Share This Episode
Grace To You John MacArthur Logo

I and the Father Are One, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2021 3:00 am

I and the Father Are One, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1115 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

February 26, 2021 3:00 am

Renewing Your Mind
R.C. Sproul
Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram
Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram
Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram

I and the Father are one. The oneness that Jesus is claiming is not oneness in purpose. It is not oneness in theological agreement. The oneness that He is talking about is oneness in nature, oneness in essence. I and the Father are one. A famous movie features an all-star cast frantically looking for money buried under something called the Big W. But only when they're far enough away do they realize what the Big W is.

It's four palm trees in a W shape. That dip into the Hollywood archives to say it's possible to be so close to something that you can't see it clearly, or you miss it altogether. And that can be true in your relationship with Christ, even if you've been walking with Him for years. The words of Christ and the great doctrines of our faith can become so familiar that they kind of lose their power. So even if you're a long-time believer, and certainly if you're a new Christian, I think you'll benefit from John MacArthur's message today on grace to you as he examines these stunning words from Christ. Jesus said, I and the Father are one. The title of John's series, Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture.

And now, here's John MacArthur. Open your Bible to the 10th chapter of the gospel of John. Chapter 10 is John's final picture of Jesus' public ministry, final picture. Now we remember that the purpose of John is not to give us every detail about the life of Jesus.

John closes his gospel by saying, if he wrote down everything that Jesus did, the books of the world couldn't contain it. So what we have here is a short look at the life of Christ with a specific purpose. And the purpose is given in chapter 20 and verse 31. These have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. There's a historical element that you may know that He's the Son of God.

There's a spiritual element that you may believe and have eternal life. That's John's purpose. There's plenty here to prove Jesus is the Messiah, the long-awaited anointed King that God will send, the Redeemer. There's enough here to know that He is God in human flesh.

There's enough here to believe that and by believing it have eternal life. That's John's purpose. So the opening 10 chapters of this gospel lay out primarily the claims of Jesus.

John starts in chapter 1. The Word was with God. The Word was God.

The Word became flesh. That's John's testimony. And we have the testimony of John the Baptist concerning the Messiah, the Redeemer, the Lamb of God. We have the testimony of the early apostles. We have found Him.

We have found Him. We have found the One who is Messiah, the Son of God. The whole purpose of John's gospel is to declare the deity of Jesus Christ.

This then in chapter 10 is the clearest, most explicit statement of the deity of Christ. Look at verse 30 of John 10. I and the Father are one.

I and the Father are one. The oneness that Jesus is claiming is not oneness in purpose. It is not oneness in mission. It is not oneness in theological agreement.

The oneness that He is talking about is oneness in nature, oneness in essence, oneness in being. And that has clearly been declared through the whole of the epistle. John 1, 1, in the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. Verse 14, the Word became flesh, dwelled among us. We saw His glory.

What glory was it? The glory as of the prototokos, the premier one from the Father, full of grace and truth, declaration of His absolute deity. In the fifth chapter, you remember verse 17. He said, my Father is working until now, and I myself am working. I do what the Father does.

I have the prerogatives, the authority, the right, the power, the being to do exactly what God does. They understood what He was saying. Verse 18, for this reason, therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. So let the Jews tell us, the enemies of Jesus, what He meant when He called Himself Son of God. They knew what He meant.

He was claiming to have the same essence as God, as a son has the same essence as his Father. Now, this infuriated the Jews, this claim to deity, as we all know. And as a result, they try to kill Him. They try to kill Him on the spot.

Their fury reaches a fever pitch where they become like a mass of vigilantes who want to snuff out His life. And by the time we get to the end of chapter 10, for the fourth time, they will have designs on killing Him on the spot, and He will have to escape. Verse 39 of chapter 10 tells us that. At the end of chapter 8, they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. At the end of chapter 10, verse 39, they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp. Back in chapter 7, just as another illustration, verse 1, the Jews were seeking to kill Him.

This is a steady, relentless desire on their part to reach some escalated moment when, in the eyes of the crowds, they will be justified in executing Him on the spot. They knew exactly what He was intending to say when He said He was the Son of God. They knew He was claiming the same essence as God. That's how they used the expression, Son of. If someone was called a Son of Belial, He would be manifesting the same wicked nature as Satan. If someone was called, as James and John were, Sons of Thunder, it meant that they had a volatility.

