The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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-There is a lot going on in our world that would seem to have important impacts on our lives. Between economics and politics, Supreme Court cases and socialist movements, the outcomes of what happens in these arenas could affect our lives for decades to come, as well as the lives of the next generations.
-But there is one thing that places all of these in the shadows because it not only affects our current life, but the life to come in eternity as well.
-This most important issue is answering the question: Who is Jesus Christ?
-Numerous answers have been given to that question over the past 2000 years:
~Mara Bar-Serapion, a first-century Syrian Stoic philosopher considered Jesus to be a wise king.
~Celsus, a first-century Greek philosopher, considered Jesus to be an illegitimate child, born of adultery, who gained magical powers in Egypt.
~Moses Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher in the 1100’s, considered him to be a false-Messiah who rightfully got what He deserved
~Thomas Chubb, and English philosopher from the 1700’s, thought that Jesus was a humble man who did no wrong, who lived a very beautiful life.
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a very immoral French philosopher of the 1700’s, thought that Jesus Christ lived a life of a god.
~Johann Gottfried von Herder, German philosopher, poet and theologian from the 17/1800s, said: Jesus Christ is in the noblest, and most perfect sense, the realized ideal of humanity.
-And I probably could go on ad infinitum, but you may have heard in these quotes some good things about Jesus and some bad things about Jesus, but the bottom line is that whether or not they were good or bad, they were all wrong (or at the very least they fell short).
-Now, here in the church, if I were to ask you that question you might give me the Sunday School answer or the theological answer—but then you would have to take the question a step further and ask WHO IS JESUS CHRIST TO YOU PERSONALLY?
-The person of Jesus Christ is no minor detail to the Christian faith—it is the entirety of the Christian faith. If you get Jesus wrong, then you get everything wrong.
-In the passage we are looking at today, Jesus was confronted about His identity and authority, so in response Jesus gave numerous answers and proofs demonstrating that He was equal with God, although distinct from the Father.
-Jesus did not claim to be a teacher, philosopher, ethicist, or religious leader—He claimed to be God. And since that is true, that means there He has some claims over our lives and conduct.
John 5:16–29 ESV
16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.
-I want to consider five proofs the Jesus offered demonstrating He is equal with God

I) Jesus enjoys a unique relationship with the Father (v. 18)

-Jesus healed an invalid man on the Sabbath, and the Jewish religious leaders were asking Him: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE IN DOING THIS? WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT / THE AUTHORITY TO DO SUCH A THING?
-In v. 17 Jesus replied that He was doing the work of “MY FATHER”—that may not sound like a big deal to us, but the Jews never referred to God in that way. And you can tell that they knew exactly what Jesus was implying by their reaction in v. 18
-According to v. 18 this is when they began to seek to kill Jesus because by claiming God as HIS FATHER, He was claiming to have the same character and nature as God—or, as the verse says: He was making himself equal with God
-That doesn’t sound like a big deal to us because we have 2000 years of Christian theology under our belts—but all the Jews knew in the 1st century was a strict monotheism----and they interpreted Jesus’ claim as Him saying that He was trying to replace God, when in actuality He was claiming to have a special union with God.
-Jesus was claiming to have a unique relationship with God the Father that no other human being could possibly have. It’s not that Jesus was God’s Son because He was part of creation; and it’s not that Jesus was God’s Son because He was part of the chosen nation----JESUS WAS GOD’S SON BECAUSE OF THE ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP HE HAD WITH THE FATHER
-The apostle John has already set this up in the prologue of the Gospel when he said Jesus was with God and was God, and saying later that the only God who is at the Father’s side is able to make the Father known.
-And then in the infamous John 3:16, Jesus is called the One and Only Son—a term referring to uniqueness—He is the only Son who has the same nature as the Father. There is nothing that has ever existed that could make such a claim.
-And so, admittedly, for our finite minds we cannot fully grasp the concept of the Trinity, or the concept of Jesus being fully man and fully God—but the Jews caught on to the significance of what Jesus was saying=He has a relationship with God the Father that no one else has because He Himself is fully God

II) Jesus perfectly executes the work of the Father (vv. 17, 19-20)

-In v. 17 Jesus claims that His Father is working, so He is working—He is claiming that He and the Father are united in their work such that you cannot distinguish the work of the Father from the work of the Son.
-Jesus further explains in vv. 19-20 where Jesus claims that what He does He does not do of His own initiative, but rather God the Father tells the Son His work and shows the Son the work, and then the Son does likewise.
-This demonstrates an interesting dynamic within the relationship of the Triune Godhead. Within the Godhead there is one nature, but within that nature are three separate and distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of these persons is 100% God. None of them are lacking the nature, character, attributes, power, or authority of God—but they are each distinct.
-And in this relationship, the Son submits Himself to the will of the Father (although it is a shared will), and therefore Jesus does nothing independently from the Father.
-The Father doesn’t do or say one thing and then Jesus does and says another. Jesus and the Father share a nature, but they also share a will in what work ought to be done. And whatever work the Father wants done, the Son perfectly executes on earth.
-But it is not merely that God the Father says something and Jesus does it, for Jesus indicates that the two of them work in perfect harmony together. Jesus shares the will of the Father, sees what the Father is doing, and they do it together.
-Jesus said He works in like manner as the Father—meaning His service was equal to the Father’s in type, power, and manner.
-How this demonstrates that Jesus is God is that there is absolutely no one else who could make this claim. There was never a human who perfectly knew the will of God, perfectly executed the will of God, and was able to do so with the perfect power of God. Only Jesus…
-But what were some of these works?

