Is Jesus Who He Says He Is?
From the series Letters to the Prison
We’ve spent the last two weeks considering the example of how Jesus interacts with his enemies in a loving effort to help them understand the truth about him and who he claims to be. And yet, despite all his efforts:
- Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. -John 10:39
This is a dire condition of the heart of Jesus’ enemies: They are impervious to logic and reason, willful in their rejection of Jesus, and determined to remove him from their lives at any cost.
Is that like us? We see this very attitude about Jesus even today.
Nevertheless we see here that Jesus escaped yet again from the clutches of his enemies. As we encounter this willful unbelief and active resistance to Jesus and see that God’s plan and timing prevails regardless, we find that there is much to consider about the realities of God’s sovereign control and man’s free will choices and how those two realities interact. We see throughout Scripture that man’s free will choices matter --and matter eternally. And yet, running alongside that profound reality is the truth of God’s sovereign and supreme control over all things. This is the sort of thing we could consider our whole lives, and it’s too much to unpack in these letters.
As John 10 closes, we see that Jesus departs from Jerusalem for a time:
- He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there. -John 10:40-42
John, as always in the gospel of John, refers to John the Baptist –not the Apostle John who wrote the gospel. We see also that, while John the Baptist never performed any sort of public miracle (sign), Jesus certainly did in fulfillment of everything John the Baptist said about him. So, Jesus again demonstrates through public signs that he is who he (and John the Baptist) says he is… and many believed in Jesus.
As we move into the next chapter, we’re about to see perhaps one of the most profound and shocking public miracles Jesus ever does during his ministry on earth. If you’ve been reading John 11, we encourage you to read it again. And again… while you’re doing so, be watching for the subtle almost casual way Jesus’ deity reveals itself. Far beyond the obvious and dramatic raising of Lazarus from the dead are all the ways Jesus’ sovereignty as God manifests in even the simplest actions and conversations along the way.
As our study of John progresses, we hope that you are as excited as we are to take a slow tour through one of the most amazing chapters in all of Scripture. But before we go, what is your answer to the Main Question: Is Jesus who he says he is? Is it “yes?” Then how can you take courage and bolster your confident faith in Jesus as we see what’s coming next? Is your answer “no?” What would it take to change your mind? What proof would be enough to convince you? Until next week! We love you!