Luke 5:17-26: Jesus Can Forgive Sins

Read: Luke 5:17-26

Jesus’ teaching ministry not only drew the common people, it also attracted a large number of Pharisees and “teachers of the law” too. Both these groups were zealous about the the Law of Moses so they knew it well and had no tolerance for blasphemers. Jesus was teaching while these experts were looking on when a group of men brought a friend of theirs to be healed. The house was crowded, so they went up top, moved away the roofing tiles and lowered him in right in front of Jesus. This undoubtedly made quite a raucous, nevertheless Jesus was impressed by their faith that he could heal the man and how it drove them to unconventional means just to get a chance.

But Jesus doesn’t heal the man right away. Instead, he tells the man that his sins are forgiven, which causes quite a stir in an event that has already been in spectacle. The Pharisees accuse Jesus of blasphemy because they rightfully point out that only God can forgive sins. What they didn’t understand though was that Jesus is God. But Jesus asks a rhetorical question in response. The reality is that both saying “Your sins are forgiven” and “Rise up and walk” were both impossible for any mere man to say – only God could do these things. One was not easier than the other, and the Pharisees and scribes knew this. The difference is that they could not see that his sins were forgiven, but they could see a man get up and walk, so again, Jesus speaks and the man is healed.

Jesus, however, tags his demonstration of his authority to forgive sins with the title “Son of Man”. This is the first of 25 times that this title appears in the gospel of Luke. Why Jesus used this title is not certain, but it could be because of its twofold significance from the Old Testament that affairs his humanity and his divinity, which is the case here in Luke 5 where Jesus as a man is doing things that only God can do. “Son of man” as a reference to humanity is found all over the Old Testament, but a few examples are Psalm 8:4, Psalm 80:17, and 90 times in the book of Ezekiel. The reference to “son of man” as divine is found in Daniel 7:13-14, which was one “like a son of man” that was given kingship over the world. Jesus alludes to this text in Matthew 26:64 and Matthew 24:30. Both if these verses and the surrounding texts points to Jesus being the Son of Man that is spoken of in Daniel.

Often times, Christians come wanting something from God knows that they need most. God though, in his providence supplies what people need because he is able. The one universal thing that every person needs is forgiveness from sin, which Jesus is able to forgive because he is God. For this reason, no matter what one asks God for, he or she can always ask God for forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says that God is faithful and will forgive all unrighteousness for that reason.

Lord, I need forgiveness!

Forgive me from my sins!

Luke 3:21-22: The Trinity

Read: Luke 3:21-22

Luke presents Jesus’ baptism in his gospel rather succinctly with only two verses. The other gospels record the same event too (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark:1:9-11, John 1:29-24) Unlike the other gospels. Luke though notes that Jesus was praying while he was baptized. Luke records Jesus praying on a number of other occasions including prior to his transfiguration and while he was at Gethsemane (Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:18, Luke 9:28, Luke 11:1, Luke 22:41-46). Luke’s special attention to Jesus’ prayer life is important to note, because it shows how Jesus was in tune with the Father and that while he was co-eternal and equal with the Father, he submitted himself to the Father while he was on earth. In doing so, God proclaims that with Jesus he is well pleased.

Jesus’ baptism is one of the most clear depictions of the Trinity in all of the Bible with all members present. The Father is speaking from heaven, the Spirit is descending in bodily form like a dove, and Jesus himself is the one being baptized. Explaining how all three of the members of the Trinity are all God at the same time yet three distinct persons is something that theologians have grappled with for years. The Bible doesn’t have a detailed explanation of the Trinity. In fact, the word “Trinity” doesn’t even appear in the Bible. Analogies are often employed, but as with most all analogies they break down at some point. Reconciling how God can be three district persons where each person is co-equal and uncreated, yet one being at the same time is difficult. Many attempts that try to rationalize the Trinity resulted in heretical view of God . A few include:

  • Modalism: God is manifested in different “modes” rather than having three persons of the Trinity.
  • Tritheism: This suggests that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three different gods.
  • Arianism and Macedonianism: the Father is God and Jesus (in Arianism) and the Holy Spirit (in Macedonianism) are created beings.
  • Partialism: This teaches that the members of the trinity are only “parts” of God and they don’t become God until they all come together.

