Letters to the Prison - Week 114

Hello, everyone!
Last week, we considered Jesus’ stunning claim: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).  Oddly, there are people today who seem to think that Jesus never claimed to be God.  They apparently never read this part of the Bible.  Look what happens next:
• The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”  -John 10:31-33
So, Jesus’ enemies clearly understood what Jesus was saying.  And they clearly felt the need to respond by stoning him for blasphemy.  Claiming to be God is most certainly an act of blasphemy --if you aren’t actually God.  Jesus, however, has demonstrated by his works that he is God.  Claiming to be God is not an act of blasphemy if you really are God.  So, Jesus, being God in the flesh, was not guilty of blasphemy.  His acts prove that he is God.
But the people seeking to stone him are either ignoring or denying Jesus’ works and refusing to believe his words.  Is that like us?  This very thing goes on today.  Consider Psalm 19:1, which reads: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”  Also consider Colossians 1:15-20, the central verse (17) of which reads: “And [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”  Consider lastly Roman 8:34, which reads: “Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
Jesus, being God, is still at work today.  All of creation testifies to that fact --Right now.  Jesus is holding all things together --Right now…As you read this.  And, Jesus is actively interceding for those who believe in him as he sits at the right hand of God the Father --Right now.   But many in the world would ignore that work --which is plainly evident in all creation.  Or deny his word --which is plainly recorded in the Bible.  So, many today are very much like the men seeking to stone Jesus –they deny both his word and his works.  Even as Jesus appeals once again to them to believe in him because of the proof of his works (John 10:37-38), they still deny both and seek to arrest him (John 10:39).  This is willful unbelief at work.  Romans 1:18-21 makes this clear:
•For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Friends, let this not be us.  Let this never be us.  Jesus says something else in the midst of this conversation that is very interesting.  We’ll look at it next week.  We love you!

Dean A.

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