Summary: Jesus claimed to be equal with God in John and this sermon is one that is interactive and creative to engage the audience and draw them deeper. I put together a power point keynote presentation, handouts and a mini devotional for the week after the teach
(Order some foam fake stones for this visual illustration)
Good evening, My name is Matthew Rings
I have been in youth ministry for 19 years now and I’m used to speaking to teenagers, so if I say anything blasphemous I want you to feel free to stone me.
Ok, before we read the text I want you to know something else about me.
I am God
I can raise the dead
And God is my witness that these things are true.
Is that shocking to you?? I hope so! I hope you felt the shock that the Jewish leaders felt when Jesus made these claims here in John. For the record, I don’t believe that.
So tonight we are going to look at one of these 3 claims in depth and the other 2 I have given you for further study at home.
So to fill in your sheet, Jesus Claimed to be God, He claims he can raise the dead and that God is his witness.So, last week Bob told you about the guy who was sick for 38 years and Jesus healed him on the Sabbath.
?So real briefly, why do you think Jesus did this on the Sabbath?
I believe Jesus used the healing of this guy on the Sabbath as an object lesson, kind of like I used the rocks to remind you that Jesus was claiming to be God.
So let’s pick up our story in John 5:16-18. I chose the New Living Translation for this section, because I like the way it describes the exchange here between Jesus and the Pharisees.
"So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, "My Father is always working, and so am I." So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God. (John 5:16-18 NLT)"
That He is Lord of the Sabbath and in fact Jesus is claiming to be EQUAL with God.
Now the last person who claimed to be equal with God is someone that some of you in this room are facebook friends with!
King Nebuchadnezzar II was on his roof top claiming that he built the great nation and he was equal to God in power, and before he could get the words out of his mouth, God judged him and sent him into the woods to live like an animal.
If Jesus was making these claims and they were not of God, I’m sure that God would have dealt swiftly with Jesus.
So vs 16 the Jewish leaders were “harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath”
But then Jesus speaks in vs 17 and things change. Jesus replied MY Father is always working and so am I”
This wasn’t a references to Jesus’ work ethic He was making a statement the Jewish leaders heard loud and clear.
So when he said “My Father” instead of “Our Father” He was claiming to be equal with God.
So they shifted there charge of Sabbath breaking to blasphemy and they began to plot a way to have him killed.
(Much like you all tried to stone me, Jesus will face that response in the coming chapters several times for making these claims)
Vs 19 Jesus tells them to pay attention this is important. If I could get someone to read 19-23, I have the English Standard Version here for you if you need it.
So in this short passage Jesus claims to be Equal with God in 4 ways.
?What do you see?
1 Equal in works – what the father does, the son does
2 Equal in power to Raise The Dead – Ezekiel tells us that only God has that Power
3 Power to Judge – Genesis 18 says that only God is the Judge of all the earth
4 Honor – Jesus is claiming whatever honor you give to God you owe to Jesus.
I want to spend the rest of our evening looking at this last sentence.
Anyone who doesn’t honor the Son or to put it another way
Anyone who doesn’t believe that Jesus is God.
You and I both know people who don’t believe Jesus is God. Much like the Pharisees here.
And when I read the Gospel accounts there is a question that keeps bothering me and I was hoping we could brainstorm together to answer it.
?Why do you think the Pharisees and religious leaders didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah/Savior/God?
(they felt people ought to respect them, too many people praising them went to their heads, pride, education, no heart for God, They were expecting a political revolution, not God among them.)
Let’s shift the question a bit and ask ?Why don’t people today believe Jesus is God?