Sermons

Summary: The evidence of Jesus’ deity demands a response from every person: allegiance or rejection.

We open with these words concerning the identity of Jesus:

“I can't help wondering how we can explain away the greatest miracle recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. Where is the miracle I spoke of? Consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time -- possibly to your own hometown.

A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb.

End of story? No. This uneducated young man with no earthly property who left no written word, has, for 2000 years, had a greater impact on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors, conquerors, generals, admirals, scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived -- all of them put together. How do we explain that - unless he really was who he said he was?" Words of former President Ronald Reagan when asked whom he thought Jesus was.

[The evidence of Jesus’ deity demands a response from every person: allegiance or rejection.]

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Many people refuse to accept Jesus for who He really is. Some believe he was [1] simply a good man; [2] some, a teacher; [3] some, a philosopher; and others [4] a spiritual leader, in the tradition of Gandhi. But many do not accept Him for who He really is: the Son of God, Messiah, and Savior of the world.

1. Why not? You might ask. It’s simple. To acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God sent to us to be Savior AND Lord requires a response on our part. It requires us to accept Him as Savior, change how we think, live and forfeit our desires for His.

2. Here is where most people get lost. They cannot unconditionally submit themselves to Christ, because it means they must yield their will to his. Hence they deny the Deity of Christ–to defend their own lifestyle.

B. So it was with the Pharisees. The pious Jews of their day, who held themselves up as an example for others to follow. Unable to deny themselves, they too, denied Christ.

1. Earlier in his gospel John the Evangelist tells of a man Jesus healed; one who suffered thirty-eight years. Most would rejoice in such a miracle; but not the Pharisees: they were angry because Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath.

2. They are so angry they confront Jesus (already plotting to kill Him (16)). He tells them the authority by which he does these things, and they are even more incensed! They are furious that he would claim to be equal with God (18).

C. We begin at Jesus’ response to their indignation. OYBT Jn 5, as we consider four credentials of Jesus; four evidences of his divine heritage, and how we must respond to them.

[The evidence of Jesus’ deity demands a response from every person: allegiance or rejection.]

II. FOUR CREDENTIALS OF JESUS

A. Worthy of Honor (19-23) (three evidences)

1. Christ is One with God the Father and emulates all that He does (v.19). God reveals His actions TO Christ and THROUGH Christ, giving complete power to Him. That’s what makes healing possible (and anything else for that matter)

2. Whatever the Father does, the Son does also. Like Father, like Son. This proverb holds much truth in modern times too. Sons will often mimic their father’s behavior as a means of connecting with them. A sign of admiration, respect, love and devotion. It’s reasonable to assume Jesus would feel the same toward His Father? Of course it is!

3. God honors Christ by giving Himself fully to Him. Without the power of God given to Jesus, He is only what people say He is (teacher, leader, etc.). However, when God gives all things to Him, He becomes worthy of Honor.

B. Giver of Life (24-26) (two evidences)

1. Jesus grants life on behalf of the Father (v.24). “He who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life”. This life comes from the Father, but is made possible only through the Son. Divine heritage? You bet. Without God, it doesn’t exist – without Christ, we are ineligible to receive it.

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