Foundation Stones of the Faith Jesus: God the Son
John 20:11-29 The Message (MSG)
11-13 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?” 13-14 “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him. 15 Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?” She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.” 16 Jesus said, “Mary.” Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!” 17 Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her. 19-20 Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side. 20-21 The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.” 22-23 Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?” 24-25 But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We saw the Master.” But he said, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won’t believe it.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” 27 Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
28 Thomas said, “My Master! My God!” 29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Let’s talk about that story for a minute or two.
- This whole story took place on a very special day. What day was that? (Easter or Resurrection Sunday)
- Were the disciples really expecting Jesus to be raised from the dead?
- Were they surprised when he was raised from the dead?
- Jesus appeared to the disciples in the Upper Room more than once. Which disciple was missing the first time Jesus appeared to them?
- What did Thomas say he had to see in order to believe?
- When Jesus did appear to Thomas, what did he tell him to do?
- How did Thomas respond when he saw Jesus?
- What did he call Jesus? (My Lord and My God)
- Did Jesus tell Thomas he was wrong to call him “God”? (No he only rebuked him for not believing without seeing him.)
Hershel Hobbs reminds us that Jesus is the central figure of the Bible, “The Old Testament sounds the Messianic hope. The gospels record Christ’s incarnation; Acts relates his continuing work through the Holy Spirit; the Epistles interpret His person and work; Revelation proclaims His final triumph and glory.” (BF&M, pg. 39)
Jesus is the central figure in the Bible and the central focus of our faith. Our beliefs about and relationship to Jesus determine the status of our salvation and our relationship to God.
One of the critical issues concerning Jesus is his deity. Is Jesus God or not? Evangelical Christians say, “Yes, Jesus is truly God.” But, every cult has some denial of the deity of Christ.
One of the great passages upon which this belief is built is the book of Hebrews. The theme of the book is the superiority of Jesus over all other religious systems and figures. In chapter 1 verses 4-12, we see at least 3 proofs that Jesus is God.
I. His great names tell us he is God.
“There are no fewer than 80 names given in the Bible to declare Christ’s person, nature, and work.” (BF&M, pg. 39) Here we see two names that help us see Jesus’ deity.
NAS Hebrews 1:4 having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. 5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, “Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him And He shall be a Son to Me”?
Jesus has a better name than the angels and in verse 5 we see that name is “Son.” Jesus is not merely “a” son of God, he is “the only begotten Son of God” according to John 3:16. The Greek word which is translated “only begotten” was used in Greek literature to mean several things. One of those meanings is the only child, unique and incomparable. Jesus is uniquely the Son of God.
As the Son of God, Jesus is God. Simple biology tells us that the offspring of a dog is a dog. The offspring of a cat is a cat and the offspring of a human is another human. What could God’s Son be but God?
NAS Hebrews 1:8 But of the Son He says, “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.
What does God the Father call Jesus? He calls him “God.”
Jesus is the second person of the Trinity and thus he and the Father are one. But don’t miss the fact that Jesus is divine.
II. The Genuine Honor given Him belongs to God.
NAS Hebrews 1:6 And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”
God commanded the angels to worship the Son, but the Bible says we are not worship anyone but him (Exodus 34:14). How can this be? Jesus is one with the Father and equal to the Father. As such, he deserves our worship and praise.
NAS Revelation 4:8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” …11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”
Here we see God the Father being worshipped in heaven.
NAS Revelation 5:11 And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
In Revelation 5 Jesus is worshipped in the same way that the Father was worshipped in chapter 4. At the end of verse 13 the Father and Son are worshipped together.
“All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown him Lord of all!”
“Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne:
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee:
And hail Him as they matchless King
Through all eternity.”
Genuine honor and worship are given to Jesus because he is God.
III. His glorious nature shows us he is God.
The author shows us two things about the Lord Jesus and his divine nature:
- He is eternal.
NAS Hebrews 1:10 And, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Thy hands; 11 They will perish, but Thou remainest;…12…But Thou art the same, And Thy years will not come to an end.”
He created the universe which will one day come to an end, but he himself is eternal.
NAS John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
John quotes Jesus 8 different times as using the title “I am” for himself. To me this is the clearest claim of Christ to be the “I am” of the OT. Abraham lived about 2000 years before the birth of Jesus, but in this verse we see Jesus claiming to have lived before Abraham. If you read that verse in its context, you will see that the people he was speaking to understood very clearly that Jesus was claiming to be God himself.
Jesus is eternal and:
- He is unchanging.
NAS Hebrews 1:12 And as a mantle Thou wilt roll them up; As a garment they will also be changed. But Thou art the same, And Thy years will not come to an end.”
This verse tells us that Jesus created the universe, which will someday be changed, but he does not change.
The cults worship a god who is changeable in nature. The Mormon church for example says, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.” The god of the cults is changing and unreliable.
The God of the Bible is unchanging. Thus we can look at what God has said and done in the past and know he is the same today and will be the same tomorrow.
NAS Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.
Jesus is the unchangeable God of the universe. He was in the life changing business yesterday and he will continue to be tomorrow. He answered the prayers of the thief on the cross and he answers our prayers today.
The Bible clearly teaches us that if we are to worship God, we must worship him in Spirit and in truth. Thus if you are to truly worship Jesus you must worship him for who he truly is. He is God the Son.
Too many people have tried to remake Jesus into something they want him to be. In the movie “Talladega Nights” Ricky Bobby prayed to Jesus, but he liked “little baby Jesus” or “little infant Jesus”. A few years ago I was on a mission trip to Mescalero, NM. We took a tour of the Catholic Church on the reservation and they pictured Jesus as an Apache warrior. We should not worship an Apache warrior, a baby who never grew up or a Nordic man. We must worship him as God the Son who is divinely powerful today.
Francis of Assisi was the spoiled son of a wealthy cloth merchant. When he committed himself to Jesus Christ, he was transformed into a compassionate preacher of the gospel. He became the friend of the poor that the church of his day had forgotten.
There have been several men who set out to disprove the Christian faith, men like Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel. When they did their research to “disprove” the faith they realized that Jesus really was who he claimed to be and were transformed forever. Both McDowell and Strobel became great defenders of the faith.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is God. Are you related to him by faith? Are you serving him as your Lord?
©Copyright Rik Danielsen 2018
For personal use only. If you want to use any or all of this material for group Bible Study or Sermons, please give credit where credit is due. No part of this material may be republished either in print or electronically without the written permission of Dr. Rik Danielsen. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundation Stones of the Faith: Jesus: God the Son