Seeking Jesus First - Aug. 25, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - Aug. 25, 2023

Did Jesus claim to be God’s son? Did He claim to be one with God? Study this passage with me: John 10:24-42. Jesus gets challenged about His true identity and His answers make the Jews call for His execution.

Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” And many believed in Him there.” (John 10:24–42, NKJV)

The Jewish leaders had been trying to catch Jesus in a religious trap so that they could denounce Him. They would send people to ask Him questions. They planted people in His crowds to take note of the things He said and did. But they could not find anything with which to discredit His character. The Jews decided to confront Him directly so they could get it without parable and in his own words.

He had just told them, “I am the door of the sheep… The Father has given me power to lay down my life for the sheep and to take it up again.” But that was not plain enough. They were “lawyers” or experts on The Law of Moses. They wanted to make Him confess His true identity. Up until now, Jesus had expected people to make their own decision about who He was, by what He had said and by what He had done.

So the Jewish religious agents surrounded Jesus and commanded Him to tell them plainly who He was. He responded that He had told them many times but they would not believe it. How did He tell them? Jesus had told them over and over through the fulfilling of prophecies and through His own actions and even through the way He spoke about Jewish traditions and history and people. Just a little bit earlier, “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” (John 8:58–59, NKJV)

How could they be asking who He was after He claimed to be the “I AM” who spoke to Moses from the burning bush?

Nevertheless, they pressed Jesus for an even more plain answer.

Jesus told them that were unwilling to believe their own eyes and ears. Because they had rejected the truth, they rejected Jesus.

Jesus gave them one of the most plain answers possible. “I and The Father are One.”

This caused them to lose their minds. They started calling for stones with which to kill Jesus. So Jesus asked which good works would they stone Him for. They said that they were stoning Jesus for blasphemy because that statement made Him God. They finally understood that He was claiming to be both Messiah (Christ) and God. When they claimed that He was committing blasphemy, Jesus used their law to dismiss them. But then He doubled down on His own identity.

Jesus said, (not a direct quote from NKJV), If God called those who received God’s words “gods”, how could the Jews say that the one whom God The Father sanctified and sent into the world to represent The Father’s will to humanity was blaspheming by calling Himself “The Son of God”? He told them that they should believe His words and His works but they would not.

This statement brought their indignation to the top and they sought to stone Jesus, but Jesus was able to hide Himself and escape. Nevertheless, many Jews believed in Jesus because of this confrontation.

Jesus claimed to be Messiah (Christ). Jesus claimed to be Son of God. Jesus claimed to be One with God The Father. Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. The disciples of Christ Jesus did not make it up. They simply preached what Jesus preached and, later on, what Holy Spirit revealed.

Who do you say that Christ Jesus is? Call on Him now if you believe. “LORD Jesus, I confess that You are the Son of God. You became the sacrifice for all sin, past, present and future. I desire Your Holy Spirit to baptize me and fill me. I call You, LORD, and I set my heart to know you and receive your love for me. Holy Spirit of God, I welcome you into my life and I ask you to teach me about Jesus and The Father. Teach me what it means to be adopted as a child of God. Heavenly Father, I accept Your precious gift of grace and faith. I want all that you have for me. Your kingdom come in my life here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.”