Like Father, Like Son
“‘I feel like a monster,’ Gabriel Marshall said to his dad. Eight-year-old Gabriel had recently undergone surgery to remove a tumor from his brain, and he now bore a conspicuous scar on the side of his head. His dad, Josh, had an idea: he got a tattoo on the side of his head that was in the exact shape of Gabriel's scar. ‘If people want to stare at you,’ he told Gabriel, ‘then they can stare at both of us.’ A picture of the two sporting their scars eventually won first place in a Father's Day photo competition run by St. Baldrick's Foundation, ‘an organization dedicated to fighting childhood cancer.’ In some ways, their story might remind us of another story: about an empathetic Father, a wounded Son, and scars that were chosen because of love.”
Matt Woodley, Andrew Finch, and Emily Lund, at PreachingToday.com
There are certain things I miss about my boys when they were younger, but I’m also enjoying the stage of life they are currently in
They loved to do some of the same things I did
The one thing I remember most was when they wanted to shave with me
We would get shaving cream out and put it on our faces and then they would use their toy razor – that didn’t have any sharp blades – and carefully remove the shaving cream from their face
They would shake the razor in the sink, filled with water, and continue to shave
I think we also used to put aftershave on together
They wanted to be like their Dad
Being like our parents
We can probably all remember a time when we wanted to be just like our father or mother
Maybe as boys we put shaving cream on and pretended to shave like our fathers
As little girls we may have put on an apron and helped in the kitchen or pretended to provide an incredible meal for our dolls and stuffed animals
There are pictures of little boys and girls who have attempted to put on makeup like their mothers
Perhaps most of us have a fond memory of something our child or children did that was just the same way we had done it
Jesus defends His identity, His deity, by telling the Jews that they should not believe Him unless He does what His Father does. Jesus’ identity was evident because He did the same things His Father did – Like Father, Like Son. The Gospel writer, John, wants us to understand that . . .
BIG IDEA – Jesus’ works prove His words.
The same should be true of us as followers of Jesus Christ. Our works should prove our words. The works that we do are an outpouring of the transformation that took place through Jesus Christ. Our works can sometimes betray our words. Are we doing what the Father does? Are we saying what the Father is saying?
GOD (John 10:31-42)
Rejected (vv. 31-39)
Jews want to stone Jesus (v. 31-33)
This is a continuation of last week’s message
We have to look back to verse 30 to see why the Jews are again picking up stones to stone Him
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
Jesus explains that He has shown them many great miracles from the Father
Jesus’ words here are important
The miracles He has done were not done by Him, but through the Father
God was the One who enabled Jesus to do the miracles
I love the fact that Jesus isn’t elevating Himself, but rather pointing the Jews to the Father
There is no greater role model than Jesus
We should be doing the same thing when we experience the miraculous in our lives
We should be pointing people to the Father and the Son
As we saw last week, those who trusted in Jesus by faith were given the ability to understand that the works, Jesus had done, proved that He was the Christ, the Messiah
The Jews, who refused to believe in Jesus by faith, were unable to understand that Jesus’ works proved He was the Christ
They were not His sheep, so they wanted Jesus to say it plainly and directly
While He didn’t say, “I am the Christ,” the Jews obviously understood His claim to deity when He said “I and the Father are one.”
That’s why the Jews have picked up stones to stone Him
Jesus asks them a question
Jesus wants to know which miracle is prompting them to pick up stones to stone Him
“Imagine if Rembrandt went back to elementary school. He gets his report card and notices that among all of the As he has an F in art class. He goes to the kindergarten art teacher and spreads out all of his finest paintings on the table in front of her. All over the walls are plastered the scribbling and finger-painting efforts of kindergarten students. He points down at his priceless masterpieces. ‘Which one of these beautiful pictures,’ he asks, ‘is the reason I failed your class?’ Here Jesus, the perfect Son of God, is living in the midst of a wicked, godless world. Every action, every word, and every conversation is spotless. Not only is he free from sin, but he travels around healing the helpless – restoring sight to the blind, making the lame walk, and curing the leper. He spreads his works out on the table in the sight of these men and says in effect, ‘Which one of these beautiful works is the reason you want to kill me?’” [Carter & Wredberg, Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in John, 224]
We know of a few miracles in the Gospel of John up to this point
Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11)
Jesus heals a Government Official’s son (John 4:46-54)
Jesus heals a lame man by the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-18)
Jesus feeds five thousand (John 6:1-14)
Jesus heals a man born blind (John 9:1-12)
We know that Jesus probably performed many other miracles, but John has only highlighted these five, in His Gospel, so far
Jesus wants to know which of the miracles He has performed is the reason for their desire to stone Him
Jesus’ works prove His words.