The Early church fathers, while not having a clear explanation of the Trinity affirmed it as a core doctrine of the Christian faith because the scriptures present all members of the Trinity as divine, co-equal, co-eternal, and uncreated. But while they did not have an explanation, they did express the Trinity as “three persons” and “one essence” to serve as a bright-line to weed out heresy. Any view that either separated God into parts such that there was more than one essence or diminish one or more members of the Trinity to a lower status or thing such that one or more of the persons were excluded from the Trinity would be labelled a heresy. This expression of the Trinity has withstood the test of time and is considered the orthodox view of God by Christians across multiple denominations.

While Jesus was on earth, he didn’t surrender his divinity or become a lesser being. He enjoyed the intimate fellowship with the other members of the Trinity on earth as he did while he was with them in heaven. Nevertheless, Jesus made prayer a priority in his life. He did this not because he needed to pray, rather because the this was an opportunity to have uninterrupted, unbroken, and unfettered fellowship with the ones who loved him and who he loved. The awesome part of this though is that the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit isn’t exclusive to the Trinity. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer, which draws believers into an intimate relationship with God. And spiritual disciplines like prayer, meditation, and time spent with God draw one into closer relationship with God too. For this reason, Christians ought to make personal time with God a priority so they can be in an intimate relationship with God.

Lord, draw me close to you!

Hebrews 1:4-14: Jesus is Superior to Angels

Read: Hebrews 1:4-14

The author of Hebrews takes a two prong approach to showing the supremacy of Christ from Old Testament quotations. He shows that Jesus receives a status higher than the angels and also shows that angels are the messengers of God – a status lower than that of Jesus. The author of Hebrews draws upon a number of texts from the Psalms to show these two different statuses.

  • Verse 5a quotes Psalms 2:7. The author or Hebrews likens Psalm 2 about a king that is called the “son” of God who will receive the ends of the earth as his inheritance. The likening to Jesus is obvious here, as Jesus is the Son of God. Luke in Acts 13:33 picks up on this Psalm too as a pointer to Jesus.
  • Verse 5b quotes Psalm 89:26-27. Psalm 89 praises the mightiness of God, then turns to focus in a chosen one, namely David (Psalm 89:20), who calls God his “Father”. This chosen one will, like the king in Psalm 2, inherit the earth. The author of Hebrews likens this to Jesus as well in. These verses along with Psalm 2:7 show the father-son relationship between God the Father and God the Son.
  • Verse 6 quotes Psalm 97:7 and also from Deuteronomy 32:43 in the Septuagint. The Hebrew Old Testament uses the word “אלהים”, (pronounced “el-o-heem”). The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) translates this to the Greek word for “angels” instead of “gods” likes like English Bibles do. The word “אלהים” is actually a plural in Hebrew, but the plurality can be used to show the majesty of the singular, one true God, which is the most common use of the word. When used as a plural, it can refer to angels, magistrates (Psalms 82), or gods in general. The author of Hebrews is applying the word to angels worshiping “him”, namely Jesus, who the psalm describes as magnificent.
  •  Verse 7 quotes Psalms 104:4. This psalm talks about the splendor and majesty of God. In the midst of the Psalm, the Psalmist says that God makes his “messengers” wind. In the Greek, the word for “angel” and “messenger” are one in the same. In any case, what the author is establishing that God makes his messengers (angels) winds that go out to do his bidding. Likewise, this verse talks about “tongues of fire” that are servants. Isaiah in a vision sees seraphim – blazing, serpent like creatures – hovering around the throne of God (Isaiah 6:2). This is probably a reference to these creatures. Both these allusions are to the servant-like roles the angels provide (Hebrews 1:14).
  • Verses 8-9 quote Psalm 45:6-7. Psalm 45 is a love song given to a king and to God, seemingly interchangeably. It praises the righteousness of God and how the king loves righteousness too. Because the king loves righteousness, the king is anointed by God. The author of Hebrews applies this anointing to Jesus.
  • Verses 10-12 quote Psalm 102:25-27. This psalm compares the eternalness of God to the finiteness of the created world. The author of Hebrews applies this eternalness to Jesus too.
  • Verse 13 quotes Psalm 110:1: This verse is quoted or alluded to many times in the New Testament (Matthew 22:41-46, Mark 12:35-37, Acts 2:34-35, Hebrews 10:12-13). This psalm speaks of a Yahweh saying to the psalmist’s “lord”, telling this “lord” to sit at the right hand of God. Hebrews likens this “lord” to Jesus, who claims the right hand of God in a number of places elsewhere in the New Testament (Mark 16:9, Mark 14:62 (paraphrasing from Daniel 7:13-14) Acts 5:31, Acts 7:56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, 1 Peter 3:22, and Revelation 5:7). Hebrews 10 later expounds on this psalm saying that Jesus is king who is also a priest like Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18).

