Summary: Part of the "I am" series of statements Jesus made in John’s gospel, This sermon focuses on Jesus’ statement "...I am the Son of God" (John 10:36), and the reaction of the Jewish leaders who attempted to do the following things: 1. Slander Him 2. Stone
I AM series #4 Castle Hills Christian Ch. 07-11-04
I AM the Son of God
Of all the “I am” statements Jesus made, which one do you suppose was the most controversial of all? Which one was most responsible for his arrest? Which one caused the Jewish leaders to conspire together to end his life? Jesus flat out stated that he is the son of God and the Christ (The Messiah). That is the “I am” statement we will study today.
This summer we’re looking at the “I AM” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. In John chapter 10, the Jewish leaders questioned Jesus about his identity. But the truth is they had no reason to wonder who Jesus was. Jesus fed 5,000 people and then announced, I AM the Bread of Life. He declared I AM the Light of the World, and then healed a blind man. He explained I AM the Good Shepherd --- which was a reference to a prophecy about the coming Messiah. Besides that, John recorded many other statement where Jesus made it clear that He is the Son of God.
• To Nicodemus he called himself the “Son of Man” and “God’s one and only Son” (3:13-18) (We need to understand the title “Son of Man” the way the Jews understood it. This phrase is used in Old Testament prophecy to refer to God’s Anointed One, the promised Messiah.)
• To the Woman at the Well he called himself “Messiah (called Christ)” (4:25-26) (Messiah was the Jewish term, while Christ was the term used by the Greeks)
• To the Jews who opposed him he called himself the “Son of God” (5:25)
• To the crowds on the day he preached the “bread of life” sermon he called himself the “Son of Man” (6:27)
• When Jesus preached the “light of the world” sermon to the crowds he called himself “Son of Man” (8:28)
• To the man born blind who Jesus healed he called himself the “Son of Man” (9:35-37)
In spite of all this, the Jewish leaders acted like Jesus was trying to hide his identity. They confronted him with this blunt question: "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them just as bluntly: "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me.” John 10:24-25
Just a few verses later, Jesus told them once again: “I AM the Son of God.” John 10:36
Jesus had nothing to hide. And He was not hard to find. He made a practice of attending the Temple Feasts in Jerusalem. In fact, on this occasion, Jesus had come to observe the Feast of Dedication (now called Hanukah.)
Just a couple of months earlier Jesus had healed a man who had been born blind. The Religious leaders had witnessed that healing. They even interrogated the man after Jesus gave him his sight. But far from believing, they tried even harder to get rid of Jesus.
Jesus had every reason to give up on these men. They were obviously out to get him. They were his sworn enemies. They deserved a scathing rebuke, but instead, Jesus --- once again --- offered them God’s Grace. He said, Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father." John 10:37-38
Notice the reaction of the Religious Leaders. They couldn’t trap Jesus with their clever arguments. They couldn’t explain away his miracles. They couldn’t poke holes in his teachings. So they tried one more approach. They tried to ruin his reputation with SLANDER.
1. Slander Him
At these words the Jews were again divided. Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?" But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?" John 10:19-21
Look at the three slanderous statements from the unbelievers. First they said he is demon-possessed. Then they said he is raving mad. Then they simply asked Why listen to him?
Unfortunately, we see the same reactions today from people who reject Jesus.
• He is demon-possessed.
Most people won’t say it so bluntly, but many unbelievers try to identify Jesus with the occult, or with other Religions. I remember one particular home in India where I saw pictures of the Hindu god’s lining the walls. There, mixed in with Krishna and Vishnu --- lined up between Ganesh, an elephant-headed god, and another god with multiple arms --- was a picture of Jesus Christ.