Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jesus' Claims: How will you respond to John 14?

I've been studying John 8-16 and noticed something...

Jesus repeatedly makes claims regarding Himself and the hearers have different responses. Simply, non-believers reject His claims whereas the disciples accept His claims. Their unique responses dictate their eternal destinations.

JESUS’ CLAIM: I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

Perhaps one of Jesus most well-known declarations, this statement is a foundational part of Christianity. When Jesus told the disciples they already knew the way to where He was going, again He was referring back to His teachings throughout John 8-12 that explained the way, the truth, and the life.

The response of THE PHARISEES:

They rejected Jesus’ message as truth that had been received from the Father. According to Christ, their rejection revealed them to be children of Satan, the father of lies, rather than children of Abraham (John 8:39-47).

The response of JOHN:

John may have been a little awe-struck and dumbfounded during the Last Supper, as were the rest of the disciples. He eventually figured this all out though because the very first chapter of his later book, First John, outlines that Jesus is the life (1 John 1:1-4), the truth (1 John 1:5-8), and the way (1 John 1:7-10), albeit in reverse order of Jesus declaration.

JESUS’ CLAIM: Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9).

The fact that Jesus is the Son of God and one with God the Father is another foundation of the Christian faith. It is also unique to Christianity.

The response of THE PHARISEES:

As you’ve already seen, the Pharisees’ responses to the claims of Christ are found in John 8-12. The story of Jesus healing a blind man in chapter nine is seemingly out of place in the midst of these chapters. However, at the end of the story, Jesus says, “You have now seen him [the Son of Man]; in fact, he is the one speaking with you…For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” (John 9:37, 39). The Pharisees defensive response shows they knew His comment was directed towards them. He went on to say, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (John 9:41).

The response of PHILIP:

Jesus made this claim in response to Philip’s statement, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Like John, we don’t know how Philip responded to Jesus’ answer at that time but we do know through his later ministry that he did come to know Jesus was the Son of God and one with the Father. Much of Philip’s ministry is recorded in Acts, chapter eight.

  • He proclaimed the Christ in Samaria (Acts 8:5).
  • He performed miraculous signs, including casting out demons and healing people (Acts 8:6-7, 13).
  • He preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 8:12, 40).
  • He traveled where God said to travel (Acts 8:26).
  • He witnessed to a stranger(Acts 8:27-38).
  • He accurately taught the entire Word of God (Acts 8:31-35).
  • He baptized believers (Acts 8:36-38).
  • He was miraculously transported to a new place(Acts 8:39-40).
  • He is next mentioned 20-25 years later, still faithfully preaching the Word of God (Acts 21:8).

What about you? What do you do with these claims of Jesus? Do you, like John, recognize Him as the way, the truth, and the life? Do you, like Philip, see the Father when you see Jesus and accomplish great things for the kingdom? Or, like the Pharisees, are you spiritually blind to the truth of Jesus’ message? The fact that Jesus took on human flesh and came to earth to die and resurrect, thereby conquering death, is the distinguishing fact between Christianity and all other religions. Whatcha gonna do about it?

Jesus' Claims: How will you respond to John 13?, the sister article to this one, focuses on similar claims by Jesus in John, chapter 13.

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