Monday, February 08, 2010

Jesus is God, but who do you say He is?

John 8:48-59

After Jesus gave some starting insight to His Divinity, the spiteful religious leaders reacted viciously; instead of a debate by the Scriptures or by the Law, they resorted to calling Him a devil, saying that He was possessed and even threw in a racial slur. Jesus again stood up for His position and defended it by saying His purpose was to honor His Father. As the religious leaders were seeking to glorify themselves, Jesus was pointing to the Father and proclaiming Him as the Judge. Then, He reassured those faithful ones who were listening that whoever believes in Me will never die! This further aggravated His opposers and insulted their pride and positions; they then just called Him more names. They could not wrap their minds around the fact that God was there in their midst, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe in their very presence—and all they could do was call Him childish names. Yet, they knew He was claiming to be God—Yahweh, the One True God—and they could not accept Him!

The religious leaders continued to challenge Jesus’ claim as the promised Messiah, but resorted to name calling and innuendos to attack Jesus because they could not win an honest, logical argument with Him. These were cheap shots, while as Jesus was centered in a very hostile environment and such cheap tricks worked with a people who refused to reason or search the Scriptures. Jesus left them to their ignorance and sin. John also used these events to validate the claim that Jesus was the Messiah and to answer the skeptic’s rebuttals.

When John pinned this Gospel twenty plus years later, this was a great reassurance of faith for a new, fledgling church, because they saw that Jesus had faced what they faced and had gone through what they either already had gone or would have to go through because of the extreme opposition He encountered—just as the original receivers of this Gospel faced and as we face today. This was of great encouragement to them, to know that God was not aloof but active, caring, and involved and we/they could identify with Him as Savior and Lord. This is also a retort to those early Christians who after becoming Christians, under pressure from their families and religious leaders, left the Church and betrayed Jesus and the faith community (John 6: 6:67-71; 1 John is a letter that addresses this as one of its prime themes).

What does this all mean to us today; yes Jesus is God, but what then? What now?

God is more interested in how we are than what we are.

He wants us to be good more than He cares what we do in vocation or living. He wants character, faith, and fruit from our spiritual growth, not spiritual descent from our disobedience, lack of faith, pride, or relying on what is not true or fleeting, like relying on one’s ancestry as these religious leaders were doing.

We must beware of our preconceptions, and not be so entrenched in falsehoods or bad thinking that in the process of trying to convince others or ourselves, not fully knowing what we are saying because we did not think it through.

Questions to Ponder

1. How has the Truth, set you free both for eternity and for the here and now of daily life?

2. What helps you to wrap your mind around the fact that God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe is here in your midst, giving you grace?

3. Why do some Christians see their lives of faith like a buffet, picking and poking only at what looks and feels good, ignoring what is needed to be fed and healthy? What can you do to make sure this is not you?

4. What evidence of Christ’s life, teaching, and works are being exhibited in you? How do you point to the Father?

5. How does belief lead to trust? How does trust lead to commitment? How does commitment lead to obedience? Why can’t belief stand alone and lead us nowhere?

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At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, as you can see this is my first post here.
I will be happy to get some assistance at the beginning.
Thanks in advance and good luck! :)

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, as you can see this is my first post here.
In first steps it's very nice if somebody supports you, so hope to meet friendly and helpful people here. Let me know if I can help you.
Thanks in advance and good luck! :)

At 10:38 AM, Blogger Rick Morgan said...

It seems so much easier to just belly up to the buffet and get a dose of Christianity whenever you need it.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess Jesus knows when he is coming back and the scripture is wrong.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Yes, we need help, Unlike a lot of good ministries, you are not only supporting us to do ministry, but you partner with us to come along side to do real ministry to other pastors too. You help those in ministry who have no means to go to higher education or receive seminary level educational resources or the means to pastor their flock effectively.

Be blessed!

Phil 1:6

At 10:01 AM, Blogger frebke said...

I don't understand when you say Jesus is God. What do you mean?


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