I and the Father are one.
Obviously, any religion or philosophy can claim exclusivity. How can we know that Christianity is the right religion?
Consider the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Few historians doubt that Jesus existed. But many think Jesus was only a great moral teacher. The problem with that view is that Jesus claimed to be much more than a good teacher. In fact, no other philosopher or religious leader before or since Jesus has ever made the claims that Jesus made.
Jesus claimed to be God. Although many religious leaders have attempted to point people toward God, none of them has ever claimed to be God. For example, the prophet Muhammad, Moses, Confucius, Buddha, and Joseph Smith never portrayed themselves to be anything more than sinful men.
However, Jesus claimed to be equal to God Himself. In John 10:30 Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one.” When Philip asked Jesus to “show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (John 14:8), Jesus responded, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:8-9).
During one of the trials prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, the high priest Caiaphas asked Jesus, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61). Jesus answered “I am” and then He added a quote from Daniel 7:13: “and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).
Caiaphas and the members of the Jews’ ruling counsel understood perfectly that Jesus was declaring Himself to be the long-awaited Son of God, whom the Jews understood to be God Himself. If there is any doubt as to what Jesus was claiming for Himself, notice Caiaphas’ response to Jesus’ words: “Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, ‘What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?’ And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death” (Mark 14:63-64).
Jesus was not just claiming to be a prophet of God or some lesser version of God; He was declaring that He was God Himself. The Jewish leaders understood Jesus’ unique claim and began plotting to kill Him for blasphemy.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Can I Know Christianity Is the Right Religion?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.