Photo credit goes to Angella Laderas.
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. “ Colossians 2:9
Wow! Here’s this same verse coming up a third time in a row! What’s going on here? Well, Lord, I would think that You really want us to see some things here and maybe this verse holds some really foundational truth for us. But I won’t stop here. I’m going to jump back to Matthew 16. That’s where Pastor Jun Degamo (hope I spelled that correctly, Brother) started us last night. And I’d like to share those same truths this morning.
Who is Jesus to you? Who is Jesus to me? That’s a really important, no, that’s a life or death question there. Whether we believe Jesus is God or not makes all the difference in the world and for our eternity. I remember about 15 years ago being in a Sunday school class and one gentleman sharing, “Jesus never said He was God.” But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And the truth is that one cannot be a believer in Jesus, a “Christian”, and not believe in the diety of Christ. And I’m not the only one saying that. Listen to Jesus.
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?'” See, for Jesus, it’s not just important what other people think about Him. He cares what you and I think about Him. He cares because it matters. Everything balances on what we think about who Jesus is.
We see some of the answers that people gave. Have you heard some of the answers today? Maybe you think one of them. “He’s a good teacher.” “He’s God’s son.” “He’s a prophet.” “He’s a man.” But what is the truth? Is that all Jesus is? Or is He more?
Well, let’s see what the Word of God, the Bible, has to say about who Jesus really is. Let’s travel back to John 1:1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Who or what in the world is the “Word”? Keep reading and we see that the Word is Jesus. So Jesus was there when the beginning of all things came to be. He was there with God. Not only that, but He was God. Yes, HE WAS GOD. Let me put that another way for the mathematically minded. Jesus=God. But we won’t stop there.
Let’s move on to John 1:14. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen the glory, glory of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” So here we have this Jesus, come to earth in flesh, who is also called the Son of God, straight from the Father. So He is God (remember Jesus=God from John 1:1) and He is Son, and He was here on earth in the flesh. This is all amazing stuff! But it doesn’t stop here either.
Moving on, we jump to John 5:18. Did Jesus ever call Himself God? Let me pull up a piece of evidence to answer this. “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” What was He doing? Jesus was making Himself equal to God and the Jews understood that by His words. Just because we as Gentiles don’t understand Hebrew thinking and idioms, doesn’t mean He didn’t say something. The Jews knew. They understood the language. He was saying Jesus=God. But the evidence still doesn’t stop here.
Jesus tells the world in John 8:23-24, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He you will die in Your sins.” Do you see what He’s saying? Do you understand what He’s implying by saying that He is from above and they are from below? This time they didn’t want to see what He was saying. But it doesn’t stop here, because He kept telling them.
If we move down to verse 58 Jesus brings it home with these words, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Oh, yeah! Boom. That one hit home. The minute He mentioned that phrase “I AM,” they knew what He was saying. Because that phrase would take every Jew back to Exodus 3:14. “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” How can I be so sure that the Jews understood Jesus to be calling Himself “I AM”? Listen to their response in the next verse. “So they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went away out of the temple. “ Later we’ll see why they keep trying to stone Him. So obviously it doesn’t stop here either.
Still not sure if Jesus publicly announced He was God? Listen up to His words in John 10:30. “I and the Father are one.” What did the Jewish listeners think He meant by that statement? “The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.” Why? Why would they stone Him for that? “Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?'” Well, I want to know too? Why are they wanting to stone Him? “The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.'” Yes, they knew what He was saying. But they did not think He was God; they did not believe Him. But we’re not just stopping here with Jesus claiming to be God. No, it doesn’t stop here.
Now I’m taken back again to that beautiful verse, Colossians 2:9. “For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily…” Paul tells us that the fullness of the Godhead is in Jesus. Need more evidence? Then let me walk you through Hebrews 1. This is so beautiful and I got so excited hearing this and thinking on these truths last night, because I hadn’t thought about them this way before! So it’s still not stopping here. But we need to follow the progression.
