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I and the Father Are One, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2021 3:00 am

I and the Father Are One, Part 1

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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Why don't people believe? It's not because there's not evidence.

It's because they hate the light, because the light exposes their sin. Jesus says this, the world hates Me because I testify of it that its deeds are evil. So, who is Jesus?

That question will get many answers. Some would say Jesus is the most influential teacher in history, or the perfect example of love, or simply a person like anyone else. But what does the Bible say about him?

And what do you need to know about Jesus if you truly want to honor, serve, and love him? Find out today as John MacArthur continues his study, Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture. But before the lesson, John, we started a new month of broadcasts today, and there's much to look forward to in March, including a brand new series. So tell our listeners what they'll hear if they tune into Grace To You in the Days Ahead.

Well, thank you, Phil. Here's a quick glimpse of what's coming today through Friday. We're going to continue our study from the Gospel of John, chapter 9 and 10, on Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture. Fascinating look, obviously, at the most wondrous, compelling person, past, present, and future of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then next Monday, March 8, we're going to start a study taken from Luke 11, and it's called Don't Be Afraid to Ask, the subtitle, God's Surprising Desire to Answer Bold Prayers. That's a great subtitle, God's Surprising Desire to Answer Bold Prayers. This series, by the way, had a significant impact on the congregation of our church, and I think you'll see why as you listen to it.

Don't be surprised if your view of prayer changes in a profound way. And then, March 11, all the way through April 2, we're going to be focusing on the resurrection, so it's going to be a new study, The Divine Drama of Redemption. This is something we have never aired before on Grace To You, and as we start closing in on Resurrection Sunday, we're going to launch a brand new study, and this one is based on Mark's account of the resurrection, which, of course, is the turning point of redemptive history. From the upper room to Gethsemane to our Lord's trial, execution, and resurrection, you're going to see it all from Mark's viewpoint, the inspired writer of that gospel. The title, again, The Divine Drama of Redemption.

While Mark does cover the entire story of the resurrection, he gets through the narrative in fewer verses than the other writers, and Mark delivers us the fast account, but it's inspired by God for our edification. So we're going to hit all that rich content in the next three weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday. Great days ahead.

Stay with us. Yes, friend, I hope you can tune in all this month with studies on the person of Christ, prayer, and the cross and resurrection. These next weeks are packed with practical biblical truth that will help you fight sin and know God's glorious love in a deeper, more meaningful way. And so with that, let's get back to our current study titled Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture.

And here's John. In John chapter 1, verse 49, Nathaniel 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. 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. 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 are 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. 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 that took place in Jerusalem. All the great feasts took place there. 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 Jewish, 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. 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, 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Now, let's go back to John. It is then the 25th of Kislev, and the Feast of Dedication is being celebrated at Jerusalem, commemorating this great deliverance, the Feast of Lights, Hanukkah. And then verse 23 says this, it was winter. That's very stark. It was winter.

When I read that earlier in the week, I just kind of stopped there and thought about it. It was winter not only on the calendar, November, December, but it was winter spiritually. The son of righteousness who had arisen with healing in his beams had run his orbit and faded back to blackness. It was winter on the calendar, and it was winter in the hearts of the Jews. Because it was winter, Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon.

I told you in our study of Acts, that's mentioned in Acts 4 and 5. When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, 586, they destroyed the temple. But they didn't destroy that back wall on the eastern side, that 600 feet of retaining wall. That was left from the original Solomonic temple, and so it was called the porch of Solomon. In front of that wall, they built a great patio porch, put 40-foot high colonnades and a roof, and that's where people would need to go when they came to the temple if it was winter. And in the winter in Israel, it can rain. It can become very cold. It can snow in Jerusalem at the altitude.

Winter becomes a little bit of a metaphor of the spiritual reality. So Jesus is walking in that part of the temple, which is all that was left of the massive glorious temple of Solomon. This is His final public appearance.

The rest is going to be private. Verse 40 says after this, He went away. He went away, and He went away for three months. And when He came back, it was raise Lazarus, come into the city. A week later, crucifixion, resurrection. This is a very significant moment.

It really is winter. So they are celebrating. They are celebrating their great human deliverer while murdering their Savior.

Amazing. Confrontation, as I said, begins with a question. Verse 24, the Jews then gathered around Him and were saying to Him, how long will You keep us in suspense?

If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly. You know, that is just so hypocritical. How long will You keep us in suspense?

Wait a minute. They had already tried to kill Him three times when He said before Abraham was, I am. They picked up stones to throw at Him, to snuff out His life.

They knew exactly who He claimed to be. But again, this is all pretense to extract a blasphemous declaration by which they can enact their violence. How long will You keep us in suspense?

Just drips with sarcasm. If You're the Messiah, tell us plainly. By the way, He's been gone for two months. Between verse 21 and 22 is two months from the prior feast to this one. We've gone from September, October, to November, December, and all it takes is for Him to show up, and their hate is initially activated. It's as if they held onto that hate at such a fever pitch that just the sight of Him activated the confrontation.

How deep is their hatred that after two months their desire to kill Him is completely activated by just the sight of Him? He had made claims to being God, to being the Son of God over and over and over and over. We've read them in chapter 5. We've seen them in chapter 6. We've seen them in chapter 8.

They were constant, calling Himself the Son of God constantly through His whole ministry. So their question is really a fraud. There's no integrity. So the first scene here then is the confrontation, and that confrontation is marked by an inquiry.

The second scene then comes in verse 25 and following. It's the claim. That's the pattern. They have a question. He makes a claim. The claim is deity. The claim is deity. But before He makes that claim explicitly in verse 30, let's just, wow, we're out of time, but that's all right.

