Unbelieving On Purpose
Read John 8:25-27 (ESV)
So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father.
Why do you think people reject Jesus today? Why does the question of who Jesus is matter so much?
As we’ve been walking with Jesus throughout the Gospel of John, we have seen Jesus prove His deity over and over again. Jesus had been showing the world exactly who He was from the moment He went public with His ministry. It should have been obvious to all, especially to the religious leaders who were well-versed in the Scriptures. If anyone should have been able to recognize the Messiah, it should have been them!
And yet, yesterday, we read that Jesus informed them that they would not be going where He was going. In other words, He was headed back to heaven to be with the Father and they were not. Jesus told them that unless they believed in Him, they would die in their sins. Today, we read their skeptical and possibly even sarcastic response: “Who are you?”
Was the implication: “Who are you to tell us whether or not we’ll go to heaven?” or was it more literally “Who are you?” The text doesn’t reveal their tone or intentions but it does reveal their continued unbelief. Despite everything Jesus had done to prove who He was, they still didn’t believe.
I’ve often heard people claim that Jesus never said He was God. As we’ve been discussing all throughout this study of John, that simply isn’t true. Jesus’ response to the Jewish religious leaders is that He had been telling them who He is from the very beginning of His ministry. They just stubbornly refused to believe He was God in the flesh, the Messiah, despite the overwhelming evidence. That is why Jesus said He had much to judge them for and that He declared to the world what the Father revealed to Him. But they still didn’t get it. They were willfully ignorant. They were unbelieving on purpose.
Unfortunately, that is true of many people today. They refuse to carefully examine the evidence for the truth of Christianity for themselves, even when eternity is at stake! But if they die in their sins only to discover that Christianity is, in fact, true, what will be their excuse?
When Jesus returns or we die, whichever comes first, we will not be able to claim ignorance. We won’t be able to make excuses. In Romans 1:18-20, Paul wrote: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
That is why the question of who Jesus is matters so much. What about you? Who do you believe Jesus is? Have you taken the time to investigate the truth for yourself?
Lord, I believe that You are who You have claimed to be from the very beginning–God in the flesh. I believe that You and the Father are One (John 10:30) and that You have existed eternally (John 8:58). I believe that the Father Himself testified that You are His beloved Son (Mark 1:11) and that you are the only way to the Father (John 14:6). You are my Lord and my God. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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