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Reflection on John 5: Radical Claims of Jesus

posted Jan 9, 2015, 10:55 AM by solomon yang

People think highly of Jesus. Like Gandhi, many consider Him to be a model human. Muslims consider Him a great prophet. Many more think of Jesus as a good teacher, as a wonderful moralist. While all of these may be flattering accolades, it's obvious that those who think of Jesus in these terms really don't take what Jesus said about Himself seriously. Either they are ignoring what He claimed to be or they are ignorant of His claims.

If you are familiar with Jesus' sayings, you know that He claimed to be divine. And such audacious claim made Jesus controversial rather than popular. Many people took offense at what Jesus said about Himself and responded rather harshly. As we see in this chapter, the Jews were so infuriated by the fact that Jesus made Himself equal with God that they wanted to kill Him. And eventually, His claims to be divine led to Jesus' death on the cross.

Makes you wonder. Did Jesus die for something He knew to be a lie? He really wasn't God, but He died to make people believe that He was. Does that sound likely? If that was the case, Jesus hardly seems like someone you should respect. Maybe Jesus died believing He really was God when in fact He wasn't. In that case, He was delusional. But does Jesus strike you as a crazy type? Or is it conceivable that Jesus was put to death by those who couldn't recognize that He was in fact who He claimed to be. Remember the words of Jesus on the cross? "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lk 23:32 KJV).

Jesus says that our destiny hinges on who He is and how we relate to Him. Any mere man who thinks that way is just full of himself. But if Jesus is in fact who He claimed to be, then He deserves our full confidence and allegiance, because our life is really in His hands.