The plain answer
“I and the Father are one.” – John 10:30
John 10:33 You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”
The Lord Jesus Christ often made statements that were difficult to take in and accept. But that is precisely the point. The Lord Jesus Christ does not provide us with comfortable, safe options or opinions. He made it black-and-white. We either believe or we reject what He said is the Truth.
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.”
“Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).
The religious leaders in His day, were curious about exactly who The Lord Jesus Christ was. He had performed many miraculous signs and the word had gotten out. He made strong, penetrating, insightful declarations that often contradicted the standard religious party line. Many often defied logic. He was confrontational and provocative.
No doubt they were thinking things like:
Who do you think you are?
What right do you have to tell us what to do?
Why do you always think you are right?
Why should we listen to you?
Why do you think your way is better than ours?
Pretty much the kind of stuff that any average person would say who is not a child of the King, and regrettably many who are.
He gives a plain answer to the unspoken query that they were all thinking, “Who are you?” He essentially said, “I am God!”
John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
He made this statement, knowing it would shock, provoke, if not incite the religious leaders that opposed Him. To find talking points to attack Him, they did not have to do any opposition research like modern political candidates. He provided all the ammunition they needed. His words stirred their emotions, if not their hatred and gave them all the more reason to resist and oppose Him.
The plain answer was, “I and the Father are One.” It is a clear statement of His deity.
“The word One does not suggest that the Father and the Son are identical persons. Rather, it means that they are one in essence: the Father is God and the Son is God, but the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father. He is speaking about unity, not identity” (Wiersbe).
Those who heard His words understood exactly what He meant by what He said. How do we know? By their reaction. If He were not God, then His words are sheer, audacious blasphemy. Blasphemy was to be punished by death (Leviticus 24:16, Numbers 15:30ff, Deuteronomy 21:22). The religious leaders picked up stones and were prepared to stone Him on the spot.
31 Once again the people picked up stones to kill him.
32 Jesus said, “At my Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you going to stone me?”
33 They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
At His trial, the Lord Jesus Christ was found guilty and condemned. Why? Because He made an outrageous claim. He boldly proclaimed that He was the Messiah, the Son of God!
61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 Jesus said, “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
63 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses?
64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”
Or perhaps it wasn’t so outrageous after all. In fact, it was True Truth.
REFLECT & PRAY
If the Lord Jesus Christ was not God as He claimed to be, then He was either a liar or lunatic.
Father how often I struggle and resist You. I may question what You say and expect of me. But I have no right to question Your authority to say it. You are the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. Resistance is not only futile, it is ridiculous.
Who is Lord Jesus Christ? All of the Father’s children know for sure.
15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.
The word of God provides something that is not found anywhere else: True Truth (Francis Schaeffer)! The world is filled with personal opinions, truth for now, political polls, contemporary consensus or the lack thereof. Philosophy and education pursue truth, but never seem to find it.
The Father’s truth found in His word provides a firm foundation upon which to build our lives and confident expectation of things to come.
But there’s more. Knowing the truth produces freedom.
John 8:32 you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.