Let’s go back so we can start following Paul’s line of thinking in Hebrews 1. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets…” O.k., we all understand that. Now I’m going to add some words in brackets for our clear understanding here. “And again, when He [God] brings the firstborn [Jesus] into the world, He [God] says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship Him [Jesus].'” Hmm. God, the only one who is worthy of worship, the God who is jealous of our worship, the God who says that we are only to worship Him and have no other gods, tells His angels to worship Jesus. I must retain that thought because it doesn’t stop there. It keeps getting better!
Here we go. “Of the angels He [God] says, ‘He makes His angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.” Who is God speaking of? If He’s speaking of Himself, why wouldn’t He use the pronoun “I”? Or is He speaking of Jesus, who He Himself is equating with and as Himself? Have you ever seen this before? I find this extraordinary. This is jump up and down exciting here! “But of the Son[Jesus] He [God] says, “Your [O my! God is speaking of Jesus like He’s talking to Him here!] throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kindgdom.'” Well blow me away in one fell swoop here! God just told Jesus that He was God and that the throne was His forever and ever and that uprightness was His and that the kingdom was His! Even God acknowledges Jesus as God! Oh but the super good stuff doesn’t stop here!
“You [Jesus] have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your [Jesus’] God, has anointed You [Jesus] with the oil of gladness beyond Your [Jesus’] companions.’ And ‘You [Jesus], Lord [God acknowledges Jesus as Lord!], laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of Your [Jesus’] hands…'” Now, isn’t that amazing? I was just blown away by the way that God, You were talking about Jesus. No, You weren’t just talking about Him; You were talking to Him and You, Yes, YOU were calling Him Lord and Creator and God. That all ties right in with Genesis and how You said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness…” Yes, You established the deity of Christ because He always Was and Is and Will Be.
And still today, God, in Jesus, and by the power of the Holy Spirit says to each of us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” This is God speaking to each one of us. This invitation is still open. See, God stands at the door waiting like the father of the prodigal son. Jesus is the Door. The Holy Spirit is knocking on our spirit, in our minds, in our hearts. He beckons. He calls. He gives understanding. The question is whether we will choose to hear.
I really wanted to get this picture in Revelation 3:20 along with all that You’ve been impressing, Lord. I can’t help thinking about how You say I must abide in You and You must abide in me. And at a glance, it seems as though here You are just saying You need to be in me. But as I was searching deeper into Your words here I was led back to a Hebrew word, “paqad”. The root means “to attend with care” or “to take note.” Speiser noted that “at least half of the occurrences involve positive action by a superior in relation to his subordinates.” He also pointed out that it “points to action that produces a great change in the position of a subordinate either for good or for ill.” Keep holding that thought here.
Skip Moen continues by sharing the Paleo-Hebrew imagery of the word. “[P]aqad represents the expectation of a future encounter. God visits. He personally involves Himself in the life activity of His children. He is not the deist’s god of transcendent separation from human affairs. In fact, coupled with qanna’ (jealous), this pictograph tells us that we should expect God’s visitation just as He expects us to be prepared for His coming. He comes as the superior calling on His inferiors both for good or ill… YHVH is intimately involved in the processes of both reward and punishment… He enters into the pathway of men, personally involving Himself as the anticipated and expected visitor about to arrive at any moment. He commits Himself to future manifestation for the purpose of examination and intervention. His jealousy prohibits any hint of withdrawal into the heavens. He guards His chosen ones by His promised participation…The very fact that He is Father entails His constant care and concern… this care will continue into the future. His word, the Hebraic representation of His character, enters into the lives of the children and the children’s children. It comes in the future as a pathway, a door, perhaps of conviction, or atonement, or relief. .. A door or pathway implies walking, entering, continuing, not the end of the line.” Do you see that? Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus, is giving us this relationship with Himself that He will maintain in us if only we place ourselves, our trust, our being in Him. He is from above and He is calling us unto and into Himself. He comes to rescue us and to sustain us and to empower us from within. He’s committed Himself to us. This is God, knocking at our door, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to forever enter in because that’s where He is and where ever He is, is where I must be.