Summary: We’re going to look at Jesus’ equality with God in nature, His equality with God in power, and His equality with God in authority.
Christ’s Equality With God
Preached by Pastor Tony Miano
Pico Canyon Community Church
December 17, 2000
Introduction: We are getting closer and closer to Christmas. I hope that all of you have your shopping done. I hope all of you have your houses sufficiently decorated. I hope that all of you have sent out your Christmas cards in a timely fashion. I hope all of you have filtered this nasty flu bug through your house by now, and that all of you are well.
Next Sunday is Christmas Eve and we have a special service planned for you. We’re going to . . . well, you’ll just have to come and see. I can tell you this about next Sunday. We’re going to study and consider why God had to become a Man. We’re going to look at why God had to come down in such humility.
In preparing for next week, I thought we should deviate from our study in James and take a look at the one issue that differentiates biblical Christianity from every other religion, every other theological scheme. The one question to ask a person of any faith to help determine whether or not they truly are followers of Jesus Christ is simple. “Who do you say Jesus Christ is?”
I understand that many believers, whether new Christians or old, have a certain level of apprehension about sharing their faith with others, or defending their faith to others. Our ability, as Christians, to effectively answer this fundamental question, will greatly enhance our ability to share and defend our faith.
When sharing our faith with others, not only do we have to be able to articulate what we believe, but it is also important to have a clear understanding of what the person with whom you are sharing believes. Having this understanding will help to direct your prayers for and your conversation with unbelievers.
This morning you are going to hear what other faiths say about Jesus Christ, either directly or indirectly. You are going to hear what some of the other faiths say about Jesus Christ by the way they talk about themselves and other biblical characters. You may be here this morning and have the mindset that most religions that proclaim the name of Jesus are, for the most part, the same. So some of what you will hear this morning may be difficult for some of you—maybe even hard to believe.
I’ll be quoting leaders of some of the other religions, as well as known leaders within Christianity who come very close, or flat out deny, the deity of Christ. Let me also say that I am going to let the words of some of these other leaders speak for themselves. I don’t want the heart of today’s message to focus on the false assumptions others make about whom Jesus Christ is. We will spend most of our time focusing on who Jesus Christ says He is.
Turn in your Bibles to the gospel of John, chapter 10. Jesus makes one very definitive statement in verse 30. “I and the Father are one.”
This morning we’re going to look at Jesus Christ’s equality with God. We are going to look at Jesus’ own words on the subject in John 10:30. We’re going to look at Jesus’ equality with God in nature, His equality with God in power, and His equality with God in authority.
But first, let’s look at the background and setting for the verse. The place is the Temple of Jerusalem during the time of year when the Jewish people celebrated the Feast of Dedication. This celebration was also called the Feast of Lights, or what is today commonly known as Hanukkah.
Jesus was walking in the area of the temple known as Solomon’s Porch. This portico surrounded the Court of the Gentiles. Interestingly, this would later be a popular gathering place for Christians after Christ’s resurrection. It’s the same place where Peter would one day heal a lame man. That story is chronicled in Acts 3.
The Jews surrounded Jesus and wanted a straight answer to their most pressing question. In verse 24 of Chapter 10, we read, “The Jews therefore gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, ‘How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.’”
With the patience that only God can have for fallen man, Jesus explained to them that He has answered their question. The reason they do not understand, the reason they cannot believe, is because they are not His sheep. Jesus finished His discourse with the profound and definitive words we find in verse 30. “I and the Father are one.”
When I decided to preach on this verse, I went into my room, closed the door, and spread out all of my Bibles. I thought that in order to get the most out of the text, and to make sure that I looked at the verse in its proper context, I would parallel the different versions of the verse. Each version said the same thing, “I and the Father are one.”