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March 2, 2021 3:00 am
My sheep hear my voice and I give eternal life to them, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand but that is so airtight and absolute that there's just no escaping the reality of that chain of sovereign purpose and divine intention and that the deity of Christ was a doctrine invented by the church hundreds of years after Jesus earthly ministry. But when you look in the Bible does that view hold up under scrutiny.
Is there somewhere in Scripture where Jesus explicitly claims equality with the father John MacArthur answers those questions today on grace to you as he continues his series rediscovering the Christ of Scripture, and now with the lesson. Here's John MacArthur turned to the 10th chapter of the Gospel of John.
John chapter 10, 10th chapter of John is a turning point. As you know, in John's history. This is the chapter that records the last account, the John gives of the public ministry of Jesus at the end of this 10th chapter Jesus goes away for about three months and he spends the time with his disciples, he comes back in the 11th chapter and raises Lazarus from the dead.
Does a triumphal entry in the 12th chapter and then John records chapters 13 through 16. One night one night in the upper room the promises, the Lord gave to his disciples and all who would come after them, including us. The 17th chapter, then, is that incredible entry into the holy of holies the sanctuary of the private prayer and communion of Christ with his father, a great high priestly prayer that he prayed before his death. Chapter 18 is his arrest followed by his death in resurrection and then the restitution of Peter and the commissioning of the disciples ends at all in the final chapter so chapter 10 is critical because John wants to make sure nothing is left unclear in terms of the claims of Christ. This is in the census summation of what his purpose was, as he states it in chapter 20. In 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, John is amassing evidence that you might believe in order that you might have eternal life. Eternal life as we have been learning comes only through faith in Christ. So his purpose is culminating here in this 10th chapter and he wants to leave no mistake as to the claim Christ made and what is necessary to believe about him to receive eternal life. That is why you have the words in verse 30 looked at chapter 10 verse 30 I and the father are one, I and the father are one.
The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, I showed you many good works from the father, for which of them are you stoning me the Jews answered him for good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy and because you being a man. Make yourself out. God literally they knew exactly what he was going in verse 36 you are blaspheming are you accusing me of that because I said I am the son of God. If I do not do the works of my father do not believe me. Here again we have the summation of John's whole purpose to make clear the claim of Jesus to be God to possess the very nature and essence of God and therefore legitimately call himself the son of God, one who bears the same nature and to prove it by his works. There's no mistaking this. No mistaking it all through the gospel of John, and certainly here.
It's impossible to twisty this around when he said I am the father are one. He was, not claiming unity of purpose, unity of mission unity of attitude it was claiming unity of essence unity of nature. That's why they called him a blasphemer who was a man telling them he was God. This is the great claim of the gospel, the Jesus while fully man was also fully God took the title, God the son, the son of God. That is the uniqueness of his personhood as God in the Trinity.
There is one nature, one essence but three distinct persons, God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit in chapter 19 of John as you come down to the very time when the populace of Jerusalem and the spiritual leaders are pressing the Romans to crucify Jesus verse seven of John 19. The Jews say this, we have a law, Mosaic law, and by that law he ought to die because he made himself out, the son of God. You didn't just claim it. He proved it. Verse 37 as I read. If I do not do the works of my father do not believe me, leaders of religious Judaism and the people who followed them were the real blasphemers. They were the real blasphemers. Just as the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah had predicted, who has believed our report to whom is the arm of the Lord been revealed, the prophet predicts that when the Messiah comes. They won't believe.
Isaiah goes on to say we esteemed him not.
Will gave him no honor. We did not see him as our Messiah that Jewish rejection by the way that Jewish hostility toward the Lord Jesus Christ exists today this very day among Jewish people and the tragedy of it all is that they knew the truth about the true and living God, the one God, the God who was creator the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Moses and Abraham and David. They knew about that God but when he sent his Savior to redeem them.
They rejected him and they go on doing that through all of this history of national rejection. Of course, there is a remnant of Jews who believe and they are all one in Christ with all Gentiles who believe Scripture tells us, but as this chapter closes out John's short history of Jesus public ministry. It culminates in the same kind of anger and hostility against Jesus that we have seen all the way through his ministry. In fact, for the fourth time they try to take him and kill them. The more he says, the more he makes his claim, the more he demonstrates that it's the true claim, the harder their hearts become so this is the culmination for John and then Jesus disappears is that all bad, no, because of the end of the chapter when he goes way beyond the Jordan verse 42 says this is how the chapter ends many believed in him there was as if you had to get out of Jerusalem. He had to get over by the Jordan River where John once baptized somewhere else out from under the power and influence of the religious establishment. There are five scenes here were kinda looking at five scenes we've started into them.
See number one is confrontation just to briefly go back to verse 22.
