The Case for Christ – Week of February 9

Does the Bible Claim Jesus Is Divine?

Verse: John 1:1-2

How would Jesus respond if he were to read John’s words about him? Would he recoil and say, “Whoa, John has got me all wrong! He has embellished and mythologized me to the point where I don’t even recognize myself”? Or would he nod approvingly and say, “Yes, I’m all that—and more”?

On this topic, Bible scholar Raymond Brown says, “I have no difficulty with the thesis that if Jesus … could have read John he would have found that gospel a suitable expression of his identity.” Dr. Ben Witherington III, who has spent a lifetime analyzing the academic minutiae concerning Jesus’ self-perception, agrees with Brown’s assessment. “When you’re dealing with the Gospel of John, you’re dealing with a somewhat interpreted picture of Jesus, but I also believe it’s a logical drawing out of what was implicit in the historical Jesus. And I’ll add this: Even if you eliminate the Gospel of John, there’s still no non-Messianic Jesus to be conjured up out of the material in the other three Gospels. It’s just not there.”
— Adapted from interview with Dr. Ben Witherington III

This devotion is from the NIV Case for Christ Study Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.



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John, Day 43

Day 43.


Heavenly Father, please help us have a closer walk with You. Please give us the wisdom to understand Your word, and open our spiritual eyes to see Your glory, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 10:22-42, The Feast of Dedication.

There was a lapse of 3 months between verse 21 and verse 22. Verse 21 was in autumn, during the feast of tabernacle. Verse 22 was in winter, during feast of dedication. The Feast of dedication or Hanukah commemorates the restoration of the temple worship in 165 BC after Judas Macabees’ victory over Antiochus Epiphanes who defied the temple and prohibited temple worship in 167 BC.

V22-24, 22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

Jesus was in walking in the temple court complex during the feast of dedication when the Jews demanded to know whether He was the Messiah.

V25- 33, 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Jesus replied that He was the Messiah but the Jews did not believe. Jesus’ miracles validated His claim of Messiahsip. He healed the paralytic in the pool of Bethesda and the congenitally blind man in the temple complex.Jesus and His Father secured the eternal salvation of believers. When Jesus claimed equality with His Father, the Jews threw stones at Him for blasphemy.

V34-39, 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

Heavens and earth will pass away but the word of God will never pass away. Scripture is inerrant, inspired and authoritative, 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”. 2 Peter 1:21, “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”. Jesus claimed equality with His Father again and the Jews wanted to arrest Him for blasphemy.

V 40-42, 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.

Jesus retreated to Bethabara beyond the Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Him three years ago. Many Israelites believed and followed Jesus through John the Baptist’s testimony even though John was not a miracle worker.

Prayer :

Heavenly Father, help us to study Your word daily not just for head knowledge but for revelation knowledge, in Jesus’ name, Amen.