Summary: Jesus makes an astounding claim—a person doesn’t have to die. We can all escape death. We, as Christians, know what Jesus meant by this, but the world does not understand. It’s up to us to show them what Jesus meant
In v. 51 of our passage tonight, Jesus makes an astounding claim—a person doesn’t have to die. We can all escape death. We, as Christians, know what Jesus meant by this, but the world does not understand. It’s up to us to show them what Jesus meant.
READ v. 48-50. I guess since Jesus has just accused the religionists of having the devil for their father, they figure they can throw some insults at Jesus as well. So they call Him a Samaritan and accuse Him of being demon-possessed.
Being a Samaritan was a charge that He was full of heresy, not worshipping the true God, but following and building up the false religion of the Samaritans.
Being demon-possessed was a charge that He was full of an evil spirit, a spirit that was out to destroy man and the true religion of God and its people.
Well Jesus answers their charge but notice that He said nothing about their racial slur. This racial comment was not worthy of comment by Jesus. There’s a lesson in that alone for us. Instead Jesus strongly denies their charge that He was demon-possessed. He knew exactly what He was saying and doing. He wasn’t insane. He was perfectly conscious of His actions. Let’s note three claims that Jesus makes:
1. Jesus claimed that His very purpose was to honor God. (v.49) There wasn’t an evil spirit in Him trying to destroy man and the worship of God. Quite the contrary. His very purpose was to honor God and to turn men to God.
2. Jesus claimed that man was the one who did evil to God. While Jesus honored God, man (in particular false religionists) tried to dishonor Jesus. And in dishonoring Jesus, they were dishonoring God. It was God’s love that had sent Him into the world to offer salvation. The real demon-possession was seen in those who dishonored Him while He offered God’s salvation to men.
3. Jesus didn’t seek His own glory. (v.50) Again, quite the contrary. He sought to glorify God by leading men to God.
READ v. 51-53. And here we have the great promise—a person can escape death. The religionists’ reaction was that they thought Jesus must be under a demon’s spell They thought He was insane. In their thinking, He must be demon-possessed because we all know that everyone dies. Who did Jesus think He was? In fact, that’s precisely what they asked. (v.53) Did He think He was greater than Abraham and the prophets?
READ v.54-59. Jesus tells of His authority to make such a glorious promise.
1. Jesus claimed that He was honored by God. He wasn’t out to honor Himself. If He sought His own honor it would amount to nothing. It’s the same with us. If we seek the honor and the praise for anything, it’s considered to be false honor. Self-honor is considered distasteful and usually turns people away. It certainly doesn’t attract people, right? For instance, you tell an adult how smart you think they are and they not only agree with you but add their own comments about how smart they are. Kind of makes you want to walk away.
Even though Jesus didn’t seek the honor, there is one who does honor Christ and that is His Father.
Note Jesus’ claim in v. 54. Who is Jesus’ Father? He is the very One “you claim as your God.” He is the God who men so often profess as their God. But He’s the God who men don’t really know. Men may say they know Him, professing that He is the creator and sustainer of all. They profess to worship Him and even that they are looked after and cared for by Him.
But such claims are only ideas in man’s mind. Jesus said that man doesn’t really know God, not the only true and living God. They don’t really know Him, not personally.
Jesus claimed that He personally knew God and obeyed God’s Word. He had a unique and very special knowledge of God. Jesus knew God as no one else had ever known Him.
A lot of people are really lying when they claim to know God. Jesus refused to lie. READ v. 55. He knew God and He wouldn’t lower or retract His claim although He knew it would mean His death.
Jesus also said that He kept God’s Word. This meant that He had to tell the truth. He knew God personally, and He would proclaim that word to men. He had to do what God said. He had to keep God’s Word and fulfill God’s purpose so that men might be saved.
Jesus claimed that He was the One that Abraham hoped for and actually saw. Abraham held a unique position in the Jewish nation. He was the founder of the nation. He was the man whom God had challenged to be a witness to the other nations of the world—a witness to the only true and living God.