“Concerning the unity of the Father and the Son, we must be content to believe reverently, what we cannot grasp mentally or explain distinctly. Let it suffice us to know that our Savior was not like the prophets and patriarchs, a man sent by God the Father, a friend of God, and a witness for God. He was something far higher and greater than this.” – J.C. Ryle
Reading through the Gospel of John this month and am at chapter 13 today. I’ve been reflecting again on how often folks try to put Jesus in a category of their own choosing. Many people are happy to read about the way Jesus lived His life, and are content to take some of His teachings and add them to their own established philosophies of life. This is an aspect of the prosperity gospel, which adds all the sugar but leaves out the salt. But I think anyone who is a genuine seeker, someone who is really on a quest to find the true Jesus as He is depicted in the Bible, would not be able to reconcile this category of “good teacher” with what is found in the Gospel of John.
“This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” – John 5:18
This is difficult to get past, if you are only willing to consider Him as simply a good man or teacher. So is John 10:30, where Jesus says simply, “I and the Father are one.” C.S. Lewis of course famously remarked, “But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” If you are reading the Gospel of John carefully and reverently, you would have to agree – He did not intend to.
We are blessed to have four accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry in our Bibles. Of these four, the Gospel of John focuses the most clearly on who Jesus was, with less of an emphasis than Matthew, Mark and Luke on what He did. If you were convinced that Jesus was one in a long line of great men, philosophers, thinkers in history, then I would hand you my Bible, and point you to the Gospel of John. I’d tell you to take the next 2-1/2 hours or so and read it from beginning to end, and then tell me what you think. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you would not think the same.
John Piper once remarked that, “Whatever else you may enjoy about Jesus, John wants you to know and treasure Jesus in his infinite majesty.” That would be my hope and prayer for anyone who is seeking God today. I don’t have much of an audience here, but if you have stumbled on this site and are wondering about who the real Jesus is, then carve out some time for yourself today and read John’s Gospel. See Him and treasure Him for who He truly is, not what you may have heard or thought.
“So Jesus said to them, ‘The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’” – John 12:35-36