Cross sculpture on campus



A Divine Claim

Lent 2022

Read John 5:15-30

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 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.

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

3 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

Some people deny that Jesus ever claimed to be God. This isn’t anything new. Throughout history, even within Christ’s Church, controversy and false teachings have been addressed repeatedly. Passages like John 5 are sometimes misused to imply that, since Jesus and the Father are distinct persons, then Jesus must not be God. Yet examining the text refutes this. Just look at his critics. The Jews of Jesus’ day clearly understood that Jesus was claiming to be God. They prove this by their responses, persecution, and eventual execution of Jesus for blasphemy. Not believing Jesus’ claim to deity, they thought him worthy of death.

Jesus himself, and his followers, upheld his deity, even when denying it could have spared them from persecution and death. Either Jesus was God, or he was not. The implications of this are enormous. If Jesus is God, it means (as Jesus says in today’s passage) that he has full authority to carry out judgment, raise the dead, and ensure his promise that, “Whoever hears my word and believes… has eternal life.” This is a confident comfort for us, who by the Holy Spirit have heard and believe. It is also a calling to share the Gospel so that others may be moved from death to life.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank you, that by your gracious mercy I have been moved from death to life. Please send your Holy Spirit to work in the life of those who do not yet believe in Christ, especially ___________________. Amen.

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