"who do you say that i am?" (mt 16:15)
"You Who are only a man are making Yourself God." —John 10:33
In the Gospel of John, Jesus claims that He is God. He says: "The Father and I are one" (Jn 10:30). He uses the phrase "I AM" to refer to Himself (Jn 8:24, 28, 58), and that phrase is God's name as revealed to Moses (Ex 3:14).
When the Jewish leaders accused Jesus of making Himself God, Jesus was presented with the perfect opportunity to clarify exactly Who He was (Jn 10:33). Jesus' life was in danger; they were reaching for rocks to stone Him (Jn 10:31). Jesus could have easily said, "Slow down, men! Don't stone Me. I didn't mean to imply that I was actually God." Jesus not only refused to back off His claims to be God; rather, He reinforced His claim that He was indeed God, by virtue of His works, His faith, His obedience, and by having been sent by the Father to earth (Jn 10:34-38).
Jesus claimed to be God's Son, and therefore His equal (Jn 10:33). Then Jesus backed up that claim by doing the signs which only God could do. Finally, Jesus underscored His claim to be God by freely deciding to lay down His life rather than renounce that He was God.
Now the decision is ours. Jesus clearly claimed to be God. He asks us: "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt 16:15). As we approach Holy Week, how will you answer Jesus' question?
Prayer: Jesus, may I never diminish anything You say. Help me to believe You are Who You claim to be, and obey and worship accordingly.
Promise: "Praised be the Lord, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies." —Ps 18:4
Praise: St. John was the first to found teachers colleges for the poor.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God or on audio AV 43-3 or video V-43.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016
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