At that time, the feast of dedication took place at Jerusalem we remember that's what the Jews today call Hanukkah for the feast of lights because the way they celebrated an eight day celebration 25 of his lab which puts it in November and December every year. The way they celebrated is by lighting lamps and candles in their homes and they do that for eight days so it's called the feast of lights or Hanukkah. It was basically established during the inner test of metal. When Judas Maccabeus throughout the invaders, the pagan invaders Antiochus epiphanies and his people and the resecured the temple and reestablished worship and in order to celebrate that this feast was put in place, not a biblical feast, but it is a historical one. This is another of the feast that been going on in John's Gospel from chapter 5 on Jesus keeps appearing in Jerusalem at feast in the same things happen. He speaks of they deny him. They want to kill him and he escapes and so here we go again with the same kind of cycle now at this feast, Jesus is walking in the temple of the portico of Solomon. Remember, now that's what was left of the massive retaining wall that was part of the Solomonic temple that was destroyed in 586 BC. That wall was not destroyed. It was then redeveloped into a colonnade or a porch, a popular place to get out of the sun, or out of the weather. And this is winter Jesus is walking their place where we find the apostles in the book of acts, teaching the Jews, that would be the religious leaders. John usually refers to them when he uses that term, and their followers gathered around Jesus and were saying to him, and that there's just such hypocrisy in this because he's answered this so many times how long will you keep us in suspense. If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly that kind of confrontation.
It has only one goal in mind and it is and to get information they can incite the crowd that can result. Ultimately, in the death of Jesus.
That's the confrontation.
Then we saw the claim.
We came to the claim. Let's go back to that in verse 25 Jesus answered them, I told you I told you I told you, and you do not believe how many times have I told you in just the feast section chapter 5 repeatedly in chapter 7 repeatedly in chapter 8, I told you many many times. Clearly they understand his claim.
They simply want to justify seizing of him and elimination, and then he validates the claim in the same way he's done it all away along in verse 25 I told you, you do not believe that's the problem.
The works that I do in my father's name. These testify of me. We saw last time that the issue was. You do not believe, and that is all through John's Gospel, the issue from the human viewpoint you do not believe you can go all the way back, started chapter 1 in every chapter, except chapter 2. Up to this very point. There is a call for people to believe, and a warning that if they don't believe they will not receive eternal life.
All through the story. They are commanded to believe they are called to believe they are worn to bully that is the human side and we have seen that salvation comes by believing in fact it go back to chapter 8 just a minute. I can't get caught up in all of those because I know you remember them in chapter 8 verse 21 he is saying to them I go away and you will seek me and will die in your sins where I'm going, you can't come you're not going to heaven.
Why verse 24 therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he. I am who I claim to be.
I am the I am, you will die in your sins that that's simply an illustration of something that is repeated again and again and again starting in chapter 1 verse 12 as many as received him, to them he gave the authority to become the children of God, even to those who believe on his name. That is the human side. You must believe that I am who I claim to be. Of course, Matthew helps us to get an insight into what they did believe in chapter 12 of Matthew one of the most terrifying comments the Pharisees and the religious leaders of Israel ever made. Matthew 1224.
This is what they did believe this man casts out demons only, by BL Zabul, the ruler of the demons he satanic. That's what they believed they believed he did what he did by the power of Satan. Verse 31. Therefore I say to you any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven. People but blasphemy against the spirit shall not be forgiven if you look at what the Holy Spirit has done through me and you conclude after all the evidences in that that is Satan. You could never be forgiven because you have made that 180° wrong conclusion. The end of all the evidence you are the blasphemers what they believe about Jesus. Their mantra was he satanic he did everything they could to convince the people of that mark that we covered that last time. Salvation comes to those who believe but I want you to go back to verse 26. Let's pick that up for a few moments, but you do not believe that's what we ended but you do not believe then verse 26 is this because you are not of my sheep. What a statement. That's the divine side you don't believe in your fully culpable for that unbelief and you will be held responsible eternally for that unbelief and you will receive a just punishment for that unbelief the divine side is you don't believe because you are not of my sheep really a stunning statement. You don't belong to me. Back up into chapter 10 verse four. Member the Pearly Mia the analogy the metaphor, simile, word picture of the shepherd.
Verse four when he puts forth all his own zone sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. Well that's true shepherds. We saw that when shepherd goes into a fold in the morning sheep have been held there of the village sheep there many shepherds report all their sheep together collectively in one fold overnight in the morning, come and get their own sheep in each sheep knows the voice of his own master that was something they were familiar with what to what does that refer go down to verse 14.
I am the good shepherd and I know my own and my own no me from. I know my own and my own know me and you're not of my sheep how we know they're not issue because back in chapter 8 and verse 43 Jesus says why do you not understand what I'm saying it's because you cannot hear my word, you can't hear me you don't know my voice.
Why, because your of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.
Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature frees a liar and the father of lies but because I speak the truth, you do not believe me.
Verse 47 he who is God hears the words of God. For this reason you do not hear them because you are not of God. The way to say you're not my sheep is stunning statement. You know my sheep.