Look at verse 25. Jesus answered them, I told you. I told you. You don't believe.

That's the problem. You don't believe. I told you. You don't believe. And not only did I tell you, but the works that I do in My Father's name, these testify of Me. But you do not believe. Stop right there at that point in verse 26.

I told you. You don't believe. The works that I do testify, but you don't believe. I mean, this is the point, folks. They don't believe.

Why? You say, well, all that evidence, all that, all those miracles, Nicodemus, you know, no man can do what you do except God be with him. You're a teacher sent from God. Why don't they believe? Let's go back to John 3, and we'll close on this principle. John 3 16, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Okay, you believe. That's why John wrote this gospel, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have eternal life in His name.

Okay? So if you believe, you have eternal life. Verse 17, God didn't send a son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged. He who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. It's clear who He is. It's clear who He claimed to be. He is God in human flesh. He has the same nature as God.

Believe that. But this is the judgment that the light has come into the world, and here's why they don't believe. Men loved darkness rather than light, for their deeds were evil. And everyone who does evil hates the light and doesn't come to the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. Why don't people believe?

It's not because there's not evidence. It's because they hate the light, because the light exposes their sin. Why are people angry with Christians? Why do people persecute Christians for the very same reason that they persecuted Jesus? Jesus says this, the world hates Me because I testify of it that its deeds are evil, John 7 said.

That is a definitive statement. Do you want to know why the world is hostile toward us? Because we testify that the deeds of the world are evil. They don't want to hear that. Adulterers don't want to hear that. Homosexuals don't want to hear that. Liars, thieves don't want to hear that. Corrupt people don't want to hear that.

Why? Because they love the darkness. Their deeds are evil. They love their sin. It is the love of sin that produces unbelief. And you can unload evidence, but unless a heart is turned to hate sin, there's not going to be any faith.

These Jewish people, like all people, love sin. On the other hand, Jesus said this in John 7, 17. If anyone is willing to do God's will, he will know of the teaching, whether it's of God or whether I speak from myself.

What makes a difference? If you love your sin, you will hate the gospel. If you desire to do the will of God, which means you hunger for righteousness, you will know the truth and you will believe it. Listen, you can talk about apologetics all you want. You can talk about defenses of the faith all you want.

It's a sin issue. The evidence is in. The evidence is clear. The life of Christ manifestly declared that He is God in human flesh.

There is no other explanation. Men love sin, and they hate righteousness, and they hate anyone who testifies about their sin. Why in our culture are people so angry at Christianity? Because we testify that their deeds are evil. We don't have a choice, and until they accept that testimony, they will not run into the arms of God.

You don't believe. You hate me because I tell you what you have to hear, what you must hear, and what you hate to hear. The one thing Christianity can't do is change its message, stop being offensive. We are the most offensive people on the planet with the most outrageously offensive message that's ever been given by anyone. We testify to people that their deeds are evil, that they love their sin and their darkness, and that judgment will take them to hell. That's our message.

It is the love of sin and the hatred of righteousness that produces unbelief, even when all the evidence is there. Our hearts are certainly moved by the truth. It comes across with such clarity and such power, such urgency.

It's not possible really to think about these things without reverence, without a sense of holy fear, the seriousness of matters that relate to the soul. I can only pray, Lord, that this message, this truth heard today or any other time in the future will be useful to the Spirit of God to alarm sinners, alarm the unconverted, terrify those who are in the darkness and love the darkness. The light has come. The Son of Righteousness rose with healing in His beams. The Son of Righteousness ran a magnificent, blazing, brilliant orbit of light around Israel, and men chose the darkness.

And then it was winter, and the light was gone. Even Jesus Himself said the light would go out. Lord, we look at the world around us, and we thank You that Your grace is still extended to sinners.

It has been to us. We ask that the light would shine again brightly in our world, that the people of the light would be faithful to the hard message as well as to the compassionate message of grace that comes behind it. We ask that You would be glorified by opening the hearts of sinners, shattering the darkness, bringing in the light. May the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ shine in the hearts of many, dispelling the darkness, the love of sin, and replacing it with the love of righteousness, with forgiveness and eternal life. Thank You for lifting us up, for elevating us above the mundane. Bless every life here, every soul, and accomplish Your will through each one to the praise of Your glory, we pray in Christ's name.

Amen. That's Grace to You with John MacArthur. He's the pastor of Grace Community Church. He's chancellor of the Master's University and Seminary, and today he continued his study from John chapter 9 and 10, titled Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture.

Now, this is a study that you're going to benefit from over and over again as you go through it at your own pace. Whether you're a new believer or seasoned in the faith, knowing what Scripture reveals about the person of Christ will invigorate your worship, increase your love for others, and help you grow in holiness. So to get a copy of Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture, or to download it, contact us today.

This eight CD album is reasonably priced. You can order it by calling 800-55-GRACE, or you can order online at GTY.org. That's our website, and that's where you can go if you'd like to download every lesson in Rediscovering the Christ of Scripture free of charge. And remember, those lessons are just a handful of the sermons in our archive. John has preached through the entire New Testament and many parts of the Old Testament 3500 messages available now at GTY.org.

Take advantage of them. And thanks too for remembering that we are listener supported. Your gifts help us take God's word to people around the world through this radio broadcast, through Grace To You television, and with thousands of resources that are available for free at our website. To partner with us, mail your tax-deductible donation to Grace To You, Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412, or donate online at GTY.org. Or call our toll-free number at 800-55-GRACE. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for making this broadcast part of your day, and be here tomorrow when John continues his study on the true identity of Christ. It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-20 03:50:33 / 2023-12-20 03:59:55 / 9

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