The Jews reason for their desire to stone Jesus
The Jews explain that it’s not Jesus’ works (miracles), but His words that have them upset and ready to stone Him (they can’t deny the miracles He has performed, because there are too many witnesses)
They are accusing Him of blasphemy
They obviously don’t connect His miracles with deity or being from God, which is why they say that He is a mere man
This is the belief of many in our culture today
They believe that Jesus was just a mere man
He was a good person, a great teacher, an incredible prophet of God
They refuse to acknowledge that He is God, that He is divine
They strip Jesus of His deity and make Him a mere man, in their eyes
The Jews recognized Jesus’ claim, when He said, I and the Father are one.”
A mere man is claiming to be God
“They think Jesus is a man who is making himself God (v. 33). They’ve tragically reversed the truth. He’s God who made himself a man.” [Carter & Wredberg, 225]
The form of punishment for blasphemy was stoning [Burge, The NIV Application Commentary, John, 297]
Leviticus 24:13-16, Then the Lord said to Moses: “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.’”
The Jews have the right punishment for blasphemy, but Jesus has not committed that offense
Jesus’ works prove His words.
Jesus uses Scripture to defend His claim (vv. 34-36)
Jesus quotes Psalm 82:6 in His defense
Debbie Hilling read the entire Psalm this morning
Psalm 82:6-7, “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High. But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.”
The rulers and judges of Israel were called “gods” and “sons of God” (Most High) by God, Himself
They were given those designations, because they had received God’s word and were responsible with making judgements, based on God’s Word, for the Israelites
Exodus 4:16, He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him (speaking of Aaron and Moses)
God had referred to human beings as “gods”
So, Jesus’ perfect argument goes something like this: “If God referred to your ancestors, who were rulers and judges, as god, then how can claiming that God and I are One, be blasphemy?”
Two important facts that Jesus presents to the Jews
Scripture cannot be broken
PRINCIPLE #1 – God’s Word is perfect.
Do you believe that today?
When I worked for a Savings & Loan in Florida, I remember being asked by a fellow employee how I could believe that God brought all the animals two-by-two to the ark
I responded by saying, “I don’t know how God did it, but I believe that it happened.”
That’s what faith is – believing in something without seeing it
I don’t question the validity or truthfulness of God’s Word, because I believe it is perfect, without error or contradiction
When someone begins to question the validity or truthfulness of God’s Word, then it no longer holds the status of being perfect in their eyes
They can and will begin to question other parts of the Bible and before long their faith in God is gone
Where are you today as it pertains to the God’s Word?
Perhaps someone at school or work has shared, what seems to be, compelling information that proves God’s Word can’t be trusted and isn’t true
Most of the time those compelling arguments are a result of incorrect information or interpretation of God’s Word
I would encourage you to take this next step
My Next Step Today Is To: Reaffirm in my heart and mind that God’s Word is perfect, true, and trustworthy.
If you already believe that God’s Word is perfect, true, and trustworthy, then I would encourage you to take this next step
My Next Step Today Is To: Thank the Lord for His Word.
The Jews would have agreed with Jesus that Scripture cannot be broken, which means that Jesus cannot be accused of blasphemy
God had sanctified (set apart) Him and sent Him into the world
The Jews would have understood from the Torah that God had promised to send the Christ (the Messiah) into the world – they believed that
They just didn’t recognize and believe that Jesus was the Christ
That didn’t change the fact that God had set Jesus apart as the One who would redeem humanity and fulfill His promise
It didn’t change the fact that God had sent Jesus into the world
Jesus’ argument probably has the Jews thinking seriously about who He is, so He encourages them to just believe in Him
Just believe (vv. 37-39)
I wish we could have heard Jesus’ tone of voice at this point, because my guess is that His tone was one of pleading with the Jews to believe
Don’t believe me
If I don’t do what my Father does, then don’t believe in Me
This would certainly be an indication that Jesus was not from God
He would have been a false prophet or teacher trying to direct them away from God
So, they obviously shouldn’t believe in Him or follow Him
Believe the miracles
While Jesus doesn’t say it directly here, He is saying to them, “Even though you don’t believe my words, believe the works (miracles) from the Father
“Jesus’ works were the window into his words.” [Borchert, The New American Commentary, John 1-11, 344]
PRINCIPLE #2 – God’s people recognize His Son through His miracles.
