Who does Jesus say He is?
The Children of the Devil
John 8:42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
The Claims of Jesus About Himself
48The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” 49″I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”
52At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. 53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57″You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58″I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
When I was a child, I remember learning in Sunday School that Christianity was simple, so simple a child could understand. Well, Christianity may be simple, but sometimes there are complexities in the Bible that must be broken down. Let’s delineate what Jesus is saying:
- Jesus is the Son of God
- He only says and does what the Father commands
- His language is that of His Father, and therefore a foreign language to those who are of the devil
- Jesus says “before Abraham was born, I am.” “I am” should ring some bells. Isn’t that what God said when Moses asked the burning bush the question, Who are you?
- The people to whom Jesus was speaking are the sons of the Devil
- They cannot understand what Jesus says
- They continually try to catch Him in sin
- They compare Him to the prophets before Him, and cannot see that He is greater than any prophet
- They reject the truth of Jesus and accept the lies of Satan
Have you ever been an emissary, sent to complete a mission on someone else’s behalf? As a child, I was sent to take a message from my teacher to the Principal. Accompanying me was the young boy who was the subject of the message. I remember he tried to get me to open the message and read it before we arrived at the Principal’s office. I refused, believing the job I had been assigned was simply to deliver the boy and the message to the Principal. To do anything beyond that would have been a betrayal of what I was sent to do. Likewise, Jesus was on a mission–He knew full well what He had been sent to do and to do anything else would have been a betrayal, and the result would have been failure.
If you are having a difficult time understanding the words of Jesus, do this–break down what He says into simple sentences, and don’t move on until you understand what you have just read. Think of your Bible reading as if it were a building. The first thing that is absolutely vital in a structure is that the foundation be solid. Otherwise, the building will fall.
Likewise, do all you can to understand the foundation of the Scriptures. Search out the truths, some of which are:
- The Bible was written by men who were inspired by God
- The Law is found in the first five books of the Bible, and was given by God to show man his sin, and his subsequent need for grace
- The Jewish people were chosen by God to reveal God’s greatness to the world, not because they were great and mighty, but because God is great and mighty.
- The prophets pointed the way to Jesus
- Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, was crucified, buried, and on the 3rd day arose triumphant over death. Therefore, when Jesus says we do not have to taste death, He is speaking in spiritual terms. We will die just as Jesus died, because in the physical realm the body dies, only to be resurrected in spirit. And, ultimately when Jesus returns to claim us as His own our physical bodies will be resurrected
- We deserved death, but because of Jesus we receive mercy and grace
- The gospel of the Jesus Christ (the good news) is to be preached to all the world, and then Christ will return.
And, the most simple scripture of all the Bible, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3 16
Believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God, receive salvation, and live under the grace of God from this day forward.