Look Closely at the Evidence!

Note from Jesus

Dear Seeker,

My words have always provoked strong reactions! I do not leave people any middle ground for their decision about Me. There is no “safe” place they can put Me in the middle as just a good man and a good teacher. In the encounter with the crowd that you read about in today’s verses, I AM claiming to be the Son of God. I AM saying that what I do and what I speak I have received directly from My Father in heaven. I AM claiming that every disciple that I have was given to Me by My Father.

Every contemporary Jewish person who heard Me in the events recorded below knew that I was claiming to be God walking and teaching among them. They told Me:We demand Your life because You are a man, yet you claim to be God. This is blasphemy!As an experienced rabbi familiar with their way of arguing about the meaning of Scripture, I gave them two reasons why I could claim to be God among them.

First, I used a good rabbinical defense strategy: I quoted a passage that shows that others had been called “sons of God.” These people were not punished for their claim, so I shouldn’t be punished for My claim. This argument is technically correct for their type of reasoning used in rabbinical discussion. However, most of those listening knew that I was claiming that I AM much more than one of many “sons of God.” They knew My claim was that I AM THE Son of the God!

Second, I could call God My Father because what I claimed about Myself was validated by what I did! When you examine the great things that I did, the authoritative truths that I taught, and the way that I lived, you see that My actions validate My words. Notice what I said to My doubters and My critics:Examine My actions, and you will see that My work is the work of the Father. Regardless of whether you believe in Me — believe the miracles.Despite My opponents’ anger at these claims, they could not disprove them. They were left to try to kill Me, but they couldn’t do so at this time. The time wasn’t right. The Father wouldn’t let them. I wasn’t ready yet to lay My life down, so they couldn’t take it. Therefore, I continued with My ministry and many others believed in Me.

Verses to Live

OK. What are you going to do with Me? You can choose not to read My story, but My story won’t go away. People will keep making movies about Me, they will keep talking about Me, they will be fascinated by Me, and many will come to full faith in Me.

So what are YOU going to do with Me? My claims are extravagant, even blasphemous if they are not true. But if they are true, then everything rides on your decision about Me! So look closely at the evidence — not just the evidence in the verses that follow, but at everything I said and did. Look at the movement I left behind. Examine the weak and fearful men and women who became bold and were willing to be martyred. What explains it? What was their belief in Me that led them to risk everything to be My disciples?When He [Jesus] spoke these words, some of the Jews began to argue.

It was winter and time for the Festival of Dedication. While in Jerusalem, Jesus was walking through the temple in an area known as Solomon’s porch, and Jews gathered around Him.

Jews:How long are You going to keep us guessing? If You are God’s Anointed, the Liberating King, announce it clearly.Jesus:I have told you, and you do not believe. The works I am doing in My Father’s name tell the truth about Me. You do not listen; you lack faith because you are not My sheep. My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me. I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.The Jews gathered stones to execute Jesus right then and there.

Jesus:I have performed many beautiful works before you in the name of the Father. Which of these can be judged as an offense that merits My execution?Jews:You are not condemned for performing miracles. We demand Your life because You are a man, yet you claim to be God. This is blasphemy!Jesus:You know what is written in the Scriptures. Doesn’t it read, “I said, you are gods”? If the Scriptures called your ancestors (mere mortals) gods to whom the word of God came — and the Scriptures cannot be set aside — what should you call One Who is unique, sanctified by and sent from the Father into the world? I have said, “I am God’s Son.” How can you call that blasphemy? By all means, do not believe in Me, if I am not doing the things of the Father. But examine My actions, and you will see that My work is the work of the Father. Regardless of whether you believe in Me — believe the miracles. Then you will know that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.Once again, some of the Jews tried to capture Him, but He slipped away, eluding their grasp. Jesus crossed the Jordan River and returned to the place where John was… cleansing the people through baptism in the early days. He lingered in the area, and scores of people gathered around Him.

Crowds:John never performed any miracles, but every word he spoke about this man has come to pass. It is all true!In that place, many believed in Him.

(John 10:19; John 10:22-42)

Response in Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, I confess that some days the urgency of my faith is simply not there. I feel blah, You seem distant to me, and the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life seems to have vanished. I pray that You, O Father, make me thirsty for You. I give You the invitation to make me hungry for Your presence, Your word, Your Son, and Your Spirit. Bring people into my life to shake me out of my mediocrity and my moments of spiritual lethargy. Restore my passion by reawakening my heart to the voice, the leading, and the lordship of Jesus, in Whose name I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.