We started to see this sovereign purpose of God in salvation very early in the Gospel of John back in chapter 3. Jesus is talking to Nicodemus and that Nicodemus has this question know about eternal life in and how that's going to happen and Jesus explains to him that it's a supernatural heavenly miracle heaven has to come down and and make that happen.
It is like a birth.
It's a creation and nobody can create himself and and so the question arises well well well well how how does that happen in the Jesus says this, the Holy Spirit comes and goes as he wills not at your discretion. It's at his discretion.
Watson evangelist on the television telling people to make a decision for Christ and pleading with them and pleading with them in music playing in constant pleading that something a sinner cannot do sinner can make a decision for Christ.
Christ is a make the decision for the sinner. In John six, and wheat. We saw this in John 637 all that the father gives me will come to me.
The father knows the sheep. The father has chosen the sheep identify the cheap written their names down the father will give the sheep to me in his own time and they will come to me and the one who comes to me I will certainly not reject because I've come down from heaven not to do my own will, as if I had a different world than the father but the will of him who sent me, and this is the will of him who sent me that of all that he has given me. I lose none but raise it up on the last day and no one verse 44 can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him and I will raise him on the last day and in his high priestly prayer. He prays about those. The father has given him.
These are profound realities and luck. I believe fully in the sinner's responsibility to repent and believe. But I believe as well fully in the sovereign purpose of God, who has chosen his sheep knows his sheep, calls his sheep. They hear him they come. Christ receives them and keeps them and raises them. I confess that I have never been able to comfortably harmonize those two realities. But I will not destroy, either by coming up with some bizarre humanly devised middleground.
The people who crucified Jesus were fully responsible for doing that they were judged for doing that condemned for doing that. And yet Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost said you that whole act was done by the predetermined counsel and foreknowledge of God, he repeats it again in chapter 4 that you only did on earth what heaven had already declared would be done someday will know God's thoughts someday, but for now we plead with sinners as Jesus did to believe and believe and we back up to a place of comfort in the sovereign purpose of God in all of this, a crushing thing when you think when you look more intently of the person of Christ. I told you this back in the sixth chapter when the disciples left many who had followed him for for a while left him abandoned him walked away from him with finality. The Greek languages finality, heartbreaking heart wrenching. How can they walk away from him inconceivable to me and where does she go for comfort when the disciples of abandoned him. You remember this does this, he says, everyone who has heard and been taught by the father comes to me, Jesus found his comfort in people's and peoples rejection in the sovereign purposes of God. And again I don't know how all that works together there.
It seems to me to have elements of contradiction, but God is not is not contradictory to himself.
That's an impossibility. So I chalk it up to my feeble mind. Verse 27 he says my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand but that is so airtight and absolute that there's just no escaping the reality of that chain of sovereign purpose and divine intention. This is grace to you with John MacArthur.
Thanks for being with us.
John is the pastor of Grace Community Church and Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and I trust today's lesson helped you understand one of Jesus greatest claims that he and the father are one.
Our current study is focused on rediscovering the Christ of Scripture will John. I imagine that even people who believe that Jesus is God may not always understand how that truth impacts their day-to-day lives in their worldview and everything else but I know you would say that actually the deity of Christ is one of the most important and practical and life-changing doctrines in all of Scripture, so talk about that for a moment. Well obviously you have to get Christ right you have to have the right view the biblical view of Christ or you don't have salvation if you're worshiping a false Christ, and we know that the Bible even says of the many false Christ's false views of Christ. So getting Christ right is absolutely everything and that starts with his deity. The fact that he is God he is the eternal God, he is one member of the eternal Trinity so the deity of Christ is at the heart of the entire Christian faith, and that causes me to say we put a book together called the deity of Christ. That's the most obvious title but that's the most necessary truth. So it answers the essential question about the identity of Jesus Christ and all of the implications and ramifications that identity has false teachers of always attacked the deity of Christ every called every false religion calls into question the fact that Jesus is God openly denies that. So that being the most important truth is the one constantly attacked by false religion, so it's easy to be confused about Christ. If you listen to the many religious voices in any period of history we need to get back to understanding fully what the Bible says about the deity of Christ, and I want to remind you about that book. We've never really offered this until just recently, but it's a very important study compellingly looking at the son of God, the second person of the Trinity worthy of our worship and obedience of the book is based on the MacArthur New Testament commentary series. It pulls content from the commentaries and arranges it for topical study. There's the good news.
If you have never contacted Grace to you before do it today and request the book the deity of Christ will send you a copy free of charge and by the way, it's in over 200 page book everything you needed to know to understand the deity of Christ, and it's free to anyone contacting us for the first time) and this book is filled with crucial but often overlooked truths about Christ. If you want to know our Savior more intimately. I encourage you to get a copy of the deity of Christ. Again, this book is our gift to you.
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