June 18, 2017
READ: John 10:22-42
We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God (v.33).
In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis wrote, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”
The people of Jesus’ day were confronted with this choice. Although the Teacher’s words and actions set Him apart, “the people were . . . divided in their opinions about him. Some said, ‘He’s demon possessed and out of his mind. Why listen to a man like that?’ Others said, ‘This doesn’t sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?’ ” (John 10:19-21).
At the height of the controversy, “the people surrounded him and asked, ‘how long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly’ ” (v.24). “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me,” Jesus replied. “The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. . . . The Father and I are one” (vv.25,30). Ironically, even when Jesus spoke plainly to them, the crowd struggled with His response. No sooner had He made this declaration than “once again the people picked up stones to kill him” (v.31).
The struggle to accept Christ’s claims continues today. If you harbour a lingering doubt about who He is, prayerfully consider what He revealed about Himself (vv.24-30). The One who died and rose again that we might have eternal life— revealing His power over sin and death—is the Messiah, our Shepherd and the Giver of life (vv.24-28). Jesus is the Son of God! (v.30).
365-day plan: John 2:1-25
Read Matthew 16:13-16 and ponder why Peter gave the answer he did.
What has led you to your current view of Jesus? How does your understanding of who He is affect every facet of your life?