These seven quotations show, as verse 14 concludes, that the angels are in subservient rolls while Jesus is in a roll of power, praise, and authority such that even the angels worship and bow down to him. The author of Hebrews wanted to establish that Jesus is higher than even the angels who worshiped around the throne, and in doing so shows the supremacy of Christ. This is important because Hebrews 2:6-9 establish that man was created lower than the angels. While Jesus was a man, his rightful was a place of authority that receives worship and from man and the angels.

Like angels, people too are the servants and ministers of Jesus. The authority, power, and majesty of Jesus elicit a response of awe and wonder from all who dare to gaze upon him. When Christians think about Jesus, they generally like to think about his love, compassion, mercy, and humanity. These things are certainly true, but one cannot forget the awesomeness of Jesus either! He truly is worthy of worship.

Lord, you are worshiped and served by angels and men alike. No one else is higher than you!

Hebrews 1:1-3: Jesus is God

Read: Hebrews 1:1-3

Hebrews opens talking about the continuous revelation of God through fathers and prophets and in these “last days” has spoken to the world through his son. In a way, the author of Hebrews was talking about how God was revealed entirety of the Old Testament, which is called the “Tanakh” in the Hebrew language. “Tanakh” is a sort of acronym that stands for The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. The fathers and prophets are uncovered all these portions of scripture. The Law is the first five books of the Old Testament. The Prophets includes Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, and 1 & 2 Kings, and Isaiah through Malachi. Lastly, the Writings include the rest of the Old Testament. The Old Testament revelation stopped with Malachi, but the author of Hebrews effectively asserts that the latest revelation on par with the Old Testament that had come into the world came through God’s Son himself, namely Jesus.

The opening verses of Hebrews also offer one of the most unequivocal statements about the deity of Jesus in all of the New Testament. Not only is God being revealed through Jesus, Jesus himself is on par with God. Hebrews asserts many things about Jesus in these verses:

  • He is “heir to all things”. Ultimately, everything will belong to Jesus in the end (Ephesians 1:20-23, Philippians 2:9-11).
  • Through him the “worlds” (The word is plural in the Greek) were made. This indicates not just the earth, but the entirety of the cosmos. For this to be possible, Jesus would have had to been present in Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth. John makes a similar statement in his prologue, saying he is the originator of all things that came into being (John 1:3). Paul asserts that all things were made through Jesus too (Colossians 1:16).
  • Jesus is the “radiance of his glory”. The word translated “radiance” is difficult to translate because there is not a word in English correlates with it, but a literal translation would be an “out shining” in the manner the sun radiates sunlight. In a manner of speaking Jesus radiates the glory of God.
  • Jesus is “exact imprint of his nature”. The word here for imprint is a figurative form of a tool engravers used to make precise imprints on objects. Jesus is said to be an exact representation of God’s nature, substance, or essence. In classical Greek thought, earthly objects were seen as cheap copies of some sort of perfect, transcendent form. Jesus was not some sort of cheap copy, rather a perfect representation of that form. Colossians 1:15 asserts that Jesus is the very “image” of God. John says that Jesus he who has seen Jesus also sees the Father (John 14:8-11). Jesus is not merely a projection of God – he is so much more than that.
  • He upholds the world by his power. Not only was Jesus at the creation of the cosmos, it through him that the world is held together. In Colossians 1, Paul also asserts that Jesus holds the cosmos together (Colossians 1:17).
  • He made purification for sin. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that satisfied the requirement of the law so that those who believe don’t have to. For man to be reunited to God, a perfect sacrifice had to be made. The only one qualified as a perfect sacrifice was God himself.
  • He sat down at God’s right hand. The right hand of a God is the ultimate place of authority, and Jesus claims it. The imagery of Jesus taking the right hand is seen a number of times in the New Testament, drawing from Psalm 110:1. (Matthew 22:41-46, Mark 12:35-37, Acts 2:34-35, Hebrews 1:13, Hebrews 10:12-13) and elsewhere in Mark 16:9, Mark 14:62 (paraphrasing from Daniel 7:13-14) Acts 5:31, Acts 7:56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, 1 Peter 3:22, and Revelation 5:7. By taking the right hand seat, Jesus has all the same authority of God.

