“'Therefore I [Jesus] said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.' Then they said to Him, 'Who are You?' And Jesus said to them, 'Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.'” (John 8.24-26).
Maybe when they asked who He was, they really meant to say, “Just who do you think You are?” In any case, they were questioning His truthfulness and trustworthiness. Jesus was quick to respond! In effect He said, “My story has not changed! What I have said from the beginning, I continue to say.” He went on to say that He had “...many things to say and to judge concerning...” them (implying that those who were charging Him with being less than honest, were themselves dishonest!).
Now we come to the primary substance of today's three point message. First, Jesus affirmed that “He who sent Me is true.” This affirmation is one which directly relates to the Father's character. He is not subject to variance or error; in fact, He is the source of all truth. Unlike the religious leaders who frequently sent their stooges to do their dirty work as regards Jesus, the One who sent Jesus was a Being described as “the Father of lights,” and One “with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1.17).
Secondly, He affirmed that the things which He spoke were a correct retelling of the things which He had been told. He did not speak of His own self or of His own authority; rather He spoke what had been spoken to Him of the Father. This exact affirmation is contained in another text: “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” (John 12.49-50). The implications of these statements are far-reaching. The Father used words. Jesus repeated those words. Man was expected to hear, understand, and obey those words. Those who failed to do so would be judged with righteous judgment and condemned for their failure to hear the Father as He spoke through His Son.
Thirdly, mankind's accountability is implied by this text. The ability to excuse oneself because the words of Jesus can not be understood is a delusion. From the beginning of time, man has been held accountable for His actions when no tools were available for his use except the word of God and man's intellect. God made man a creature who had the ability to think intelligently and to act upon those reasoned thoughts (whether good or bad). That Divine accountability is one of the characteristics which separates man from the other living creatures on the face of the earth. He is the only creature with a sense of “moral ought” and hence the only one with a conscience. God's design for man was such that he was equipped to react responsibly to the instructions which were given him and to be held accountable for those actions.
Follow this logic: If God speaks only truth (and He does), and if Jesus hears God speak (and He does), and if Jesus faithfully repeats what God says (and He does), then the things which Jesus says are truth! This is Jesus' argument to the contentious Jews who confronted Him. In order for His opponents to prove that Jesus' words were false, they would have to demonstrate the fallacy of the process. They could not do so because it was not flawed! Jesus' word remained true even as it was confirmed by the miracles and signs which were wrought by His hands!
1. Would the believing Jews argue with God's truthfulness?
2. How could they prove that Jesus was not faithfully repeating God's message even as He heard it?
3. What evidence did Jesus offer to prove the truthfulness of His message?
4. What biblical evidence is there (if any) that all accountable men will be judged according to the word of Christ? What does this show about God's expectations for the human race?
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