TODAY’S READING: JOHN 8-10
The conflict over Moses (7:1-8:11); the conflict over Abraham (8:12-59); the conflict over Christ’s Sonship (9:1-10:42).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
As we continue seeking to get our bearings in John’s Gospel, and seeing how it relates to the other Gospel accounts, there is plenty to glean by observing the introductory genealogy in each of the Books. Because Matthew presents Christ as the King of the Jews, Christ’s genealogy runs through David, back to Abraham (Matt. 1:1). Because Mark presents Christ as the Servant of the Lord, the significant thing about Mark’s genealogy is that there is none! A servant’s genealogy is insignificant! His significance is determined by what he does (i.e. His work). Because Luke presents Christ as the Son of Man, His genealogy is traced through His human mother back to the first MAN. And because John presents Christ as the Son of God, Christ’s genealogy takes us back to the very “beginning” (John 1:1; Gen. 1:1) to show Christ’s deity (that He is, in fact, God and very God), and the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ has always eternally existed in the Godhead. There has never been a ti!
me that Christ wasn’t, and that He wasn’t God and completely co-equal with the Father (Heb. 1:8; Phil. 2:6). There came a time in history when He was begotten as a SON (John 1:18; Heb. 1:6,8), but He was never a “begotten God” as the Jehovah’s False Witnesses teach and some very popular versions of the Bible teach in John 1:18! If I were a Jehovah’s False Witness and a Christian met me at their door with a New American Standard Version, I’d make a beeline for John 1:18!
Today’s reading is absolutely jam-packed with irrefutable biblical evidence that Jesus Christ is God. One of the key arguments Jehovah’s False Witnesses assert is that Jesus never actually claimed to be God. All I can say, is how do you spell “BLIND” (I Cor. 4:4)?!!
Familiarize yourself with 8:12-57 before we take just a second to comment on Jesus’ statement in verse 58: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Do you understand what is actually happening here? Jesus was declaring to the Pharisees (and to the whole world!) that He was God, using the same name for HIMSELF that Jehovah Himself used when He revealed HIMSELF to Moses in Exodus 3:14! He claimed to be the Great “I AM”!!! Listen, there is absolutely nothing that Jesus could have said that would have been a stronger claim of deity! Note that Jesus did not say, “Before Abraham was, I WAS.” Jesus is not simply claiming here that He existed before His physical birth (i.e. that He was a begotten God that was begotten of the Father, as were the angels, before Abraham.) He uses the term “I AM” to show that He was not only “a god,” but “THE God” — “JEHOVAH GOD”!!!
And be it known, that that is not simply “my” interpretation, or “one way” of interpreting the meaning of the verse! That this verse is specifically teaching that Christ is, in fact, Jehovah God is made abundantly clear by the response of the Pharisees in the very next verse (verse 59)! They understood exactly what Jesus was claiming! That’s why they “took up stones to cast at him.” Stoning, according to Leviticus 24:16, was the penalty for blasphemy! They wanted to stone Him because He claimed to be God!
The same exact thing happens in chapter 10, verses 22-33. Jesus makes His absolute claim of deity in verse 30 (again, how totally ludicrous to say that Jesus never claimed to be God!), stating, “I and my Father are one.” The Jehovah’s False Witnesses can claim all they want that that doesn’t mean that Jesus was claiming deity, but the passage teaches otherwise! Again, those who were listening to Jesus in John 10 understood exactly what Jesus meant by what He said, evidenced by their reaction to it. In verse 31 they “took up stones again to stone him,” because that was the Old Testament penalty for blasphemy. Jesus even forced them to identify exactly why they were responding in such a manner so there would never ever be a question about His claim: “Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being !
a man, makest thyself God” (10:32-33).
There is no doubt about it, folks, Jesus Christ is God!