A Bible study through John 1-6
From the very beginning of His earthly ministry, people struggled with Jesus’ status as the Son of Man and One equal to God the Father. The Pharisees denied it and sought to kill Jesus because of His claims of divinity. Skeptics to this day still question the divine nature of Jesus and whether He truly was fully human and fully God. However, when the Jews raised private questions regarding Jesus’ claims of being equal with God, Jesus gave a lengthy discourse on this subject and revealed how interconnected in heart, motive, action, and intent God the Father and God the Son are. While the two are separate persons of the Trinity, they are also One and both equally God.
Therefore, let’s examine what Jesus has to say about His status as God the Son and His relationship with the Father.
“This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.’”
“And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”
Before the New Testament, God the Father could not be seen or experienced in a physical sense by mortal men. However, Jesus came to change that. He came to reveal who God is because He is God. He walked among the inhabitants of the world so that mankind might be able to see, touch, hear, and behold their Creator. He was and is Emmanuel—God with us.
However, many did not recognize Jesus as God even though everything about Jesus testified to His right standing as being one with the Father. Jesus is the revelation of God. He is God in human flesh; 100% divine and 100% human. In Him we are able to see, know, hear, and witness God the Father. However, if we reject Jesus, then we are also rejecting God the Father, for the two are One.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, point to Jesus as the fully human, fully divine promised Messiah in whom there is eternal life and salvation. The pages of Scripture in and of themselves cannot give life. They only point to the One who has that power: Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can read the Bible as much as we want, but if we reject Jesus, we reject God and the gift of eternal life He gives.
The first century Jews were guilty of being religious Bible readers but blind to the fulfillment of the promises they so rigorously studied. They knew the words of God, but not the God of the Word. Therefore, even though the Bible clearly testifies and bears witness to Jesus, they were unable to recognize their long awaited Messiah. So they rejected Jesus and thereby rejected God the Father and the gift of eternal life available through Christ.
During His time on earth, Jesus made His identity as the Son of God clear, which is why the Jews wanted to kill Him. His claims of being One with the Father while also being human was just too much for the religious Jews to tolerate. So they rejected Jesus. However, by doing so they rejected the God they claimed to serve. And they were not the only ones throughout history who could not accept the fact that Jesus is fully God and fully man.
Therefore, the question for us today is what are we going to do with Jesus? Will we reject Him as the Jews did? Will we be students of God’s Word but unfamiliar with the One it’s all about? Will we allow skepticism keep us from the gift of eternal life and the relationship Jesus is extending to us?
The decision is one only we can make as an individual. The stakes are high. So choose wisely.
“For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”