If what Jesus said was good, what can it matter whether he was God or not? – Kurt Vonnegut
There was a kid who’d been attending our church’s children’s ministry for over a year. And one day – this was before computers and check-in and mandatory parent pick-up – his mother came to grab Benjamin from class a little early. The teacher looked at the mother with a blank stare. “We don’t have a Benjamin,” she said.
“Yes, you do.” The mother pointed, “He’s right there in the Ninja Turtles hat.”
“That’s not Benjamin. That’s Michelangelo.”
It really is the parent’s name for a child that identifies, isn’t it?
Throughout the Gospels, we read numerous accounts of Jesus identifying Himself by Yahweh’s name, “I AM.” But wouldn’t it be cool if there were a place in Scripture where we could overhear the Father calling the Son “God”?
Good news: The author of Hebrews shows us two such conversations:
- But about the Son [the Father] says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever … ” - (Hebrews 1:8)
- He also says, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth … They will perish, but you remain … ” (Hebrews 1:10-11)
Two times in one small passage we overhear God calling Jesus His equal. So here’s truth: If we don’t understand that Jesus is God, then we don’t understand Jesus. And an incomplete understanding of Jesus leads to a tentative faith.
It matters whether or not we believe Jesus is God. For we are invited, through His Spirit, to identify with Jesus, to worship Jesus, and to surrender to Jesus. How can we do any of those things authentically if we doubt He is who He claims to be?
Lord, this intimate exchange between Father and Son displays a love and unity that is beyond my comprehension. Make me a sponge, Lord, and by Your Spirit help me soak up understanding until I’m saturated and overflowing with praise. Amen.
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