They had a disposition of volatility. To say you're the Son of God is to claim to have the same essence as God Himself. In John 1, verse 34, the testimony of John, I myself have seen and testified that this is the Son of God. In John chapter 1, verse 49, Nathanael says, Rabbi, you are the Son of God. This is how clearly Jesus had declared who He was. It was absolutely unmistakable.

So when we come to chapter 10, we're not at all surprised that this has become a huge issue. Verse 31, Jesus makes the most clear, precise declaration, I and the Father are one. Verse 31, the Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus stops them. He answered and said, I showed you many good works from the Father, for which of them are you stoning Me? The Jews answered Him, for a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy.

And because you, being a man, make yourself out to be God. They had no doubt what He was claiming, absolutely no doubt. They had come to understand that Jesus was claiming to be God, the great I Am, the Creator Himself, the one true, eternal God in human flesh. The other writers of the gospels affirm this. Matthew in chapter 1, verse 23, introduces the child as Immanuel, which is God with us. Mark 1, 1, Mark begins his history, the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Luke launches in chapter 1 a description of the birth of the child and identifies the child as the holy child, the Son of God.

John 1, 1, He was God. Listen, any identification, any identification of Jesus by anyone, anytime that makes Him less than God is blasphemy. It is blasphemy. The leaders of Israel had turned blasphemy on its head. They had turned Jesus into a blasphemer when they were the blasphemers for denying His deity. They accused Him of blasphemy, and they knew that blasphemy, genuine blasphemy had a death penalty placed upon it. Leviticus 24, 16, the blasphemers to be stoned to death. In their minds, Jesus was a blasphemer.

In reality, they were the blasphemers. So is anyone who denies the nature of Christ as God. John certainly features this in his gospel, but he also is clear about it in his epistle. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father. The one who confesses the Son has the Father. You get the Son and the Father as one, or you are cursed.

You are cursed. You are a blasphemer. You are antichrist. Any view of Christ that is less than God is an antichrist statement. It was for blasphemy, really, in the end that these leaders of Israel had dogged His steps and eventually got Him to a Roman cross.

It was blasphemy. At the end of chapter 22 of Luke, Jesus is before the Sanhedrin. And they say to Him, are You the Son of God then? And He said to them, yes, I am.

Yes, I am. And He said the I am, the name of God, again. And then they said, what further need do we have of testimony?

We have heard it ourselves from His own mouth. And the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate. And they trumped up some lie about Him overthrowing Caesar to get Pilate involved. But it was blasphemy that they accused Him of because He said He was God. So here again, as we look at John 10, it's the same issue. John 19, 7 puts it this way. The Jews said, we have a law, Leviticus 24, 16, and by that law, He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God. Execution because of blasphemy. Now at this point, we're in John 10, the blasphemy is fixed. And Jesus is not the blasphemer.

They are. Here is John's final scene in our Lord's public ministry. He has displayed His deity through His words and works day after day after day, three years across Israel. Words clearly from heaven, no one ever spoke like Him.

Works clearly from heaven. Nicodemus summed it up when he said, no one can do the things you do unless God is with him. But the nation of Israel, the Jews, led by the apostate sons of Satan who had devised and perpetrated a damning form of Judaism, were producing sons of hell. And collectively, the nation rejects Christ in the face of all the evidence. This was prophesied, by the way. This is no surprise at all because if you go back to that beloved Isaiah 53, it begins this way as it looks prophetically at the arrival of Christ, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed.

A prophecy that they wouldn't believe and they didn't. And then Isaiah goes on to say, we looked at Him and He was nothing. He was less than nothing. We esteemed Him not.

We hid our faces from Him. He was despicable. The whole nation had been led by its leaders to see Him as a blasphemer. And by the way, He is either God or He is a blasphemer.