III) Jesus has the power to grant life like the Father (vv. 21, 25-26)

-Jesus says in v. 21 that the Father raises the dead and gives life, and in the same way so does the Son. And in vv. 25-26 those who hear Jesus’ voice will live, for He has the power of life within Himself just as the Father does.
-There is no other being that exists who has the power to create life and then give back life to those who lost it. No human, no angel, no demon—nobody has life within themselves. All of creation relies on God to have life. But Jesus is able to give life because He IS life.
-And this is taken in two ways, for there are two types of life that have been completely messed up because of sin. First, there is spiritual life. Due to Adam and Eve’s sin they spiritually died and pass along that death to every one of their descendants==that is you and me.
-Paul reminded us in Ephesians 2:1
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1 ESV)
-Dead people can do nothing to change their condition. Have you ever told a friend or family member in coffin=why don’t you put a little more effort into breathing and beating your hear. They can’t do it==they are dead.
-Humanity is spiritually dead, and can’t give themselves life. No matter how hard you try, you are still dead.
-And that is why Jesus came. Christianity is not about morals and ethics—it is about life or death.
~I have heard Ravi mention several times something that bears repeating: Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good, He came to make dead people alive.==that’s Christianity.
-But not only does He have power over spiritual life, He has power over physical life. There will be a day when Jesus will merely speak and people will live—some to eternal life and some to eternal death (which I’ll talk about in a minute). But there will be a physical resurrection when bodies will be reanimated with life.
-We are reminded of Jesus’ friend Lazarus who died, and Jesus came to the tomb, and after they opened the tomb He cried out: LAZARUS COME FORTH! And Lazarus lived.
~And we are reminded of the son of the widow of Nain who was dead and being carried to a tomb, and Jesus touched him and he lived.
-Jesus is God because it will be at His command that every person who ever physically died, will physically live. And any who call on His name for spiritual life will spiritually live.

IV) Jesus has authority to judge humanity from the Father (vv. 22, 27-29)

-In v. 22 Jesus says that the Father has given all authority to judge the earth over to the Son. Only God with all knowledge and power is able to give a perfect judgment—so the Son must be God in order to have the ability to judge.
-And in vv. 27-29 Jesus again repeats that the Father has given all judgment authority to the Son, and He gives a brief description of the day of judgment in the last days:
~Jesus will speak and all the dead will rise
~Jesus will then judge—those who belong to God by faith, and that faith was proven by their good works, will be rewarded
~Those who did not belong to God because they did not have faith in Him, and that lack of faith was proven by their evil works, will be condemned
-Only the Creator is able to judge creation rightly and justly and perfectly—and John had previously told us that all things were created through Jesus—therefore He has the every right (and really the only right) to judge all the earth
-You yourself will face judgment—and unless your sins have been forgiven by faith and repentance in Jesus Christ, every word, thought, deed, and attitude you ever had will be thrown back in your face and used to convict you and condemn you.
-In our day and age, when we try to point out someone’s wrongdoing, even within the church, they’ll be like—WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME?
-They won’t be able to say that to Jesus—Jesus is King and Lord and God, and He has every right to judge you—the only question for you is what is going to happen to you at the judgment----will it be a judgment of reward unto eternal life, or a judgment of your deeds unto condemnation. Either way Jesus is the One who will judge you.

V) Jesus receives worship and honor identical to the Father (v. 23)

- 22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
-It is amusing or frustrating when you talk to people and they say they believe in God or they worship God, but they don’t believe in Jesus or worship Jesus. Jesus just said that if you do not honor Him like you would the Father, then you are not honoring the Father.
-You cannot worship God, honor God, glorify God, or serve God if you do not worship Jesus, honor Jesus, glorify Jesus or serve Jesus.
-This would have blown the minds of the Jews because the this is the top of the Ten Commandments—you shall have no other gods except the one God, and Him only shall you honor and serve and worship. To worship any other god was blasphemy of the highest order.
-And yet here is Jesus telling them that unless they honor Him as they honor God, they cannot truly honor God at all.
-The Jews were zealous for God, zealous for His law, but as Paul describes it in Romans 10:2
they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (Rom. 10:2 ESV)
-They thought they were honoring God, but by dishonoring Jesus they were doing just the opposite.
-So you can say all you want that you believe in a god in general, that you worship a god in general, but unless you have trusted in Jesus, and honor Jesus, and worship Jesus, and serve Jesus, you have no part in God.
-As the little cliché goes: Know Jesus (K-N-O-W), Know God (K-N-O-W); but NO Jesus (N-O), then NO God (N-O)
-The only way Jesus could legitimately claim honor and worship is if He Himself were equal with God, so you can’t worship God without Him.


-Jesus laid out these proofs for you to consider that He is equal with God:
~He has a unique relationship with God
~He perfectly does the work of God
~He gives life like God
~His authority to judge comes from God
~He receives worship and honor just like God
-If anyone asks you for proofs or demonstrations of Jesus’ claim to be God, you can offer them these five points.
-But then, this fact means for the Christian that Jesus has all authority over your life, your choices, your words, your deeds, your attitudes. If you are not submitting yourself to Jesus, you are worshipping yourself, and when you are worshipping yourself, you are worshipping the evil one. Come to the altar and give Jesus His due.
-It also means that He created you for a specific purpose for His honor and glory. Maybe you have not been fulfilling that, or you don’t know what His purpose is for your life. Come to that altar and seek Him for it.
-But if you have never trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you are following a wrong god, a wrong religion, and a wrong lifestyle----during the invitation come forward and give your life to Christ…
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