John in 21: Chapter 5
"For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants." John 5:21
Read today's passage: John 5:1-47
As you read through chapter 5 of John today, are you a little bit startled? Is your perception of Jesus shaken up a little bit? Do you see the stark contrast between who Jesus says He is and how people today describe Him?
Any unbiased historical scholar will admit that, yes, Jesus really did live 2,000 years ago; there's enough references to Him outside of the Bible to prove that. They'll even admit that Jesus was an influential teacher. He had a lot of good ideas and at the very least, Jesus deserves a spot among the other great moral teachers humanity has seen. The scholars will say that Jesus was a wise, compassionate man who wanted to make the world a better place. But God? Not a chance!
That's why John chapter five is so startling. Read through again and count the number of times Jesus identifies Himself with God the Father. "'The Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does'" (5:19). The point is, when a person makes a claim like this, you either believe that person or you dismiss them as being crazy. You don't patronize them by saying, "Well, he has few good ideas, but he's a bit touched in the head, if you know what I mean!"
Either Jesus was God, or He was a madman on the loose. Who do you say He is?