The Equality of Jesus with God
Part 8, Knowing Jesus Better
One of the points of contention in our faith today is the divinity of Jesus. Hence, the aim of this message is to strengthen the true believers’ faith that Jesus is indeed what the Bible says of Him – the unique Son of God. He is God in every way because Jesus is equal with God in many ways according to the Gospel of John (equal in Person, in works, in sovereignty, in judgement, in honor). Today, we’ll study 2 ways Jesus was equal to His Father. Next week, I’ll share 3 more.
1. The Background. John 5:1-15
Sick people waiting to be healed at the Pool of Bethesda in Israel. Bethesda means Place of Mercy.
They thought that when the pool gets disturbed, there’s a powerful angel whom would come down and stir up the water and turn it to reddish color (though some say this was caused by a spring welling up and disturbing the reddish soil/minerals underneath). Jews believed heavily on angels as we’ve seen in their literatures and in the Old Testament books. No doubt, these supernatural beings are powerful.
But Jesus proved to be even more powerful than angels because by His words, He healed the man who had been invalid for 38 years.
This earned the ire of some Jewish religious leaders and accused Him of violating the Sabbath law and claiming to be equal with God.
2. Jesus’ Equality with God in Person.
“16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working. 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:16-18.
The Person of Jesus is way better than angels because…
He is the Son of God.
He has no biological father, had a virgin mother, thus, literally the Son of the Most High God. See Luke 1:32-35.
He is the image of God. See Colossians 1:15.
The Greek word for image is eikon, where we derived the English word Icon, meaning to represent something or someone. Eikon also gives you the meaning exact representation. Cross reference Hebrews 1:3.
He lived a sinless life and have deceived no one. 1 Peter 2:22.
3. Jesus’ Equality with God in works.
19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.
Jesus, with His spiritual eyes have seen His Father work even through Sabbath days, making Him equal with God.
Jesus is the frontline worker and works in tandem with the Holy Spirit. See Luke 4:18.
Jesus healed the sick because God is seen as the great Healer in Exodus 15:26 and was sent to heal. The spiritual healing of the person from sin is more important than physical healing. See John 5:14-15, (the healed invalid man was at the Temple to worship God and later shared his story).
The Sabbath rest was given to God’s people in Exodus 20:8-11.
Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath; thus, He continued the work of proclaiming the truth of God, revealed the reality of God in His Person.
Sabbath was intended to give rest from their daily work; to refocus their mind on Him; to enjoy God in their worship; and to reconnect with God’s people.
Something for you to consider:
There are three things that you can think about Jesus in this story. It’s either He is a liar who projects Himself to be someone He was not; or He could be a lunatic for calling God His own Father; or He is indeed the Lord, the Son of God, who came to reveal God in Person to us. Which of the three, do you believe? If you believe that Jesus wasn’t a liar or a lunatic, He must be your Lord. If Jesus is Lord, then, you should give your full devotion to Him, love Him, and serve Him.