Jesus’ Claim to Divinity

John 5: 17-30
Is 49:8-15 / Ps 145

He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father Who sent him.
(John 5:23)

Jesus is one with the Father
In purpose, honor and power;
With faith in His Word, we gather
And follow Christ, our Redeemer.

In His defense, Jesus said to them, “My Father is at work to this very day, so I am at work…. I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; but only what he sees his Father doing, for what He does His Son will do also. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all He does. Yes, to your amazement He will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whoever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but He has given all judgment to His Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, Who sent him. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live… And He has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.”

Reflection

Three times our Lord emphasized that He was telling the truth: that what He was doing was a continuation of His Father’s work. And His work of mercy extended even on a Sabbath. His miracles should have been enough proof of His divinity. How could One who knew that His claim of being the Son of God would mean certain death be telling a lie? When the high priest asked Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus answered, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. (Mk.14:61-64). The Jews chose to condemn Jesus for blasphemy rather than give the benefit of a doubt that He was really just telling the truth. They were once the “Chosen People” of God, but they rejected the divinity of Christ, so they failed to receive the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, and have since lost this precious heritage. Up to the present time, the Jews are still waiting for the Messiah, while the whole Christian world has already been reconciled to God in Jesus’ Name. The same fate awaits other sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who claim that Jesus was merely just one of the prophets. Their incomplete faith puts to doubt their eternal destination.

How about you? Do you believe every word that Jesus says in the Gospel is true? Do you believe that by taking His Word we will “have eternal life and will not be condemned”? If you believe these, then you must also believe in the last days of the resurrection, when our bodies will rise from their graves when we hear His voice, and be joined with our souls for eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. This is one of the great mysteries of our faith, when those who follow and believe in Jesus Christ will rise again incorruptible in the last days as described by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians (1Cor.15:50-56). This is perhaps what Jesus meant when He said, “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Mt.10:39).

All the words that you have spoken in the Gospel, Lord Jesus, are words that apply for all time. That is why we have no doubt that you are truly the Son of God, Who was sent by the Father for our salvation. Thus, we believe in the resurrection of our body, and in life everlasting. Amen.

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