5 Scripture Passages I Wish Every Christian Knew: John 5:18

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This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. John 5:18 (ESV)

Jesus understood himself, and indeed proclaimed himself to be God incarnate. Every Christian should know that Jesus, himself, made these kinds of claims. The deity of Christ wasn’t invented by the church after Jesus, the man, died. The deity of Christ was recognized by the church after Jesus emerged from the grave three days after being crucified.

The Jewish authorities didn’t crucify Jesus for working a miracle, teaching in the synagogue, or politically dividing the people. They perpetrated to have Jesus arrested, and sought the death penalty because they rejected his claims to deity.

In the skeptical culture we live in it’s crucial that we establish the fact that Jesus understood himself to be the Son of God incarnate. If Jesus is just a miracle worker you can be thankful for those who received miracles. If he is only a good teacher you can listen and apply his ethic of love. In both of those circumstances you can hear what Jesus has to say and walk away and never feel guilty for forgetting his name.

If, however, Jesus claims to be divine, then you must linger and decide whether or not you believe him. If you look closer and come to the conclusion that he’s a fake, then by all means, go on with your life how you see fit. On the other hand, if Jesus is God in the flesh there is only one appropriate response: submission and obedience. If he’s God, then the words he speaks are absolute.

When you hear someone say, “I like Jesus. He was a good teacher,” you should respond by asking, “What do you think about his claims to being God?” Verses like John 5:18 become an incredible witnessing tool in this inclusive world.

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