Jesus “was speaking of God as His own Father, thereby making Himself God’s equal.” —John 5:18

“The reason why” the religious leaders of Jesus’ time were “determined to kill [Jesus] was that He not only was breaking the sabbath but, worse still, was speaking of God as His own Father, thereby making Himself equal to God” (Jn 5:18). Jesus could have possibly spared His life had He simply told the religious authorities that He wasn’t really God, that people were misinterpreting His claims. However, Jesus made it more clear that He was God, and meant to claim that He was divine, even though it would bring about His death.

Jesus specifically and clearly claimed to be God. He often made these types of public statements. “The Father and I are One” (Jn 10:30). “I solemnly declare it: before Abraham came to be, I AM” (Jn 8:58), calling Himself by the same name as God used in revealing Himself to Moses (see Ex 3:14). His official death sentence came about because He called Himself by that same name, “I AM”, when interrogated by the Sanhedrin (Mk 14:62).

Therefore, following Jesus as His disciple is an all-or-nothing bet on the divinity of Christ. His life only makes sense if we understand that He is God, He claimed to be God, and lived and acted accordingly. Jesus was “all in” on His divinity. So we are likewise called to be “all in.” We cannot “straddle the issue” (see 1 Kgs 18:21). Believe that Jesus is God. Live accordingly.

PRAYER: Father, help me believe so deeply that Jesus is God that I might never lose hope the rest of my life.
PROMISE: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” –Is 49:15
PRAISE: Tom, a husband and father, tells people, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (see Jos 24:15).

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