DEVOTION FOR FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2017
The Father Sent Me
G. Wells claimed that, from his perspective as a historian, “Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.” Many have agreed with Wells’s historical assessment, but they stop short of faith. Mahatma Gandhi said, “I cannot say that Jesus was uniquely divine. He was as much God as Krishna, or Rama, or Mohammed, or Zoroaster.”
Many still ask: Was Jesus indeed God, or was He merely an admirable man? In today’s passage, Jesus had just finished healing a paralytic man who had been lame for decades. The Jewish leaders were upset, not just because Jesus had performed this miracle on the Sabbath but also because He was assuming the role of divinity. This transgression particularly troubled them.
They were right. Jesus could not have put it more plainly. He had been sent by His Father. In verses 19 through 23, He explains how God had given Him authority over death and life and the authority to judge the sins of mankind. If you do not honor the Son, said Jesus, you do not honor the Father.
Graciously, Jesus extended an invitation to those who questioned Him. If they would believe in God, who sent Him, they would cross from death to life (v. 24). He urged them to believe, because time was short. Notice the repetitive phrase, “a time is coming” (vv. 25, 28). Judgment would come swiftly; would they be ready?
Abundant evidence pointed them to the Savior. They had been given John the Baptist who testified on His behalf (vv. 33–34). They had studied the Scriptures, given by God, yet did not recognize the Messiah (vv. 39–40). Some, no matter how much evidence was given to them, would refuse to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the Savior, the Messiah.
APPLY THE WORD
When you talk to people about your faith, begin by asking what they believe about Jesus. In his book Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell expounds on the argument made by C. S. Lewis: Jesus’ claims of divinity mean He could only be one of three things: a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Who do you say Jesus is? The answer determines your destiny.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries