Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior
John 10:30-42 Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior Introduction: Ligioner ministries recently partnered with Lifeway Research to conduct a poll of 43 questions relating to the doctrines of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin, salvation, the Bible, the church, and ethics. You can read all about the survey and see all the results at TheStateOfTheology.com. But I want to focus on the first few things this survey revealed because they relate to our passage. The survey revealed significant confusion regarding the doctrine of God. In fact, the survey revealed significant numbers affirming such heresies as denying that the Holy Spirit is a person, and denying the deity of Christ. The survey revealed heretical views regarding human nature and sin. The survey revealed that while 6 out of 10 believe in a literal heaven, less than half polled think you need to believe in Jesus to get there. And the survey revealed that while 6 out of 10 also believe in a literal hell, two-thirds think people are by nature good. In other words, we believe in hell, but there won’t be many people there. So who is Jesus really? Who do the scriptures make him out to be? And why is it important to answer this question? Is he an enlightened, exalted man? Is he a phantom, or an angel, or a lesser god? This is one of the main questions that this Gospel wants to answer. John makes it clear for us here that Jesus is the Son of God, equal with the Father, and has been uniquely set apart and sent into the world for the work of redeeming and renewing all things….Everyone of Jesus works and statements in this Gospel point to this truth. 1. The Question: 1. “At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter,23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 2. The Expectation -Hanukkah 3. The feast of dedication is what we know today as Hanukkah. Hanukkah was a eight day holiday that commemorated the recapturing of Jerusalem and the rededication of the temple from the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanies. This similarly to the feast of Tabernacles was a festival of light, but not looking back to the light of God’s presence in the wilderness, but the future light of glory and renewal that Messiah would bring. There was a Messianic expectation in the hearts and minds of the people during this festival.Knowing this context, we are able to understand the Jews question to Jesus. Because they are already in expectation they want to know plain and simple if he is Messiah. No more holding them in suspense, they want a yes, or no answer. 2. The Answer 1. “Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.30 I and the Father are one.” 2. Jesus is Messiah and So Much More 1. His final answer about his identity is way beyond Messiahship. It is oneness with God the Father. 2. "I and the Father are one.” - The plural “are” assures the distinction of persons in the Godhead: the neuter “one” assures their identity of essence in the Godhead. 3. Where this sentence is often used as a proof text for Jesus divinity, showing distinct identity, and yet equality with the Father, the context is a one-ness in the mission of God and of the preservation of God’s precious sheep. Yet there cannot be unity of oneness unless there is equality. 4. “Opponents of the deity of Jesus say that the oneness Jesus had with the Father was only a unity of purpose and mission - even as a husband and wife or father and son may have a unity of purpose of mission, and still they are not the same person. This, however, misses the point. First, we never argue that the Bible teaches that the Father and the Son are the same Person - they are one God, but distinct in Person. Second, it misses the most obvious point: that even true unity of purpose and mission between a husband and wife or father and son exist only because they are each equally and totally human. You can't really speak of even a unity of purpose and mission between a human and a dog; isn't the distance between God and man even greater? Even if the unity described by Jesus was merely a unity of purpose and mission (and it is more than that), even that would only be possible if the Father and Son were equally and totally God.” -Guzik 3. Their Response 1. The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 2. Those who claim that Jesus did not claim to be God have to take into consideration that the Jews definitely believed that this was exactly what Jesus was claiming. 3. It is not for Jesus' works that they are going to stone him but for his words - Jesus, a mere mortal claims to be God (literally “makes himself”), lining himself up on the other side of the unbridgeable chasm that separates the transcendent, infinite creator from his finite and fallen creatures. The irony is tangible. Jesus has not made himself God. He is himself the eternal Word. The Word that was with God and was God. He is himself the unique Son, utterly obedient to his Father and doing everything the Father does. As the Son, there has definitely been a change in his status, but one that is almost the reverse of what the Jews think: he has humbly and obediently accepted the incarnation. The word became flesh, the Son became a man. 1. Jesus is calling the Jews to a revision of their understanding of God. Their radical and uncompromising monotheism implied that any claim to deity represented, necessarily, a claim to rival God, as a second God. Hence the charge of blasphemy inevitably followed. By contrast, Jesus presents them with a God who possesses an internal richness of being, a God able therefore to appear in person among them as “the Father’s Son” without thereby abdicating or compromising his majestic Godhead. God was not an undifferentiated monad but a multi person Trinity… -Milne 4. Jesus Answer and Final Appeal 1. “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained.41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.”42 And many believed in him there.” 2. Jesus sights Psalm 82. In this passage God refers to the Judges of Israel as god’s - they were the ones to whom the Word of God came, or the law of God was given.. 1. This Psalm seems to be looking back to Sinai when God gave his Law to the people of Israel, and particularly to their leaders. 3. The authority of Judgment is God’s alone, and so when God gave the law and the authority to Israel’s leaders/shepherds they were in a sense in the place of God. (This title is given to them in the exercise of their high and God-given office). 4. Jesus argument then is an argument from the lesser to the greater. If it is true that the Law -which cannot be set aside for it has the final say or authority for God’s people, states that mere humans were god’s, is Jesus blaspheming by claiming to be God’s Son? After all, it is Jesus who the Father uniquely set apart and sent into the World. 5. Jesus throws this theological curve ball in order to stop the hurling stones (because his hour had not come), and in order that he can once again appeal to them through his works. 1. “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”Jesus once again appeals to the works that he does. Don’t Jesus' work’s clearly show that he is exactly who he says he is? 2. Jesus has an unshakeable confidence that the works the Father enables him to do are the clearest single evidence that the words Jesus says are true - hence his frequent words-works referral. Jesus’ works being enough to believe that he is who he says he is can be startling for us who live in a day and age of many religions with outlandish claims of supernatural happenings. 3. “Surprisingly, to the Church through the centuries, Jesus’ works have been deeply satisfying - spiritually, historically, and intellectually. These works are supremely, Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, and then, much more simply but no less convincingly, Jesus’ deeds spread out quite impressively across the fourfold Gospel; these works still strike believers as credible and accrediting.” - Bruner 4. If the Jews were to reflect on Jesus’ works they would learn and understand that Jesus is locked into the Father and the Father is locked into Jesus (each is in the other). The Father’s greatest project on earth is Jesus and his mission. God is locked into this person and project like no other person and no other project on earth; and Jesus greatest project on earth, in turn, is his Father and his Father’s will, like no other project. Conclusion: Theology, and especially right theology matters. C.s Lewis wrote - “In the old days, when there was less education and discussion, perhaps it was possible to get on with a very few simple ideas about God. But it is not so now. Everyone reads, everyone hears things discussed. Consequently, if you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones — bad, muddled, out-of-date ideas. For a great many of the ideas about God which are trotted out as novelties to-day are simply the ones which real Theologians tried centuries ago and rejected.” (Listening to the voice) -Do you see why the Bible is so exclusive and why Christianity is so exclusive when it comes to Jesus as the one way of Salvation? Jesus is the Son of God, equal with the Father, and has been uniquely set apart and sent into the world for the work of redeeming and renewing all things. There is no one else like him. Everyone of us is born in sin and guilt and unable to keep God’s law. This is why the Son of God had to come, to be our perfect substitute. Being truly Human - That in human nature he might on our behalf perfectly obey the whole law and suffer the punishment for human sin; and also that he might sympathize with our weaknesses. Being truly God -That because of his divine nature his obedience and suffering would be perfect and effective; and also that he would be able to bear the righteous anger of God against sin and yet overcome death. (But if we’re not really sinners and there is no judgment than there was no need for Christ to come) There is no one else like Jesus God does not regard the Buddha. God does not regard Mohammed. God does not regard…. and the list goes on…. God does not recognize or regard anyone but his one and only unique Son- all others are thieves and liars. He alone is the true God and eternal life - The Father is locked into the the Son and the Son alone. Therefore if you have the Son you have the Father, and if you have the Father you have Eternal Life and true Hope. Do you have the Son?