This is the sermon for Wednesday evening, June 17th, 2009.
JOHN PART 49
The four claims of Jesus Christ part 2.
John 10:31-42 TNIV – 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ‘ ? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
Last week we began looking at the four claims that Jesus makes concerning Himself found in John 10.
We looked at the first two claims:
• The works He does testifies that He is the Messiah.
• Jesus and the Father are one – Unity of essence.
Now the reason why Jesus makes these claims is because of a question that the Jews asked Him. More than likely, these Jews are the Jewish Leaders asking Him this question.
John 10:24b TNIV – How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.
So now let’s begin looking into this narrative and look at two more claims Jesus makes. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you tonight.
The Charge of blasphemy.
John 10:31-33 TNIV – 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Here the Jews, more than likely the Jewish authorities, pick up stones to stone Jesus. They are angry. Jesus asks them point blank, “Which of these (good works) do you stone me?” They say that the reason they want to stone Jesus is for His claim to be God. Well, when did Jesus make such a claim?
It is actually claim number two from last week: Jesus and the Father are one – unity of essence.
John 10:30 TNIV – I and the Father are one.
That’s what “one” means in Greek, “Unity of Essence.” When Jesus made that statement, they knew that Jesus was claiming to be equal with God the Father and was claiming Deity.
The reason that they picked up stones to stone Jesus was because the Law said that all blasphemers must be stoned.
Leviticus 24:16 TNIV – Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.
Let’s now look at Jesus response. Within this response is the third claim.
Claim Three: He is the Son of God.
John 10:34-37 TNIV – 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ‘? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.
First off Jesus does not defend Himself; He appeals to Scripture to justify His claim of being equal with God. He is appealing to Psalm 82. The context of Psalm 82 is God is rebuking Israel’s unrighteous judges, calling them gods (in a far lesser sense) because they ruled as His representatives and spokesman.
Psalm 82:6-7 TNIV – 6 “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ 7 But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.”
This isn’t the only time that a human was described as a god in the Old Testament. Here are two others.
Exodus 4:16 TNIV – He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.
This is concerning Moses and Aaron. Aaron would speak for Moses to the people, just like a prophet would speak as the mouthpiece for God. Aaron would receive the message that he was suppose to deliver from Moses, which of course Moses received this message from God Himself.
Exodus 7:1 TNIV – Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.
Here Moses is made like God to Pharaoh; meaning the judgments of God would be delivered by Aaron, which came through Moses.
The leaders and judges of Israel were gods in the sense that they were representatives of the Word that God has spoken (the Law) to the people. But in Psalms 82, written by Asaph, they were perverted judges, therefore, these judges who ruled as if they were gods would be judged and die as mere men.
One thing must be stated: There is a doctrine in certain segments of Christianity that claims that it is alright to call yourself a god, because of what Jesus Christ said here, plus we being Christ’s representatives on earth. Well this doctrine is evil and false. First of all, Jesus is using this to the Jewish leaders in a negative way. Also, you do not see any of the Gospel writers, nor the writers of the Epistles using this expression, but you see them all talking about their sins, failures and weaknesses and humblying themselves before the one true God.
In verse 36 Jesus claims to be God’s Son. It is clear, He knew who He was, and they had no right to stone Him for making such a claim.
What are the differences about Christ’s claim to be God’s Son and the Jewish Leaders being gods or judges? Well, Jesus as God’s Son is divine; these leaders of the Jewish people will die as mere men, as Psalm 82 states.
Jesus next appeals to His miracles in verse 37. If He does the works of His Father – heals the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons – then they should believe in Him.
Let’s go on to the next claim.
Claim four: God is in Him, and He is in God.
John 10:38 TNIV – But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.
This is similar to the Unity of Essence claim, but this one is dealing more with the relationship Christ has with the Father.
Jesus has always been in perfect Union with the Father – the Father in Him, and He in the Father. This wasn’t a come and go relationship, but absolutely perfect in every way. The words He said were the Father’s words. The Miracles He performed, were the Father’s miracles.
Look at Jesus answer to Philip in a later narrative.
John 14:8-10 TNIV – 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Jesus prayer to the Father later also reveals this truth.
John 17:20-21 TNIV – 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
The Jewish Leaders want to seize Jesus, but the common people believe in Him.
John 10:39-42 TNIV – 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
The world may be confused concerning the nature and person of Jesus Christ, but the believer is not. We accept His claims as true, and Scripture cannot be broken concerning this truth.
• A miracle worker whose miracles testify that He is the Messiah.
• He and the Father are one in Essence.
• He is the Son of God.
• God is in Him and He is in God, therefore the two are inseparable.
The world’s philosophies are on shifting sand. Thank the Lord that these four claims of Christ are eternal truths that are the bedrock of our faith.