Making Claims and Backing Them Up
From the series Letters to the Prison
We want to encourage you to consider that Jesus rose from the dead. He took his life up again just as he claimed he had the authority to do, as we saw last week (John 10:18). Those who believe in Jesus and place their faith and trust in him have a great hope for the future –eternal life.
Further, those who believe this about Jesus have a great hope now… for real change in their lives –now. If Jesus can raise the dead (including himself), what else can he do? Or a more answerable question might be: If he can rise from the dead, what can’t Jesus do?? The answer of course, is that if Jesus has power even over death, he can do anything. There’s nothing he can’t do. This means he has power over every circumstance and every trouble and every trial we might ever face. Do we trust him with those trials and troubles? Are we willing to go the way he encourages us to go? Do we believe that Jesus has the very best in mind for us --a goodness in this life that we can’t even imagine let alone trace our own path to achieve? Beloved friends, we hope that you will consider such questions in the light of what Jesus has claimed.
Continuing our study, Jesus has something else to say about his mission to “lay down his life” and the authority he has to “take it up again:”
- This charge I have received from my Father. -John 10:18b
Here, we catch another glimpse of the profound relationship between Jesus the Son and God the Father –the trinity. Jesus the Son claims to be God fulfilling the promises he made in Ezekiel 34, as we have seen. Yet, he received his “charge” to lay down his life for the sheep and the authority to take that life back up again from God the Father. Matthew 28:18 records that Jesus, in fact, has authority over all things everywhere. Yet Jesus submits entirely to the will of the Father in order to glorify him (Luke 22:42; John 17:1-5). So, both the Father and the Son are glorified, and both have supreme authority because they are both one and the same God. It is a mind-blowing thing to consider, which is why the people hearing him reacted the way they did:
- 19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” -John 10:19-20
On the one hand, a person who makes such claims about himself would very likely appear to be crazy… or possessed. Imagine someone making such a claim today. What would we think?
- 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
And there is the key difference between Jesus and anyone else ever. Jesus is making some profoundly amazing claims. But he’s backing them up with equally profound and amazing works. John 9:32 records the fact that no one had ever opened the eyes of a man born blind… until Jesus did. This was but one stunning miracle among many that Jesus has already done. People cannot deny what Jesus has done. And the claims he makes are very clear and easy to understand. All that’s left is for us to decide whether to believe him, trust him, obey him, and follow him. Will you? We hope so! Next week, we will begin to examine another amazing claim by Jesus. We love you!