God Identifies Jesus as God :: by Sean Gooding

Matthew 3:13-17

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John for bad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Last week our topic was repentance; that is a topic that is not often talked about today. To repent means to turn away from your sin and to agree with God that you are a sinner in need of salvation.There is nothing mythical about it; the Holy Spirit of God simply opens our eyes to see ourselves as we truly are before the Holy Living God. We either agree with what He is showing us—repentance, or we don’t. That is called rebellion.

Today we will look at the foundational topic of the Scriptures and of the salvation that is afforded us by God. The idea of who Jesus is. This week God has allowed me to share the gospel with two people. One of them trusted Jesus as Savior and the other is still thinking about it.

The fundamental question that they both had to answer is this one: “Who is Jesus?” This is the dividing line between having a religion and having a relationship with the Living God.We are all forced to make a decision about the Person of Jesus Christ; there can be no sitting on the fence. God does not allow it.

We have explored the Christmas story in the last few lessons; Jesus’ birth as Mary was impregnated by God through the Holy Spirit and she gave birth to the Son of God—our Messiah.His very name, Jesus, means that He will save us from our sins.But to be our Savior, Jesus needed to be God in the flesh.

Only God can be 100 percent holy.This is the requirement of God for sacrifices; they had to be 100 percent blemish free. And so today, I will answer the question, “Who is Jesus?” Your own answer to this question will determine where you spend eternity. It really is that simple.

Christ’s Journey to the Cross Begins, Verse 13

Jesus Christ was born to die. This was his main purpose for coming the form of a man and living as a man. He came in the form of a limited human to experience life with us and then to experience death for us.In Hebrews 12:2 we see these sobering words:

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus endured the cross joyfully because He could see beyond the cross and see the victory over sin, death and the grave. He understood that He was doing something that literally would save billions upon billions of lives from hell. Jesus went to the cross both understanding the pain and the power of it.

Jesus would have been about 30 years old as he comes to John the Baptist to be baptized. That is clear in the Old Testament Scriptures that as a High Priest, according the Numbers 4:3.

From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

Jesus would have followed every part of the Old Testament Law to the letter as the Holy Son of God, so He would have been about 30 years old when He began his public ministry. Jesus is called our High Priest in Hebrews in Hebrews 4:14.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to the confession.

Jesus had unique position in that He was both our High Priest and the sacrifice for our sins. He is our road to God the Father and the one who both intercedes for us and is our intercession. His office as our High Priest and His position as the sacrifice for our sins puts him in a unique position to defend us in heaven.

And so, we see Jesus beginning His walk to the cross here in Matthew 3. This journey we will witness over the next few weeks and month will take us to Samaria and Galilee; it will take us through storms and miracles all with one destination—the cross at Calvary. This was the reason for Jesus’ birth, to take away the sins of the world—your sins and mine.

His Father Identifies Him as God, Verse 17

Many people will point out that Jesus tells us that He and His Father are one, John 10:30. And He surely did make this statement.But before He ever got there, God the Father introduced His Son as God in the flesh.How did I get to this conclusion you ask? Well let me show you.

In John 5:16-18 we see Jesus make a statement and then I want you to see the response of the religious leaders around him.

And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 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.

Jesus said that God is His Father, and the people wanted to execute Him for this statement, when asked the clarified the charge against Jesus, he had made himself equal with God by claiming that God was His Father. They understood what He was saying and they sought to kill him.In John 10:30, as we mentioned earlier, we see the same reaction from the crowd who sought to kill Him,

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. (John 10:27-31).

They wanted to kill Jesus because he said that He and God were equal.But here we have God the Father speaking to the crowd by the river as Jesus is coming out of the water from being baptized and this is what God said:

“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

God the Father makes Jesus equal with Himself; He introduces Jesus as God. By saying that Jesus was His son, the Jews understood that Jesus was and is equal with God.What more do you need and what greater evidence is needed to make the case?

Jesus is God.I leave you today with Matthew 16:13-17; settle in your hearts, “Who is Jesus?” If He is God then serve Him. If you are lost and without a Savior, then repent and be saved; but first answer this question, “Who is Jesus?”

A repentant spirit led by the Holy Spirit will lead you to the conclusion that He is God.A rebellious spirit will deny that He is God, the choice is yours.

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, who do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, ‘But who say ye that I am?’

And Simon Peter answered and said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven’” (Matthew 16:13-17).

Sean Gooding
Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
Mississauga, ON Canada