 16. Jesus has just healed a man who has had an illness for 38 years. And in vs. 16 the Jews are angered and are persecuting Jesus because He did this on the Sabbath.
- Evidently the miracle that Jesus performed doesn’t impress them.
- And obviously, they have no idea who Jesus is. So, He tells them.
- This is one of those, “Do you know who I am?” situations.
- Look at vs. 17:
17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”
- Now, if you look at vs. 18 these Jews know exactly what Jesus is saying: “He makes Himself equal with God!
When Jesus says, “My Father…” this is not talking about being the physical offspring of God. Jesus is not saying that He is God’s child physically.
- That is the idea that causes most Muslims to hate Christianity because in their minds the idea of Jesus being God’s son is to say that God had an illegitimate relationship because God was never married.
And, Jesus is not saying what we say when we acknowledge God as our “heavenly Father.”
When Jesus says, “My Father” He is saying that He has a like nature, the same qualities as God.
- He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent.
- He is just, righteous, forgiving, eternal, loving; He is God!
He is not saying that He is another, different God.
- He is not saying that He displaces God.
- In John 10:30 Jesus says that “He and the Father are One.”
- As the Hebrew writer says in Hebrews 1:3, Jesus is “the exact representation of God’s nature.”
- The apostle Paul says that “in Jesus the fullness of deity dwells”; Col. 2:9.
- And John says in chapter 1 that Jesus is the Word incarnate; in Jesus we see “the full expression of God!”
These Jews who are persecuting Jesus, if they understood who He is would regret treating Him like they are and that will be true of anyone who denies Him today.
So Jesus says, “My Father is working until now…”
- That may have come as a bit of a surprise to these Jews.
- They didn’t think anyone was to work on the Sabbath.
- But Jesus says here, “God never stops. He never slows down. He doesn’t do light work. He doesn’t diminish His efforts. He is working – present tense- until now.”
- If He ever stopped, even for one day, the universe would collapse.
- God never rests from His government; from sustaining the physical world; from keeping everything in orbit and on its rotation.
- He never rests from His just judgments.
And then Jesus says shockingly, “And I Myself am working”.
- And what Jesus is saying here is that “My Father and I are working until now.”
- He is working on the same level as God.
As a man coming into the world He fulfilled the Law and obeyed the Sabbath.
- But in His deity, He never stops working!
Look at this, in Hebrews 1:3 we are told that Jesus “upholds (sustains) all things by the word of His power.”
- Just like God, He never stops. He never slows down. He doesn’t do light work. He doesn’t diminish His efforts.
- He never rests from sustaining this physical world; He keeps everything in its orbit and on its rotation…and anyone who rejects Him or denies Him is denying God!
If these Jews understood who He is they would regret treating Him like they were and that will be true of anyone who denies Him today.
So, in vs. 18 the Jews “were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
Now, look at vs. 19: Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.
- Notice that Jesus says, “Truly, truly.”
- That means He is speaking fearlessly the resolute truth! It is like He is saying, “Do you want to know the truth? Well, here it is!” (“This is no joke!)
And look at what He says, “the Son can do nothing of Himself unless it is something He sees the Father doing;
- He can’t act independently from God.
- He is fully submitted to God’s will, and what He does is a perfect reflection of what He sees the Father doing.
- He does what the Father does the way the Father does it exactly.
In this situation with the Jews getting so upset about Him healing a man on the Sabbath, He did not do that on His own authority; He did it in complete submission to God the Father!
- If these Jews wanted to kill Him for that they also in essence want to kill God!
Theologians through the years have discussed whether or not it was possible for Jesus to sin, because in their minds they see a difference between God the Father and God the Son.
- The Son can do nothing but what He sees the Father doing.
- The Father cannot sin; the Father cannot do evil; to say that the Father can sin is blasphemy and to say that the Son can do evil is also blasphemy and that is in essence what these Jews were doing when they accused Jesus of committing sin by healing this man on the Sabbath.
- To accuse Jesus of violating the Sabbath is to accuse God of violating the Sabbath.
Look at vs. 20: “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.
- The relationship between the Father and the Son is not one of master and slave or employee and employer, but Father and Son united in love; a love that never ceases to be.
And these Jews were stunned by what Jesus did for and what He told this man who was sick for 38 years; but Jesus tells those Jews, “You haven’t seen anything yet!”
Look at vs. 21: For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.
- These Jews who were persecuting Jesus have given very little or no thought to Jesus ability to heal that sick man; they simply focused on Jesus being a Sabbath breaker.
- What they should have given thought to, especially after what Jesus tells them here, is Jesus’ power to raise the dead and give life because in time they will be in need of that.
And notice where it says that “the Son also give life to whom He wishes.” That is simply saying that the miracle of giving life is not something that man commands; it is an exclusive power that only the Son has.
Now, let’s read verses 22-24: 22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.
- This should really have gotten the Jews attention. This was something new to the Jews.
- They held that the Father was the judge of all men and they expected to stand before Him on the last day.
- But now, Jesus tells them that the Father will exercise the prerogative of judging through the Son.
- And God does that for the express purpose of ensuring that all men give the Son the same honor as they give Him.
He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
- The whole purpose of this passage is to stress the unity of the Father and the Son and to point out that what is done to one is done to the other.
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
- Even when it comes to salvation there is unity between the two.
So, these Jews are persecuting Jesus which means they are persecuting God!
- And eventually they would, not only persecute Him, they would crucify Him.
- If and when they realized who He is what should they do?
- And if anyone today is or has been treating Him badly and they realize who He is, what should they do?
Well, we are told. Look with me at Acts 2:36: Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and [ai]Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2024