Jesus has all the glory, power, authority, and qualities that are recognized in God. These powerful descriptors of Jesus can only point to one thing: Jesus is God. These statements alone are enough to establish the supremacy of Christ, but the author of Hebrews does not stop there. He continues in the book to show how the Old Testament vindicates the qualities.

When God spoke through the fathers and prophets, he was pointing to what would come. When Jesus came, he was fulfilled what the fathers and prophets yearned for. As this study of Hebrews continues, this will be unfolded. But right off the bat, Jesus divinity is established to assure the reader that Jesus was not merely another prophet, rather that Jesus himself is God revealed.

Lord, what words can express glory, power, and authority revealed in Jesus? You truly are amazing!

Joshua 10:28-43: The God of Israel

Read: Joshua 10:28-43

Joshua and Israel wasted no time after they put the 5 Amorite kings under their feet. They proceeded to conquer seven cities in the southern part of what is now modern day Israel. The book of Joshua does not go into great detail as to how these cities were conquered as it did for Jericho and Ai, because these cities served as the prototype for how Israel was to conquer the rest of the cities in Canaan. The cities were utterly destroyed under “the ban” because of the sinfulness of the people in these cities. The book makes a special note in verse 42 concerning the campaign in the south: the cities were conquered because the Lord fought for Israel. This is the second time in the chapter that the book notes that God fought for Israel (the first is Joshua 10:14). The verse and also in verse 40 place a special emphasis on the fact that the Lord was the God of Israel. In a matter of summary, the verses gives credit to God for the astounding victories Israel had.

Israel by themselves were a people without a land who had been living under the bondage of the Egyptians. The story of deliverance and the story of conquering the land of Canaan make God out to be the hero in the story. The might of kings and armies were no match for God, and the beneficiaries were the people of Israel. When the book of Joshua calls the “Lord” (that is “יהוה” the unspoken name of God) the God of Israel, he is using the word “god” in the general since of the word. The book is in a manner of speaking lifting God above the gods of the other peoples they conquered. The gods of the other people were unable to deliver them even in part from the God of Israel. Without fail, God proved yet again that he was supreme above all others.

The supremacy of God cannot be question. What can be question is whether or not the God of Israel is one’s personal God. When Jesus came to earth, he claimed to have oneness with the Father – that is oneness with God (John 1:1-2, John 10:30, John 8:58). While not everyone accepted this fact, there were many that did. Thomas, who is often noted for his doubt, makes a bold statement of Jesus in John 20:28, call Jesus his “Lord” and his “God”. Thomas was acknowledging Jesus was Yahweh the God of Israel, but even more so that Jesus was his God. Jesus is God, and when one believing this fact. At the same time, one also knows that he or she has faith in the God above all others and that this God can fight on one’s behalf in all things. He is the hero – the one who is mighty and can save one from all things!

Lord, you are the God of Israel and the God of me!

John 15:1-11: Abiding in Christ

Read: John 15:1-11

Jesus wants the joy of his disciples to be complete – that is perfected, lacking in nothing such that there is no wanting for more joy than they could possibly find in anything else other than Jesus. Before declaring that Jesus wants their joy to be complete though, he tells them how to make their joy complete, and it is found in nothing other than abiding in Jesus.

The night before Jesus was sent to the cross Jesus was spending time with the ones that were closest to him, the disciples. The disciples had just spent the last three years of their lives living, eating, working, and being with Jesus practically all the time. In this time, Jesus taught them numerous things and undoubtedly had grown close to all them. When Jesus tells them that he is going away to be with the Father, their hearts are grieved. To console them Jesus tells them among many things that he goes to prepare a place for them, that he will return (John 14:1-6), that he will be with them by way of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-26), and that they would be able to do great things in his name (John 14:7-15). After he departed from that room where they were, Jesus tells them that they must abide him because he is the vine and they are the branches, and that the one who abides in the branches bears much fruit.  Interestingly, the emphasis is not on bearing fruit, rather on abiding in the vine, and it is through abiding the disciples were to bear fruit (John 15:1-17). The Bible mentions several two kinds of fruits: the harvest of souls (Matthew 13:1-23) and the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The harvest of souls is the spiritual progeny that comes from sharing the gospel and fruit of the Spirit is moral purity that comes from living according to God’s standards. These things, however, are not the result of the efforts of man, but the works of God working in his Spirit through man. More often than not, Christians get caught so caught up in in trying to bear fruit that we forget to abide in the vine and such people wither in the same manner as a branch disconnected from the vine, which cannot bear fruit. The responsibility of Christians is to stay connected to the vine so that he may bear fruit, but the one who attempts to bear fruit without abiding in the vine will accomplish nothing.