There's really nothing in the middle. The constant rejection of the leaders and the people has been chronicled in every chapter of John. In chapter 1, He came unto His own, His own received Him not. In chapter 2, there's a massive conflict between Him and the leaders of Israel when He goes in and assaults the corruption of the temple. We see the same hostility in chapter 3. We see it again in 4. We see it in 5. We see it in 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. And 12 is the last chapter before the upper room discourse. So at the very end of public encounters during Passion Week, the same hateful hostility exists. It culminates here in chapter 10. So that in verses 22 to 42, this final section, we really see John summing up the rejection of the Son of God, the Messiah, by the people of Israel. There are five scenes here, and I don't want to rush through them.

There's so much profound theological truth here. The first scene is confrontation. I'll just call it.

We'll give you some C's as we go. Confrontation. And confrontation happened all the time, all the time. And by the way, we're in the feast section of John's gospel. It started in chapter 5, chapter 5, verse 1. And John is showing these confrontations, these encounters, these points of rejection at feasts. We're in Jerusalem.

We're in the temple. And the feasts, you remember starting in chapter 5, again in chapter 7, and now as we come to chapter 10, verse 22, there's another feast. So we're in the season of feasts, and John uses those for the episodes that describe this rejection. Now, just a word to say about confrontations. The leaders of Israel confronted Jesus frequently.

You see that in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, as well as John. And they like to confront Him with a question. So we'll say, this is confrontation by means of an inquiry. They would come and ask a question. Now, you might say, well, that's a good thing, except for the fact that they had such corrupt motives. They had no desire for information. They had no desire for clarification. They only wanted to put Him in a public situation where He would say something that was so blasphemous they would be justified in taking His life.

The pattern then is familiar. They confront Him. They propose a question. He answers the question, reiterates His claim to be the Son of God, to be the Messiah.

They react with unbelief, fury, anger, seek to grab Him, kill Him on the spot, and He escapes in chapter 10 for the fourth time. And it happened at these feasts. And the reason they made issues out of these feasts, and John makes issues out of them, is because that would be a place where they could get some public outcry going, and they could manipulate the crowd.

So let's look at the setting. Verse 22, at that time, it was the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem. All the great feasts took place there. You might not have heard of the Feast of Dedication. If you're looking for the Feast of Dedication in the Old Testament, it's not there. It's not an Old Testament feast. It's now two months after the Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths, which celebrated the wilderness wandering, and that was September-Octoberish in the Jewish calendar. So we're now two months later, and this is the Feast of Dedication. This is the last annual feast each year, if you go by our calendar, that the Jews celebrate.

It has another name. It is also called Feast of Lights, and the contemporary Jewish word for that is Hanukkah. We all know about Hanukkah. Why did they call it the Feast of Lights? Because the way they celebrated it was to light candles and lamps in all their houses as a symbol of their celebration.

It always happens on the Jewish calendar, 25th day of Kislev, which is a November-December calendar time, 25th day of Kislev. While it's not an Old Testament feast, it has a very interesting tradition that predates the New Testament. You do remember that between the Old Testament and the New Testament, there's a 400-year period.

We refer to it, obviously, as the intertestamental period. The last prophet in the Old Testament goes silent. There's no prophecy, no revelation until John the Baptist shows up, and the word of the Lord comes to Zacharias and Elizabeth about John, and then you have the story of Christ. But in the middle, there's 400 years. That was 400 very, very difficult years for the Jews, very difficult. They were apostate, rejected God, went through lots of judgment, lots of suffering.

But it sort of reached an epic level around 170 years before Christ, so 160 to 170 B.C. A man came along, a Syrian monarch, a very powerful Syrian monarch. Syria is not a new enemy to Israel. This Syrian monarch was named Antiochus, and he was like all of them. He was a narcissistic, self-promoting madman, and so he called himself Antiochus Epiphanes, which means Antiochus, the supreme one. The people changed one letter and called him Antiochus Epiphanes, which means the madman. So this Syrian ruler, Antiochus, powerful ruler, a devotee of Greek culture, and he wants power over Israel. He wants what the modern Syrians want, what the modern Middle Eastern Arabic world wants. He wants Israel, and he is the first pagan king who ever persecuted Jews for their religion.

