Liar or Lord?

Rebecca Van Noord

Exodus 28:1–29:46; John 5:16–30; Song of Solomon 4:1–3

When Jesus made a defense of His healing on the Sabbath, He was upping the ante instead of defusing the situation: “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17). For the Jews, such a claim was blasphemous. Not only was Jesus breaking the Sabbath, He was equating Himself with the Father and thus claiming to be God. He was presenting the people with a choice.

Jesus provides compelling insight into His relationship with God. Jesus’ authority stems from His relationship with the Father, which is one of complete submission. In fact, He can do nothing on His own. Whatever the Father does, He does likewise. There is complete trust and openness—the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He is doing. Both the Father and the Son give life. But with authority, the Father has also given the Son judgment.

Jesus presents His audience with an ultimatum as He carries out God’s will on earth: “The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly I say to you that the one who hears my word and who believes the one who sent me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment” (John 5:23–24). His claims require bold acts—total faith or total rejection. He is not merely a prophet sent from God.

How do you respond to Jesus’ claim? Are you completely and solely devoted to following Him?

This article was originally posted in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan.