John Part Two: Deep Dive PT.1
| KATE FORSYTH
Often when you present the gospel to a person, it is met with the response that Jesus was not God but only the Son of God, as if He is somehow lesser than the Father. The gospel of John presents the truth about Jesus and His deity through carefully chosen miracles and discourses, as opposed to the chronological accounts of the other three gospels.
It’s opening ‘In the beginning’ alluding to Genesis 1:1, presents Jesus as the Creator and ‘all things were made through Him’(vs 3). In the first three verses, Jesus, the Word of God is revealed to be eternal, with God and to be God. If He is both God and with God, then God must be composed of more than one being. God is a Trinity, with three members of the Godhead- Father, the Word (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit; all equal but have differing functions.
John 1:14 reveals ‘and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’. The Word, the second person of the Trinity, came into Mary’s womb as spirit, and was born into the earth as Jesus. Jesus’ spirit, His inner man was fully God, the second Person of the Trinity, contained in a fully human body with a human soul- God and man at the same time! The word ‘dwelt’ in verse 14 literally means ‘tabernacled’ alluding to the tabernacle in the wilderness where God dwelt among His people, and manifested His glory; and so Jesus identified Himself with humanity by becoming flesh and ‘we beheld His glory’. Then after His resurrection, He returned to Heaven to dwell with the Father, as He says in John 17:3, to ‘the glory which I had with You before the world was’. In Revelation 19:13, at Jesus’ second coming, He is referred to as the Word of God again.
The term ‘Son of God’ refers to Jesus identifying with God and representing Him in every way, without being lesser than the Father, just as being called ‘the Son of Man’ refers to Him identifying with and representing man, and doesn’t make Him lesser to or the son of any man. In John 5:17,18, the Jews recognized that Jesus, in calling God His Father and stating that they worked together, was ‘making Himself equal with God’. Further in that chapter we see that Jesus has the power to give life (vs21), a quality of God alone; that all judgement has been committed to Him (vs 22) and that He should be honoured as the Father (vs23), i.e. honoured as God. If Jesus was merely a son, and not God Himself, He could not receive the same honour as the Father, as this would be breaking the first commandment.
In John 10:30 Jesus declares that “I and My Father are One”. The Jews knew that He was declaring Himself to be God and, as on many such occasions, sought to stone Him with the accusation of blasphemy, saying, ‘You being a man make Yourself God’(vs 33). In John 17:21, Jesus prays to the Father for believers to “be one in Us”, revealing His oneness with the Father. In John 14:9, in response to Philip asking Jesus to show them the Father, He replies ‘He who has seen Me has seen the Father’. Jesus was the exact representation of God on earth, being God Himself.
In John 8:58 Jesus makes a statement saying that, ‘before Abraham was, I AM’. This relates back to Exodus 3:14 where God identifies Himself as ‘I AM WHO I AM’, from which come the translations Yahweh, Jehovah and Lord. It is a revelation of Him as the eternal One and Jesus’ revelation of Himself in this way, as eternal, was a claim to be God.
Jesus defines Himself with seven ‘I AM’ titles in the book of John, revealing what He, as God, releases to those in relationship with Him. He is the ‘Bread of Life’, the ‘Light of the world’, the ‘Door of the sheep’, the ‘good Shepherd’, the ‘Resurrection and the Life’, the ‘Way the Truth and the Life’ and ‘the Vine’.
John reveals the glorious truth, that in Jesus, God chose to manifest Himself to us, identify with us in every way so that He could be our spotless sacrifice ‘who takes away the sins of the world’ (Jn 1:29) and that when we believe, He releases to us all that He is, including His resurrection and eternal life.
Kate Forsyth is a Pastor at C3 Oxford Falls. Kate with her husband Richard oversee the C3 Oxford Falls Healing service, which happens once a month. Kate teaches at C3 College and is a gifted teacher and communicator.