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Gems in the Gospel of John

Part 59 – John 14:10

Jesus and God

Between the three-fold I AM statement and one of the most amazing things Jesus ever said we have his remarkable statement of affinity with the Father in 14:10. He says, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” Once again we are back to the sort of statement that Westerners find so difficult because of their individualism. But to much of the rest of the world this is thoroughly understandable, including those parts of the world that try to argue that God has to be just one -arithmetically thinking. The God we worship is both the Father God and Jesus God (Before this chapter of the Gospel is finished we shall see that it also includes God the Holy Spirit, but we will leave him aside for the moment).

Undoubtedly the first Christians found that they wanted to worship Jesus and that raised the question of who was he?

Following Richard Bauckham – he says we should not worry about what a God was and is but should set about identifying who was and is God. ‘Who’ is more important than ‘what’. Identity is more important than substance and that seems to be a very important argument.

There were 2 supreme marks of God in Biblical thinking; 1) he was the Creator and 2) he is the Sovereign over all. Two things, apart from the person called God in the Old Testament, qualify on those criteria. They are the Word of God and the Wisdom of God. The Word of God was very active at the Creation. Everything was created because God ‘said’. Then in Psalm 104 we read that “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all” and there are many similar statements in the book of Proverbs. Both Word and Wisdom were present at the Creation and were therefore part of God and greater than any angel or anything else.

Jesus fits very well into that sort of scheme. As we have seen John says in 1: 1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made … “, he was present at the Creation. Paul says in Philippians 2 “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Jesus is moving towards a position of sovereignty over all. He qualifies on both counts, he is Creator and Sovereign. He is part of the one God. God includes Jesus, which is exactly what John reports him saying in these verses: “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”

When Paul wanted to talk about both God and Jesus he said something really astonishing in 1 Corinthians 8: 6. He said, “there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live”. If we strip out the sub-clauses we have ‘there is but one God, the Father; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ.” Every devout Jew said the Shema drawn from Deuteronomy 6: 4 “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” twice a day to emphasize to themselves that there was only one God. Paul, a thoroughly orthodox Jew, has modified the Shema to include Jesus. He said, “there is one God, the Father; and there is one Lord, Jesus Christ”. There could be no clearer statement of how Jesus is included in the Godhead. There is one God whose name is ‘the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

One final thing we need to note. What does all this mean in terms of what God is like? Amazingly, astonishingly, it means that God the Father is and was a God who was prepared to stoop to wash the disciples feet, to be displayed before all the world hanging on a Cross, and to die for his people, for us! This is the sort of God we have – WOW!

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