Bible Reading Blog
“Equal with God”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: John 5
“...Jesus answered them,“My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This is why the Jews were seeking to kill him, because... he was making himself equal with God. 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...” (John 5.17-19)
Secular historians have wrestled with how to define Jesus. Some acknowledge him as a significant historical figure or a good man. Others admit his divine inspiration and lump him in with the prophets. However, based on the claims of Jesus, you just can’t do that. Jesus boldly affirmed that not only had he seen God, but he was God. This means...
- He cannot be just a noteworthy historical figure. He is too exclusive for that. He didn’t claim to be one way of many, like Buddha, Ghandi, Muhammad or any other thought leader. He claimed to be the only way to the Father (John 14.6). He doesn’t allow us to lump him with other historical figures.
- He cannot be just a prophet. He claims to know too much. Unlike others to whom God came down to reveal to his will, Jesus claims to have come from the very presence of God (John 3.12-13). In fact, Jesus claims to be the final revelation of God’s will (John 12.44-47; see Hebrews 1.1-4). No prophet ever claimed that (consider 1 Peter 1.10).
- He cannot be just a good man. He demands attention that expects change and requires people to come to him. Either he must be obeyed, followed, and worshipped or he needs to be sent to the nut house.
To validate his claim, Jesus asserts that he would give spiritual life (21), judge the world (21-22) and raise the dead (28-29). For him to make these claims and not fulfill them would not only make him a liar, but immediately make him irrelevant. The fact that he claimed it, it is documented, and we are still talking about it means that somebody tested and proved it to be true. Otherwise history would have destroyed this claim.
To believe that Jesus was anything other than the Son of God would be a baseless fabrication. He claimed equality with God. And so, we have no choice but to either accept him as such or reject him. The dichotomy is intentional to force us to decision. We need not ask, “Who is Jesus?”, but rather, “What will I do with him?”
“No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1.18, NIV)