“Hear O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one.”
Those words from Deuteronomy 6 formed the beginning of the Shema, the prayer every orthodox Jew has prayed every day for the last three thousand years. They have been at the heart of the Jewish religion which has stood out against the polytheism of all the false religions of the Canaanites and the Romans and the Greeks who believed that there were many different gods. The Israelites have faithfully maintained their witness that there is only one God, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel, the Sovereign Creator of Heaven and Earth.
But around 2000 years ago one of them, a Jew called Jesus, dared to say a most amazing thing. “I and the Father are One.” “I and the Father are ONE.”
And there was an outcry.
Jesus said, John 10:30 I and the Father are one.’
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’
33 ‘We are not stoning you for any good work,’ they replied, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’
I and the Father are One. We thought last week about what Jesus had just been saying. I am the Good Shepherd. We saw that the Jews recognised only one Shepherd, as Psalm 23 says, The Lord is my Shepherd. God is the Shepherd of Israel. So when Jesus said, I am the Good Shepherd, that was in itself a claim to be God. But now Jesus makes Himself absolutely clear in what is indisputably a claim to be divine. John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
109 times in John’s Gospel Jesus talks about “My Father” or “The Father” referring to God. And in John’s Gospel Jesus refers to Himself 27 times as the Son of God. But now Jesus is going further than any Jew could ever go and announces to the world, “I and the Father are one.” What could that mean?
This morning will be rather unusual because most of what I am going to do is simply quote the words of Jesus Himself. Jesus speaks about His relationship with God His Father 79 times in John’s Gospel. These are the things Jesus said about Himself and His relationship with the Father. The words of Jesus will speak for themselves. So let’s start with Jesus’s teaching
JESUS CAME TEACHING GOD’S WORDS
Jesus said John 8:28 I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
Jesus said John12:49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 … So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Jesus said John 14:23 24 …These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Jesus said John15:15 Everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
Jesus brought us God’s teaching. Jesus Himself said he spoke His Father’s words with His Father’s authority. In that the Son of God was representing his Father. But what about the miracles?
JESUS CAME DOING GOD’S WORK
Jesus said John5:19 “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
Jesus said John5:36 “The very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.
Jesus said John14:31 I love the Father and … I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
According to the gospels, Jesus’s miracles were not done in his own strength, by His own divine power as Son of God. The miracles were the work of the Holy Spirit through Jesus. So the miracles are not proof that Jesus was God – and nobody at that time took them as proof that Jesus was God. But the miracles do demonstrate that Jesus had a very special relationship with The Father. So Jesus taught God’s truth and did God’s Work. But more than that, Jesus was
THE UNIQUE REVELATION OF GOD
BECAUSE JESUS HAD A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE OF GOD
Jesus said John 10:. 38 …. Even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
Jesus said John 8:38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence,
Jesus prays to His Father for His disciples
Jesus said John 17:11 so that they may be one as we are one
The reason Jesus is able to reveal the Father to us is because of his unique relationship with the Father as the Son of God – his unique “one-ness.”
JESUS REVEALS GOD
Jesus said John8:19 “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
Jesus said John14:7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Jesus said John14:9 Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or else believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
A little child once explained the incarnation like this. “Jesus is God with the skin on.” What Jesus is saying time and again is this. “If you want to know what God is like, look at me!” That claim could be bold, outrageous, arrogant, insane, evil – if it is not true. Was Jesus mad, or was he bad, or was He truly God? As C.S.Lewis put it, Jesus is either a liar, or a lunatic, or Lord of all! All the evidence points to the wonderful truth that Jesus is indeed Lord and God. Jesus IS the Son of God who brings salvation to rebellious human beings by revealing God to us. Even more than that
JESUS IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE
Jesus said John 11:25 25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.’
Jesus is “the resurrection and the life,” the source of eternal life – the source of life in all its fulness.
Jesus said John6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. …. 44 “No-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jesus said John 6 35 ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. “I am the bread of life” – the source of grace and daily strength for all believers.
John6:57 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
Jesus is the unique way to a relationship with the Father – the only way of salvation.
Jesus said John14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.
We saw two weeks ago that Jesus said John 10:7 ‘Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. … 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.
Jesus the gate is the way to be saved and then he is the gate who saves us from all the dangers of wolves and bears and thieves and robbers who come to steal and kill and destroy.
So Jesus is the source of life because we share God’s life. Jesus shares the Father’s life and we share the life of Jesus. So we share God’s life.
Jesus said John14:20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 …. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
We share God’s life as indeed God the Holy Spirit Himself comes to live inside us, making Jesus real to us.
Jesus said John15:26. “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
Jesus said John16:15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
So it is the Holy Spirit who comes and shares Jesus’s life with us. All the blessings of Christ’s death and resurrection are brought to us by the Holy Spirit – and it is Jesus who gives the Holy Spirit to us.
So – Jesus brings us God’s words and work’s God’s miracles. More than that, from His unique experience of God He brings a unique revelation of God. So Jesus is the Source of eternal life. Jesus can only do these things because He is indeed much more than a man. Jesus is
THE UNIQUE SON OF GOD
Jesus WAS SENT BY GOD
Jesus said John8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.
John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
Jesus of Nazareth the man was fully human. Yet he was also conscious that God had sent him. More than that – Jesus was conscious that He had existed before his earthly life had begun. That He was indeed the Word become flesh! Jesus knew that he was truly
THE PRE-EXISTENT SON OF GOD
Jesus said John16:27 I came from God. 28. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
John17:21 In his prayer for his disciples, Jesus said 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
One – just as you are in me and I am in you – a unique closeness to God
Jesus said John17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
After His death and resurrection, Jesus knew he was returning to His Father.
Jesus said John20:17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, `I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
Here is the amazing gift Jesus gives to everybody who believes in Him. His Father becomes Our Father – we become the children of God! And this is all because Jesus died and rose again from the dead.
Jesus said John 10:17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life- only to take it up again. 18 No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
We can see that Jesus is more than a man from this power he had over his own life and death. He was the Son of God – God, the Son, born as a human being for us and our salvation. The resurrection is God’s proof that everything Jesus said about Himself was true. Jesus really is the Son of God! Jesus really is God! “I and the Father are One.” More than that, all these claims Jesus makes about Himself and His understanding of his own identity are confirmed for Him and for us by God the Father.
JESUS WAS GLORIFIED BY GOD
Jesus said John 5:37 the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me.
Jesus said John 8:54, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.
In his prayer on the night before He was crucified, Jesus said John 17:5 now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Jesus had come from God the Father and He knew that in death He would be returning to God the Father.
There is a phrase I have used 39 times this morning. I nearly counted them as we went along. “Jesus said.” 39 quotations just from John’s Gospel of the words of Jesus Himself talking about who He was as the Son of God and about His relationship with His Father. I will put this sermon online so that you can look up all the references for yourself. We have seen Jesus the Son of God as HE describes Himself. I and the Father are One. One because Jesus was:
The Son who came teaching God’s words and doing God’s works
The Son who was the Unique Revelation of God – having a unique experience of God, revealing God, indeed being the source of life itself
Jesus was the Unique Son of God – sent by God, coming from the Father and returning to the Father, given glory by God Himself.
And at the end of John’s gospel, the apostle Thomas gives us a pattern for the way we should respond to Jesus, God’s own Son.
JOHN 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
My Lord and My God! I and the Father are One.
Bow down and worship – for this is your God!