Jesus infuriates the religious leaders by claiming equality with God.
Many people in this world-atheists, agnostics, and those in pseudo-Christian cults-say that Jesus was merely a man, not God. What's more, these people say Jesus never claimed to be God. The Incarnation-the doctrine that Jesus was one person with two natures, one human, one divine-is an anti-biblical and absurd idea invented by the church in later centuries, these skeptics opine.
The gospel of John certainly dispels that notion. In chapter 8, John writes that the religious leaders of His day picked up stones to slay the Lord Jesus Christ because He made Himself equal with God. The Jewish leaders were men of Jesus' time and culture. They understood Jesus' meaning far better than 21st-century skeptics. And as far as they were concerned, Jesus was committing the blasphemy of claiming to be God-a capital offense.
· As an act of personal worship, offer the following praise to God the Son:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-4).
· Pause for personal praise and thanksgiving. Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
Our eyes look to the Lord our God,
Until He has mercy on us.
Have mercy on us,
O Lord, have mercy on us!
· Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind. Now pause to pray this affirmation to the Lord:
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple (Psalms 5:7).
· As you make your requests known to the Lord, pray for:
· a greater love for the God-Man-Christ Jesus,
· the needs of your extended family,
· your activities for the day,
· whatever else is on your heart.
· Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!