Did Jesus Claim to Be God? + What is a Holiday That the Bible Says Will Be Celebrated Across the Earth With Gifts? #359
Hello friends and happy Sunday to you! Welcome aboard and shout-outs to new listeners from Pampanga, Philippines, New South Wales, Australia, Auckland, New Zealand, Sindh, Pakistan, Karnataka, India, The Czech Republic, New York, Albany, Dallas, Minneapolis, Boston and St. Louis. Only 12 episodes of the Bible Reading Podcast left to go for the year – I am grateful for all of you who listen – thank you, and I hope this has been a blessing to you! This Sunday at 11am Pacific, please join us on Facebook at VBC Salinas for a time in the Word where we will consider what it means that the coming of Jesus brings peace on earth to those He favors.
So – pop quiz, hotshot. Name a holiday that the Bible says people will celebrate the world over by sending each other gifts? Well, if you guessed Christmas, then that is incorrect, because the Bible doesn’t use the word, “Christmas,” nor mention people sending each other gifts in celebration of the birth of Christ. If you said “Death of the Two Witnesses Day,” then you are much closer! If you aren’t familiar with that particular holiday, well, I can’t blame you, because I just made up the name…but our Revelation chapter today does tell us that God’s two witnesses will be so hated by some of the people of the earth, that when they die, people will send each other gifts to celebrate. How chilling!
10 Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.
We will read Revelation 11 momentarily, along with 2nd Chronicles 24, Zechariah 7 and John 10, which is our focus passage. Our Big Bible question of the day is a doozy, and since this is a weekend question, we won’t be able to spend a ton of time on it, but it is an issue we have discussed before. Did Jesus claim to be God? Let’s read John 10 and find out!
So, if you are pedantic, you can read the Bible and say something like, “Jesus never said that He Himself was God….He never said, “I am God.” Which is true, I suppose – Jesus never did say those exact words. However, there are numerous instances in Scripture where Jesus made it very, very clear that He was, in fact, God…and we know that the people listening to Him realized that was what He was claiming, because more than once, they attempted to murder Him on the spot for what they considered to be blasphemy. To be clear, somebody claiming to be God, then they are not, in fact God – is indeed blasphemous. But somebody claiming to be God, when they are God, is simply telling the truth, and trying to kill somebody for telling the truth is called murder.
In this passage, we have one of the clearest examples of Jesus’ claims to divinity:
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.”
He says it as clearly as He could have said it: “I and the Father are one,” and, in return, the Jews pick up rocks to stone Him. By the way – that is an interesting cultural response, isn’t it? Somebody says something that angers you, and you believe is horrible, so you pick up rocks to hurl at them and make them die. The Alabama version of this would be that the people would unholster their guns and begin shooting…because pretty much everybody in Alabama has a gun. Not so much in California. Maybe around here, it would be knives, or somebody would just try to run over you with their car, or longboard. But I digress. The Jews tried to kill Jesus because they said He made Himself out to be God…and this isn’t the only place that Jesus clearly taught that He was God. Here are a few other instances:
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9
But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:17-18
5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
And, probably the clearest and boldest claim – one that goes far beyond simply saying, “I am God.”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58
How does this one go beyond saying, “I am God?” Because Jesus was quite clearly referring to the personal name that God gave Moses through the burning bush:
14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.”
And we know that the Jews got exactly what Jesus was saying here too, because of vs. 59, “59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.”
So – did Jesus claim to be God? Absolutely! Did Jesus claim to be God the Father? No, He did not – He claimed to be God the Son, and we see such a claim quite clearly in His high priestly prayer in John 17, as well as in the Great Commission:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And finally, we see Jesus’ claim to being God the Son in John 3, when He clearly outlines that HE is the WAY of salvation:
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Honestly, I don’t think it could be any clearer.