Summary: A sermon on Jesus describing himself as THE Son of God (Material adapted from a Christology class by Dr. Johnny Pressley)
"Mr. Big Stuff" is a song by Jean Knight. First words: “Mr. Big Stuff, Who do you think you are?” I can almost here the Jews saying: “Jesus, Mr. Big Stuff, Who Do You Think You Are?”
Last time I spoke on Sunday morning we talked about Jesus’ use of the title, “The Son of Man.” This title comes from the OT book of Daniel. Jesus used this title The Son of Man more than any other title when talking about himself.
Jesus skillfully managed his ministry and his words so that he was able to carry on his work in dangerous circumstances and build up to a crucifixion climax at just the right time. Jesus knew a lot about the plan of God since the creation of the world to save mankind. Because of what he knew, he was deliberate in his words and actions. Do not know every detail but we can piece some of this together from the NT and this is what we are calling the Passover Plan.
Jesus’ preference for a safe title “The Son of Man” over a title that makes a clear statement of deity has lead some to conclude that Jesus never intended to claim deity, Godhood. “Jesus did not believe himself to be the Son of God and it was his disciples who called Jesus the Son of God. Jesus never did that.” This is not true. It was obvious to Jesus’ enemies that he was actually making extraordinary claims about himself when he spoke about the Son of Man.
The Gospel of John contains several passages that show Jesus did believe that he was THE Son of God. Because of this some discount John’s gospel. On very dangerous ground when we do this. We determine what is truly God's Word and what is not. Do it yourself faith- not good.
Jesus sometimes used a “hit and run” strategy that frustrated his enemies. Here was the tactic:
1. Make a “deity” statement that would bring his enemies to the brink of action, violence
2. Defuse the situation by making a “submission” statement
3. Then as Jesus was leaving, he would make a clear “Godhood” statement and get away
Find two places in John’s gospel where this is illustrated
Thesis: Let’s examine these two passages from John
This discussion gets rather heated as Jesus tells them this: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.” John 8:44, NIV.
In response they say this: ““Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” John 8:48, NIV.
Jesus knew that there was risk of a premature death on this occassion and he lets them know what they are thinking. “I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.” John 8:37, NIV. “As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.” John 8:40, NIV.
In this account, Jesus does not answer with direct and clear explanations to many of their questions and is very guarded in his comments. ““Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied.” John 8:25, NIV.
Since Abraham is a topic of discussion throughout this section, as Jesus is about to leave we hear the conclusion of this discussion: “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” John 8:56-59, NIV. Let's look at this verse by verse
Vs. 56- How did Abraham see the days of Jesus Christ? The verb tenses here are past, meaning that Abraham saw the days of Jesus Christ through the eyes of faith while he was alive on the earth. He saw it by the eye of faith, in the promise that was made to him, That in his seed (one seed) all the nations of the earth should be blessed.
Vs. 57- Jesus’ statement is not that he had seen Abraham, but that Abraham had seen his day through the eyes of faith. The Jews misunderstood this, and declared that it was impossible that Jesus and Abraham could have ever meet. Abraham lived and died at least 2,000 years before the life of Jesus.