If you believe the miracles from the Father, you will understand that the Father is in me, and I’m in the Father
“Interestingly, coming to understand is presented as the result, rather than condition, of believing.” [Köstenberger, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, John, 317]
This takes us back to last week’s Big Idea, Faith opens our eyes to believe God’s words and works
Sometimes we have to take the step of faith without having all of our questions answered and then we will be able to understand that Jesus’ works prove His words
PRINCIPLE #3– Jesus and God are One!
Jesus’ works prove His words.
Our works should prove our words
Is that true of us today?
Does what we say and do match?
Do our actions prove that we are a follower/disciple of Jesus Christ?
Would someone question our claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ by how we act or react to certain situations?
Perhaps they would question our claim of being a disciple of Jesus Christ by what we say
I wish we could all live perfect lives without making mistakes, but that’s not reality
1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Even how we handle our mistakes proves whether or not we’re a true disciple of Jesus Christ
Do we readily admit when we’re wrong?
Have we apologized for being wrong?
Are we willing to return to the person we have wronged and ask for forgiveness?
If we’ve shared incorrect information with others about someone else, have we done everything in our power to correct that information?
My Next Step Today Is To: Make sure that my works and words prove that I’m a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
Even though Jesus is pleading with the Jews to believe in Him, they aren’t quite ready to take that step yet
Reaction of the Jews
They try to seize Jesus either to stone Him or to arrest Him
Jesus escapes their grasp, because it’s still not God’s timing for Him to be put on trial and killed
While the Jews in Jerusalem have rejected Him, there are other Jews who will accept Him
Accepted (vv. 40-42)
We see that when Jesus escaped their grasp that He didn’t hang around Jerusalem anymore
John tells us that He went back to where He was introduced by John the Baptist
It was in Bethany, on the other side of the Jordan – this would have been on the eastern side of the Jordan River
He stayed there
We don’t know exactly how long Jesus stayed on the eastern side of the Jordan
We know that, according to John, He didn’t return to Jerusalem until it was time for His arrest, trial, and crucifixion
As we’ll see in coming weeks, He did go to Bethany, just outside of Jerusalem, to bring Lazarus back to life
Many people came to Him while He was there
Not everyone was angry and upset with Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God
I’m certain that those who believed in Him were following Him from place to place
But there were others, who were perhaps still trying to make up their minds, that were following Him too
The people who lived on the other side of the Jordan would have come to see Jesus and hear Him teach, as well
Those who came to Jesus were saying the same thing, “We never saw John perform a miraculous sign, but everything that he told us about You, Jesus, was true!”
Certainly, John the Baptist told them more than John the Gospel writer recorded, but we do know what John recorded
Michaels outlines it well [Michaels, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, The Gospel of John, 611]
Jesus is “the Lamb of God” (1:29)
Jesus is “the Son of God” (1:34)
Jesus is “the bridegroom” to whom “the bride” belonged (3:29)
The Spirit was his “without measure” (3:34)
The Father loved him and gave him all things (3:35)
Only those who believe in Him have eternal life (3:36)
Jesus will “take away the sin of the world” (1:29) [we know that this happened even though it hadn’t happened yet for them]
Jesus will “baptize in the Holy Spirit” (1:33) [we know this happened, but it hadn’t happened for them yet]
PRINCIPLE #4 – Our testimony about Jesus should be true and draw people to Him.
Is everything we share with others, about Jesus, true?
Are we enthusiastic about our relationship with Jesus and what He has done for us?
Is that evident when we talk with others about Jesus?
Think for a moment about something you’re passionate about
How do you talk about with other people?
Most often it is with enthusiasm and excitement
Our voice raises and we may talk faster
If you really like a song, you download it and listen it to over and over again, you tell your friends about it, and you know all the words
Do we do the same thing with our relationship with Jesus
That’s how we should be sharing Jesus with others
My Next Step Today Is To: Share the truths about Jesus with excitement and enthusiasm, so others will be drawn to Him.
Perhaps it was the cumulative effect of knowing, that everything John the Baptist said was true, that motivated the crowd to believe in Jesus
While Jesus was on the eastern side of the Jordan River, many believed in Him
Do you believe that God’s Word is perfect, true, and trustworthy?
Do you recognize that Jesus and God are one through the miracles that God has done?
Is your testimony about Jesus true and does it draw people to Him?
These three truths are important for us to accept and hold to as a body of believers
These truths are important for us to share with those in our sphere of influence
As we saw in the opening illustration, Gabriel’s father had a scar tattooed on his head to match his son’s scar. As followers of Jesus Christ, His cross should be tattooed on our hearts.
We are all children of God when we believe in Jesus by faith. We are His sons and daughters. We should strive to do and say the things He does and says. Others should be able to say of us, “Like Father, Like Son” or “Like Father, Like Daughter.”