© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved|
Who Is This Jesus Christ About Whom The Christians Preach?
"Those who withhold proper homage from Jesus Christ, who do not honor Him even as they honor the Father, cannot be Christians." - Albert Barnes
Who is Jesus? Was He a Great Prophet as some believe? Or is He more than that?
There are many in the world today who will talk about God, yet they will never mention Jesus - as the Son of the Living God, the Messiah, or God in the Flesh. Some in the Christian circles are welcoming these groups into their camp - even calling them "saved" or Born Again - even though they do have believe that Jesus is Who He said He was - very God!
In this message, we would like to offer substantial evidence from the Scriptures showing that He was and is Who He claimed to be - God Almighty in the flesh.
If anyone plans on making it to heaven or desires to be in right standing with God, then they must acknowledge that Jesus is God and that He is worthy of their worship, praise, allegiance, and service.
In John 5:17, we read - "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."
This statement was made in response to the anger coming forth from the Jewish rulers who were enraged that Jesus healed the impotent man on the Sabbath day.
John 5:18 explains their exact reaction - "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God."
Did Jesus have a right to break the Sabbath and annul the law and duty of Sabbath observance? Was it right for Him to call God His Father - making Himself equal with God?
The Father is constantly working in maintaining and redeeming the world. On the seventh day of creation, He may have rested from creating, but He did not rest from preserving and governing the universe. This work has continued from the creation up until the present time. The Sabbath has never interrupted or brought a cessation to it.
In other words, He - being God - was exempt from the Sabbath. It was created for man and not for Him. Therefore, He was not required to observe it.
The Lord Jesus plainly stated - "...My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." By this statement, He was declaring that He was equal with God. He and the Father were one. He knew no exemption to the works of goodness, grace, and mercy toward mankind. Just as with the Father, the law of the Sabbath did not bind Him.
The Jewish leaders were horrified at the high ground of defence which He chose. Calling God His Father was a claim that was - to them - blasphemous for it made Him equal with the Father in nature, privilege, and power. In a sense, what He was saying was that He, too, was Almighty, Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Infinite.
Jesus' argument or defense continued onward as such - "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel"(John 5:19-20).
"...The Son can do nothing of Himself..." - What an amazing statement this was! Here was God in the flesh saying that He did nothing of Himself. What did He mean by this? Simply that He did nothing without the appointment of His Father...nothing contrary to His Father...or nothing independent or separate from His Father. They were and are alike in Being and action. Because of their union, Jesus always acted in agreement with the Father's will.
It is interesting to note that Satan and evil men speak of their own and act of themselves - doing that which is contrary to the nature and will of God. On the other hand, Jesus - being of the same nature with God - did all things in agreement with the will of His Father - in the same manner and with the same authority, liberty, wisdom, and energy.
In John 10:30, He declared - "I and my Father are one." Then, in John 17:21, He carried it further - while including us as believers in the discussion - "That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me."
Since we are in Jesus and He is in the Father, it stands to reason that we, too, should have the same attitude that He had - when performing any and all works in His name. Jesus said - "...The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do..." In our case, we would say - "I can do nothing of myself, but what I see my Master doing..."
The Lord Jesus also made another statement about His relationship with the Father that is worth noting - "...and He will show Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel"
What could be more wonderful or amazing than to heal a man that was paralyzed in his body for thirty-eight years?
He goes on to explain what the two particular works would be that would definitely distinguish Him as God in the flesh - "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son"(John 5:21-22).
God alone has the power to physically and spiritually raise a man from the dead. He is the only One Who can give life or make alive. By the same authority and power, we see from these Scriptures that Jesus, also, is able to raise the dead and - in addition - judge the world - implying that He searches the hearts of all men and knows and understands what is in them. To be able to do these two feats proves that He is God.
Therefore, since He is God, He is worthy of worship, reverence, and service - "That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him"(John 5:23).
If men will not acknowledge Jesus to be the Living God, the Messiah, or the only Redeemer - then they are not truly worshipping God as they suppose. The Lord Jesus must be given proper homage.
We honor the Father - Jehovah or Elohim - when we praise and obey Jesus because He is God.
To those who will hear, believe, and act upon what the Lord Jesus is saying here - to them will be given "everlasting life" - "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life"(John 5:24).
We close with our opening quote from Albert Barnes which says - "Those who withhold proper homage from Jesus Christ, who do not honor Him even as they honor the Father, cannot be Christians."
Need we say any more?
May God Bless His Word.