He's the first. He was a devotee of Greek culture, which means he was polytheistic, multiple gods. In 167 B.C., he made a law, and he imposed that law on everybody, and it was a law that was essentially called Hellenization from the Greek word elene, which means Greek, or nations, or Gentiles. He wanted to Hellenize everybody. He wanted to standardize everybody, and the Jews wouldn't accept pagan religion. So he entered Jerusalem with a mighty force in 170 B.C., and he conquered the temple, and immediately went inside the temple into the Holy of Holies and slaughtered a pig in the Holy of Holies.

Then he erected a statue of Zeus there. That was the start of a systematic effort to stamp out Judaism. He was brutal in his oppression of the Jews, and by the way, as they always do, they clung tenaciously to their religion.

Under his direction, they were slaughtered. They were required to make sacrifices to pagan gods or die. They were not allowed to read or possess any portion of Old Testament Scripture. Wherever Old Testament scrolls could be found, they were collected and burned. They were forbidden to give any kind of honor on the Sabbath day.

They were forbidden to circumcise their children. Savage persecution caused the pious Jews to revolt, as you would expect, fight back, and they were led by a priest named Mattathias, and Mattathias had sons. One of his sons was a man named Judas Maccabeus, and under the leadership of this really effective, powerful warrior leader Judas Maccabeus, the Jews retook Jerusalem. Interestingly enough, it was on the 25th of Kislev that they liberated the temple, rededicated it, and established the feast of dedication to commemorate the liberation of the temple, the rededication of the temple. And there's some historical information that Antiochus did what he did on the 25th of Kislev, and they liberated it on the 25th of Kislev years later. So that date became an important date. This is Grace to You with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us. John's been our featured teacher for over five decades. He's also Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary, and he's titled his series Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture. John, there are a lot of people who say they don't believe Jesus is God, but they do believe he was a good and noble teacher. And I've heard you say many times that that's an untenable position. It's illogical. You can't really consistently hold the view that Jesus was good if he wasn't God.

So talk about that for a minute. Yeah, if somebody came up to you and said, I'm God, your first reaction would not be, well, he must be a good person. Your first reaction would be, he's insane. He's lost his mind. You don't have that option with Jesus.

I think it was C.S. Lewis who said he's either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord of all. We know he's not a liar because no one ever spoke the truth the way he spoke it. We know he's not a lunatic when he claimed to be God because he demonstrated it. He demonstrated it by showing power over Satan, power over disease, power over death, and he rose from the dead himself, which leaves us with only one possibility. He is who he claims to be. Nobody could say, I'm God, and be believed unless he could validate that, and that's exactly what our Lord Jesus did. In fact, the whole purpose of the Gospels, the whole purpose of the rest of the New Testament, is to demonstrate by divine revelation that Jesus is who he claimed to be and did what he claimed to do. This is so foundational, so critical. I've been talking about it all week.

I'm going to do it one more time today. We have a book called The Deity of Christ. It is the starting point of the Gospel. You may think you know who Jesus is, but if you're wrong, you end up in hell because you must believe the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ.

That means that if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and confessed with your mouth, Jesus as Lord, you will be saved. Apart from that, there's no salvation. So get a copy of The Deity of Christ, and here's the good news. We'll send it to you free if you've never contacted Grace To You before. Request the free book, The Deity of Christ.

We'll be glad to send one your way. Nothing is more critical than knowing the truth about Jesus. This book, The Deity of Christ, is great for personal study and for reading with your family. And again, it's free if you've never contacted us before. Ask for your copy today.

Call our toll-free number 800-55-GRACE or go to our website, The book will help you answer questions like how can I know Jesus is God? And how should that truth affect my day-to-day life?

And what are some key Bible passages for explaining to others that Jesus is God? Remember, we'll send you this book free if you've never contacted us before. Ask for it by name, The Deity of Christ. When you call 800-55-GRACE or you can make your request at the website, And when you get in touch, let us know how God is using John's current study, Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture, to help you better understand Christ's incredible grace and to strengthen your love for Him. We want to hear stories like that, so send your email to letters at That's our email once more, letters at Or you can write to Grace To You, Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412. Now for John MacArthur and the Grace To You staff, I'm Phil Johnson, reminding you to watch Grace To You television with your family this Sunday. Check your local listings for channel and times, and then be here each day next week for another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-21 01:58:08 / 2023-12-21 02:07:38 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime