Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #292 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading John 5 today and our focus is on Is Jesus God, or the Son of God, or Both? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Ad Dawah, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Waikato, New Zealand, New South Wales, Australia, parts unknown Malaysia and China, Aargau, Switzerland, Parts unknown, Russia, Finland and Spain, Little Rock, Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Miami, Florida. Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Today we address one of the most controversial theological truths about Jesus. Who exactly was He – God, or the Son of God, or something else entirely? This controversy about Jesus was in full effect, even during His lifetime, and John will give us multiple instances in Jesus’ life where the Jews try to kill Jesus because He makes statements that equate Himself with God. We see a great example of this in John 10:
John 10: 24 The Jews surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify about me. 26 But you don’t believe because you are not of my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”31 Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone him.32 Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these works are you stoning me?” 33 “We aren’t stoning you for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for blasphemy, because you—being a man—make yourself God.”
This was the third or fourth time, that we know of, that the Jews (not just the Pharisees!) tried to kill Jesus for making Himself like God. One of the first times this happens is in today’s passage:
John 5: 17 Jesus responded to them, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.” 18 This is why the Jews began trying all the more to kill him: Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal to God.
This is the first time John mentions the Jews trying to kill Jesus, but He makes it clear that this is not the first time it happened by using the expression, “the Jews tried ALL THE MORE to kill him,” which indicates that they had already been trying to kill Jesus prior to this.
Was Jesus God? The Jewish people acknowledge Jesus was a teacher with many followers. Some ancient Jewish texts call Jesus a magician who did supernatural things, but not by the power of God. Jews do not consider Jesus to be God’s son, nor God Himself, and neither do the followers of Islam. Jehovah’s witnesses recognize Jesus as savior, but not God in the same way that God the Father is, they see Jesus as a man who attained to some level of deity, but deny exactly what Jesus said, that He and the Father are One.and Mormons…well, their belief is pretty out there and not rooted in the Bible at all. Founder Joseph Smith said:
I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil,… It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, …and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves… the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another,., until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings. Joseph Smith, 1844 sermon.
So, they view Jesus as God, who looks exactly like a human, because He was a man who became God by doing a bunch of stuff.
Oneness Pentecostals believe that God the Father, God the Son and The Spirit are all the exact same being, who just manifests sometimes as the Spirit, sometimes as the Father, and sometimes as the Son. Which makes the parts of the Bible where Jesus interacts with His Father very strange.
What does the Bible say? We can start in Matthew 10:
Matthew 26: 63: The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” 64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? See, now you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66 What is your decision?” They answered, “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who was it that hit you?”
And then we can go to John 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. John 1:1
and also Colossians 2:9 9 For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ,
So – is Jesus the Son of God, or is He God? He is both at the same time! Many, many times, Jesus taught, showed and claimed that He was Lord -that He was the Son of God- that He was Equal to God. As Spurgeon puts it:
The first verse of the Book of Genesis tells us that “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” so someone may ask, “How do you reconcile that statement with Paul’s declaration that all things were created by Christ, and for him?” No reconciliation is needed, for the two statements are identical, as Jesus is God, and “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Jesus said, “I and my Father are one,” and so they are. We know not how it is, but the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct personalities, yet there are not three Gods, but only one, as the apostle John writes, “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.” The one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Father, Son, and Spirit, three in one and one in three.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Christ the Creator,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 56 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1910), 25.
As one final piece of confirming evidence, let’s call Isaiah the prophet to the stand, who testifies about Jesus that He is:
For a child will be born for us,
a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 The dominion will be vast,
and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it
with justice and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
Bible Memory passage for the month of October: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
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