John’s gospel is so rich! It is full of deep theology and practical teaching. Today we get some great theological truths about Christ (Christology), and we see them in light of the Trinity (God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit). This idea of Jesus being equal to God has been controversial since Jesus came on the scene. Here we see that the Jews of that day were seeking to kill Jesus for His claims of divinity. Over the course of history there have been many more who followed in their footsteps and have rejected the divinity of Christ, His Son-ship, His Messianic role, and His gospel altogether. However, in today’s passage Jesus makes His divinity clear to us and irrefutable:
In v.19 Jesus explains that His divinity brings perfect synchronization with Himself and the Father. Whatever the Father does, Jesus does. Whenever the Father acts, Jesus acts.
In v.22-23 Jesus’ divinity is made evident in that He is the standard by which all men are judged. Notice, that to honor God the Father one must honor God the Son, and without honoring God the Son we do not honor God the Father.
In v.24-25 Jesus’ divinity is seen through the weight of His Word. He declares to us that His Word has the power of life and death. The person who hears the Word of Christ and believes fully in it, believes fully in God the Father who sent Jesus, and has eternal life granted to them.
So, what does all this mean for us today? First, we see that according to scripture, any religion that claims to honor God yet denies the divinity of Christ is false. We cannot honor God apart from Christ. Jesus Christ (the Son) and God the Father are equal in divinity and it is only through the finished work of Christ that we can be reconciled to God the Father. In our modern culture: relativism, pluralism, and Unitarianism are pervasive. Not only that, major religions such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Scientology, Mormonism, etc. either completely reject the divinity of Christ or molest the Christology of scripture. Not only must we be aware of these ourselves, so that we may not be deceived and led astray, we must confident and clear on what scripture actually does say. We cannot be wishy washy in our faith and our knowledge of Christ in the scriptures, because we are to be the heralds of the true gospel of Christ to the people in our world.
The final implication in this passage is the most glorious of all….I’ll leave you with this commentary by John Piper:
“If we hear the message of Jesus in the Gospel of John taken in its totality—not just some distorted part of it—and, if through that message and that person, we come to trust God as the one who sent him for our salvation, two amazing things happen. 1) We not only will have eternal life, but we already have it, and 2) we not only will not come into the judgment of condemnation, but have already passed through judgment and are safe on the other side. Jesus has become that judgment for us. When we are united to him by faith, his death becomes our death, and his crucifixion our crucifixion, and his curse on the cross our curse on the cross, and his resurrection our resurrection. We have already “passed from death to life”! This is glorious news beyond all words. Exult in this. Know this about yourself as a believer. Be made radically courageous by this.”
By: Matt Mofield