The Deity fo Christ
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” - John 1:11.
He is the Creator of all, but His own creation rejected Him and sought to kill Him. Jesus’ deity is the major theme and the focus of conflict in John 6. By the time we get to chapter 7, Jesus has performed many miracles and signs whose purpose was: John 20:30-31 “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” However, despite the miracles and signs that Jesus performed, not everyone believed in Him.
What we see in John 7:1-24 is Jesus’ identity misunderstood. The Jews in Judea wanted to kill him. His own brothers did not believe in Him. Some of the Jews in Jerusalem speculated and questioned his identity. “ we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where He comes from.” John 7:27. They claim to know where Jesus came from, yet they were ignorant of His earthly origin. They said He came from Nazareth, but that was the place where he was brought up. Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea (Matthew 2:1-2)
CAN THIS BE THE CHRIST? John 7:25-31
The ‘debate’ about who Jesus is continues in John 7:25-31
While his brothers, the Jews in Judea and in Jerusalem ‘debated’ and doubted Jesus’ identity, others believed and said, “This really is the Prophet.” And “This is the Christ.” – 7:40,41. Those who speculated asked, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee?” Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” Yes, this is the Christ who would set free those who would believe in Him. He was sent by the Father to redeem lost sinner. He is the one promised in the Old Testament. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:32 tell us, ‘And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’.
Jesus told the Jews that they would die in their sin unless they believed in sin.
True freedom can only be found in Jesus. He is the pathway to true spiritual freedom. What would knowing the truth set one free from? One would be set free from the following:-
• Satan’s bondage – We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18
• Condemnation – “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)
• Judgment – “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.” John 3:18
• Spiritual ignorance - Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12
• Sin – “and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” Romans 6:18,22
In John 8:33, the Jews claimed to be free, but Jesus told them that they were slaves to sin. They had not been set free from the Jewish ceremonial laws and regulations. They were under bondage of both the guilt and life-controlling power of sin. In verse 41, the Jews further claimed to be children of God, but Jesus told them that they belonged to their father the devil, because they rejected Jesus Christ, the only way to God.
Believers are called to walk in the newness of life because they have been freed from the yoke of slavery. “For freedom Christ set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1. Have you experienced this freedom? Who is your father? Are you still under the yoke of slavery to sin? Repent of your sins and believe in Jesus Christ who died to pay the punishment you deserved.
In verse 37-39 we read: On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” These words contain the most open and free invitation to all people (anyone), which make the Gospel of Christ so eminently the Good news of God. Jesus’ reference to water would have been familiar to His hearers. It was against this backdrop that Jesus made His stunning invitation: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” Our Lord was inviting thirsty souls to come to Him for spiritual, eternal, life-giving water, instead of the physical, temporal water of the ceremony. This is an invitation extended to anyone to come and drink of the living water. The qualification for coming to drink of the living water is that one must be thirst. This thirst is of spiritual nature. Mankind is spiritually bankrupt and relief is only found in Jesus, the only source of living water.
All men thirst but they direct their thirst to earthly things that do not satisfy. This emptiness, this thirst can only find satisfaction in Christ. Furthermore, it is a personal call – One cannot feel thirsty on behalf of another. You have to personally come to Jesus and drink of the living water. Isaiah 55:1, says “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat ” To drink of Jesus is to believe in Him, to trust Him for salvation and His work on the cross. While on the cross Jesus cried out “It is finished,” bowed His head and gave up His spirit (John 19:30). To those who heard Him, He sounded defeated, but the irony is that, that was not the cry of one who has been vanquished. “It is finished” signified the accomplishment of all that was required for the redemption of sinners. Are you thirsty? If you are expecting earthly securities, pleasure, comfort, fame to satisfy you? Then be reminded that all the above cannot. Come to Jesus, He says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” and you will find satisfaction.
How does Jesus reveal his identify? We read in John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus reveals Himself as the light. This is the second ‘I am’. The first “I am” is in John 6:35 where we read: “Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Jesus uses the metaphor of light. During the feast of the tabernacle the lighting of the lamps was a reminder of how God had led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (Ex 13:21-22). God Himself would one day be a Light for His people. He will be a continual Light while all other lights will fade away. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to be a continual Light for his people because he is the true light (John 1:9). Jesus is the light of the world. It is only in and through Him that God’s glorious attributes shine forth most brilliantly in the midst of the world.
In Jesus being the light of the world, he presupposes the world is in darkness. What does it mean for the world to be in darkness? Mankind both Jew and Gentile, young and old, male and female, rich and poor, free and slave are all in need of a Saviour. In John 12:46 Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” Light and darkness are mutually exclusive, they cannot co- exist. To walk in the light is dependent on one following Jesus. Words such as ‘following Jesus’ are unclear, what does it entail? To follow the Light (Christ) means to trust and obey Him. To believe in Him and out of gratitude keep his commandments. It is total submission, just as you cannot be in the light and darkness at the same time. This light is Jesus Christ, the object of faith. Just as physical light illumines, so Christ shines light into our once spiritually darkened hearts. Those who do evil fear to come to the Light. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” John 3:19-20. Search your heart and see if there is any darkness, any sin you love more than Christ. One of the tests that John gives in 1 John, is that Christians will love the light. Which path are you walking on? Are you walking in the light or in darkness?
God introduced Himself to Moses as ‘I AM’. (Exodus 3:14.) This means that:-
(1) God is self-existent and therefore does not depend on anyone for existence,
(2) That He is the creator and sustainer of all that exists,
(3) That God does not change in His being and character,
(4) That God is eternal in His existence.
John 8:58-59 “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham, was I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.” If there was any uncertainty about Jesus identity in the other passages, there is no confusion here where Jesus is claiming to be the one who was alive before Abraham was. In saying ‘before Abraham was, ‘I am’. Jesus is pointing to his deity, that He was equal with God. Jesus is the Word who became flesh (John 1:14). Why were the Jews offended? The Jews must have understood this from the Old Testament. This was the name given to Moses, when he asked “Who should I say has sent me?” Having understood what Jesus meant, the Jews called it ‘blasphemy’ for Jesus to equate himself with God. Gen 3:14
In what way do we reflect the unbelief of the Jews? Or is Jesus Lord of your life? Is he the “I AM”? How is this seen in our lives corporately and individually?
What or who is your ‘Abraham’ on whom you place your hope of inheriting heaven? If God is God, then worship Him the only true and living God. Follow Him and you will not walk in darkness.
The Jews claimed to be Abraham’s descendants and that he was their father. They claimed to have a background that is higher. Thought physical descent from Abraham made them children of God, and that their actual conduct did not count.
Abraham’s true children are the ones circumcised at heart. Those uncircumcised in heart will be punished. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh” (Jeremiah 9:25). We find the same claims to being children of God today. People claim being born in a Christian family, church attendance, baptism, church membership, but all these do not save.
The Jews claimed God was their Father, but Jesus told them the devil was their father because those who are of God hear His words. They rejected Jesus who was sent from the Father. The devil is their father because they want to do the will of their father. The devil was a murderer from the beginning. The Jews said Jesus was a Samaritan and that He was demon possessed. Jesus responded that He came from the Father and that He did nothing on His own authority, but spoke just as the Father taught Him. What results from having God as your Father? You will love Jesus. Jesus was sent on a mission. In obedience to the Father He became flesh (man). Why? John 3:16 tells us - “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life". Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He never sinned, He was holy, innocent, separated from sin. Those who keep His word will not experience spiritual death. They will not experience the second death, they have passed from death to life. Why would you die when the way of salvation has been provided in Jesus the Light of life. Come to Him and live!