The Greek word translated “abide” is “μείνατε” which by itself means carries the implication of remaining and dwelling. Also it is in the aorist imperative tense, meaning that the disciples were being commanded to currently and continuously abide in the Christ. Given this and the fact the Jesus repeated it over and over gives one the impression that this was really important! Abiding in Christ is a quintessential part of the life of every Christian. To continuously abide in Christ, one needs to be in a constant relationship with Christ, speaking to and hearing from hear. Jesus speaks through his word and we speak to him through prayer and we show that we love him by doing what he tells us to do in his word (John 14:15)!

Lord, help me to abide in you every day all the time!

John 14:16-26

Read: John 14:16-26

Jesus’ time on earth was only for a short while, and while he was with the disciples, he instructed them on how they should live out their lives in accordance to his commands. And now that it was time for Jesus to depart and return to the Father, he was going to ask the Father to send another permanent helper to them, namely the Holy Spirit. For the disciples, this again probably did not make a whole lot of sense either considering the that Jesus said that he and the Father were one in the same but somehow separated in location, and that Jesus was going away to be with the Father. Here, Jesus said that he is going away, yet he is coming to them and will live inside of them. He also says in the same manner as that the Father is in Jesus, so will Jesus be in them. And he says in response to Judas’ question that he who hears Jesus’ commands hear not Jesus’ commands, but the commands of the Father. These things are only possible if Jesus is the Father and the Spirit too: that is all three of them, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are God.

Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will teach them all things and remind the disciples of the things that Jesus had taught too. The work of the Holy Spirit is to provide illumination and instruction on the things of God (also in John 16:13). Jesus talks about the role of the Spirit in John 3:1-13 when he is talking to Nicodemus. The spiritual truth that Jesus was speaking into Nicodemus’ life was only comprehensible when the Spirit was there to help him understand. (Paul expounds on this more in 1 Corinthians 2:1-16.) On the same token, the Spirit also compels worshipers in truth when they worship. Jesus compares the Holy Spirit to a spring of water welling up inside of someone rather than a well, which required one to labor to get the water out of (John 4:24). The Spirit does other things too: convicts Christians of sin (John 16:8) and intercede for Christians (Romans 8:26-27).

The Holy Spirit is God living in inside – that is making his abode – in every believer. In the same manner in which Jesus was in sync with the Father, so should Christians be in sync with God too. While the oneness of Jesus, God, and the Spirit is not entirely comprehensible, there can be some understanding of it in the manner in which the Spirit indwells every believer. The same functions the Spirit played in the lives of the disciples are the same functions that the Spirit plays in the lives of believers today. The Spirit brings one into a close relationship with God, teaches and reminds believers of the truths of God, convicts the believer of sin, and makes intercessions on the part of the believer. Increasingly, as a Christian mature, he or she becomes more in tune with the Spirit in one’s life. While Christians are not God, they can enjoy a close relationship with God in a similar manner in which the members of the Godhead share with God abiding in the life of the believer!

Lord, you have never left me or forsaken me because your Spirit lives inside of me!

Help me to recognize the work of the Spirit in my life so I can be in a close relationship with you!

John 12:44-50

Read: John 12:44-50

After John discusses the reasons why some won’t believe, he records Jesus rehashing some of the things that he had already taught leading up to this point. Jesus “cries out” — that is he spoke in a loud voice so he was sure that many could hear them. From here Jesus outlines who he is and his mission.

  • Believing in Jesus is also believing in God because Jesus and God are one. John asserted the divinity of Jesus on a number of occasions in John 1:1, John 8:45-59, John 10:30, and again here.
  • Jesus came as the light of the world to lead people out of darkness. Those that believe in Jesus will not be in darkness because Jesus is light, life, and truth (John 1:1-18).
  • Jesus did not come into the world to judge the world, rather to save the world. Jesus’ mission this time was to provide a means for men to be saved through faith. Condemnation is already upon them because they have sin and because they have not believed (John 3:15-18).
  • Judgment is reserved for some time in the future (John 5:25-29, Revelation 20:11-15).
  • Jesus’ mission was from God. Over and over in the book of John, Jesus asserts that he is acting in step with the Father and that what he does is of the Father.
  • Jesus’ commandment is eternal life – that is as Paul asserts in Acts 16:31: believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved and Jesus himself offers in John 3:16.

