Are You Declaring Jesus?
Christ and the apostles attended the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem in the fall of 29 A.D. Jesus entered the Temple and began to teach – astounding the hearers with His command of the Scriptures. Yet ever humble, He shifts their focus of amazement off of Himself by glorifying His Father:
“My doctrine is not Mine, but His Who sent Me…He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Jn. 7:16, 18, 19. NKJV
Jesus just declared that He speaks for God to glorify Jehovah. Furthermore, He is inferring that He can do so because He presents Himself as the only sinless example of His Father.
Some of those listening began to grumble about whether Jesus should be arrested or killed. Others wondered if He was indeed the Messiah, and those from His home town clung to their disbelief out of their familiarity with Him.
Jesus’ next declaration boldly separated Him from His detractors:
Do you know Me, and do you know where I am from? I have not come down on My own authority and of My own accord and self-appointed, but the One Who sent Me is true (real, genuine, steadfast); and Him you do not know! I know Him [Myself] because I come from His very presence, and it was He [personally] Who sent Me. Jn. 7:28, 29. AMP
Jesus is laying it on the line! He says they may know His earthly form but that they have absolutely no understanding of His divine nature, nor can they see that God sent Him. Moreover, He is attempting to make them acutely aware of their ignorance, by contending that they don’t have a clue about who God is.
That was all the convicted people could take. The chief priests and scribes in the midst of the listening crowd tried to have Jesus arrested, but He was supernaturally delivered from their grasp.
On the last day of the Festival, Jesus returned to the Temple and said:
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Jn. 7:37, 38. NKJV
The day after, He entered the Temple again and proclaimed:
“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” Jn. 8:12 NKJV
So, not only is Jesus the only one who has seen God and sent to speak for Him, He is also the living salvation of God.
Not unexpectedly, the Pharisees in the Temple called Jesus a liar, reminding Him that Mosaic Law requires corroboration of two witnesses to His Messianic claims in order for them to have any veracity. Jesus responds:
“Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I come from and where I am going; but you do not know…” Jn. 8:14 NKJV
You [set yourselves up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You condemn by external, human standards.] I do not [set Myself up to] judge or condemn or sentence anyone. Jn. 8:15 AMP
“Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.” Jn. 8:16 ESV
“I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” Jn. 8:18 NASB
Jesus produced His witnesses: He and God Himself.
(Note that Jesus is not contradicting Himself when He says said that ‘I do not judge…Yet even if I do judge…” Christ did not judge during His earthly ministry. When He comes back, well, that’s another story.)
Flustered, the Pharisees demand that Jesus reveal the whereabouts of His ‘Father.’ He answers:
“You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also…You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Jn. 8:19, 23, 24. NKJV
Jesus is saying that He and His Father are exactly alike in intent, Spirit and power, and if they don’t believe that, they will pay the ultimate price.
He then steps up His conviction against the Jewish naysayers by telling them that their mistaken belief that just by being Abraham’s descendants they will be heavenly bound, will in fact bring them no salvation. (Jn. 8:37 – 40.) Moreover, He accuses them of acting in a rebellious manner against Abrahams works because they follow the devil instead:
“If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God…you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth…” Jn. 8:42 – 44. NKJV
In their collective anger over being declared guilty, the crowd asked Jesus if He thought that He was greater than Abraham. Jesus drops a bomb:
“If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him…but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Jn. 8:54 – 56. NKJV
Thus, Jesus is saying that coming of the Messiah was revealed to Abraham. The crowd responded by asking how in the world could Jesus have seen Abraham, being that he was born some 1800 years prior to their present time. Jesus gives them an out-of-the-world answer:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Jn. 8:58 NKJV
He just said the He is eternal, just like God Himself. Indeed, claiming the ‘I AM,’ He is saying He is the explicit image of Jehovah. Shouts of blasphemy and pelted stones were sent towards Jesus’ way, but again He supernaturally disappeared from the Temple…
Are you declaring Jesus? After all, isn’t that the ‘Great Commission every follower of Christ is called to perform? Well, here we have Jesus Himself telling us how to declare Him – by declaring Him as He declared Himself.
Jesus said that He spoke for God, not for His Himself. Being sinless, He is the only one who can do so – this Messenger Son sent by God Himself to bring salvation with the light of life and the living waters to those who bring their faith.
He is that loving eternal Savior who does not judge, but instead opens His arms to usher us into His Father’s presence.
When you make this life-changing declaration, you are making your Jesus contact and opening the way for the lost children of this world to do the same…
Goodnight and God bless.