Let Me Introduce You To Jesus

Day 1 of 9 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Jesus is one with the Father, he is God


“I and the Father are one.”


This statement is a blockbuster. Jesus places himself on parity with the Father. The Father and the Son (we could add the Spirit) are one in action, purpose, and power, all of which implies that they are one in nature. The Father and the Son are one in their essential natures. That is exactly how the Jews understood him, for they immediately picked up stones in order to stone him for blasphemy.


“The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered


them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for


which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered


him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but


for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God”


Long ago, Augustine pointed out that this brief statement refutes two errors. One error is associated with Sabellius. Sabellius taught that the three Persons of the Godhead were actually only one Person, and that the Father became the Son, died on the cross, and then returned as the Holy Spirit. Many Christians, even today, think of the Trinity in this way. But the Bible teaches that there are three distinct Persons. Think, for example, of the baptism of Jesus, when in one scene we have Jesus in the water, the Spirit descending as a dove, and the voice of the Father in heaven. There is one God, but three Persons.


Much more serious is the heresy of Arius, who denied the deity of Jesus. The word “one” points to the fact that Jesus and the Father have the same nature, thereby refuting the Arians, as well as the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other similar cults.


Again, this is exactly how the Jews understood Jesus—the Jews who heard it, knew his language and culture, and who were looking at his face. “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.