Rehashing the basic facts of who Jesus was, what he came to do, and how one relates to Jesus is a good thing as it reminds people of the salvation of which they have received. Unsound doctrines concerning Jesus and salvation arise often. A quick way to check a purported doctrine is to see if it violates some of the basic doctrines concerning Jesus and his work. Should it violate even one, then it probably the case that the doctrine is not sound. The veracity of Jesus teachings are demonstrated in numerous ways and well substantiated by historical evidence and rest assured that what Jesus says is true.

Lord, help me to stay anchored to the truth of who you are and what you did for me!

John 10:19-42

Read: John 10:19-42

There could not be a clearer declaration of Jesus’ divinity in John 10:30. Here, Jesus says that he and the Father are one. Leading up to this, Jesus had declared that he was the Sheep Door and the Good Shepherd – that is the only and narrow entrance into the sheep fold and also the one who cares for the sheep and searches out the lost sheep. The motif of God as a shepherd is found in the Old Testament (Psalm 23, Jeremiah 31:10, Isaiah 40:10-11, Ezekiel 34:11-2) where he does just these things. The Jews did not know what to make of his words and were divided. Jesus then explains the parabolic message of the metaphors he used to describe himself, and makes the statement that those who believe in him are part of his flock and cannot be snatched away from the Father. By implication, the ones that belong to Jesus also belong to God of they are one and the same, and Jesus makes this very statement.

This is not the first time the Jews wanted to kill Jesus for claiming equality with God. After Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath they sought to kill him for healing on the Sabbath and claiming equality with God (John 5:18) and when Jesus says that he is the great “I Am” (John 8:58-59). Ultimately, this is the reason that the Jewish leaders gave the people for wanting to have him crucified (Matthew 26:63-66). The high priest asks him if he was the Son of God, and Jesus quotes from Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13. Hebrews 12:2 likens this to Jesus. The Jews obviously understood this to mean that Jesus was calling himself God, as they explicitly say it, and they want to kill him for it.

Jesus counters with an interesting argument, that if read incorrectly, could generate bad theology concerning people. Jesus argues that the Scriptures call men “gods” from Psalm 82. Psalm 82:1 uses the same word to refer to “rulers” in some translations as it does to most often refer to “God”, namely the word “אלהים” (pronounced, “eloheem”). In the same Psalm 82:6, the word is used to say that these rulers are “gods”, sons of the Most High, but will nevertheless die. This word is also translated “judges” in Exodus 21:6 and Exodus 22:8-9 in some translations. The word, “אלהים” is translated in the Greek Old Testament to “θεος”, the same word used to refer to God in the New Testament. Jesus is arguing that the Psalm calls some men (namely the rulers) “gods” yet they get upset and scream “blasphemy” when Jesus, the one who God sent into the world says that he is the “Son of God”. Jesus then says, if he wasn’t doing the work of God, then don’t believe him. But Jesus then says that he is doing the work of the Father and that through this they can know, even though they do not belief. This is not teaching that people are gods; rather that they are attributed qualities that make them metaphorically “gods” but not necessarily gods. Also, Jesus is not downplaying his own divinity; rather he is saying that they have a double standard. In any case, they still did not like the answer Jesus gave, and sought to arrest him. Jesus escaped them and went beyond the Jordan where John was previously baptizing. Many followed him there and recalled the testimony of John about Jesus, and they believed.

The issues of Jesus divinity has been hotly debated over the years because many have a hard time accepting that God could be a man or man could have been God or understand how God can be both a person and a divine being at the same time. They deny that Jesus was God or fully God, deny that Jesus was a man or fully man, or say that Jesus was some other kind of god but not the same thing as God. The Scriptures, as Jesus said, cannot be broken, and one cannot say Jesus is something else when the scriptures teach that he is God through applying the shepherd motif to Jesus, outright saying that Jesus is one with the Father, that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, saying he is equal to the Father (John 5:18), saying that he was the great “I Am” (John 8:58) and outright saying it in John 1:1. Jesus is God – there can be no mistake about that. Because the power of the Father and the power of Jesus are one, there cannot be anything that separates those who believe in Jesus from God. The assurance of salvation rests not on works, but on believing that Jesus can and will save them – this is only possible if Jesus is God.

Lord, You are God! I know that you and only you can save me for this reason and nothing can undo that!