Matthew 17:1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Here the disciples are told directly from heaven that they are to give their undivided attention to Jesus of Nazareth, because He is the beloved Son of God.
Mark 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honour your father and your mother.’” And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.” Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
This earnest God fearing young man was looking for something to do in order to inherit eternal life. To leave all and follow Jesus, taking up the cross, was all and everything he needed to do.
John 3:13 “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him (the Son) should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him (the Son) might be saved. He who believes in Him (the Son) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus of Nazareth was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. They all believed in God. They worshipped God and gave honour to the commands of God. They were actually chosen as God’s Holy people. In spite of this they were all condemned. They needed to believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God – Jesus – Yehoshua – I AM Salvation.
John 6:27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.
These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
The disciples of Jesus being spoken to here had spent over three years in close company with Him. Because of being so acquainted with Him they had no problem identifying Jesus the man, the only begotten Son of God. The relationship between Jesus and God the Father was more difficult for them to comprehend.
In our age we have a history of doctrines about God who is the Father, The Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son of God. We are not so familiar with Jesus the Son as were these first disciples.
As a result, many now have a mental picture where the carrot of God the Father, the tomato of Jesus the Son of God and the oil of the Holy Spirit are put in a blender and made into an homogenous soup. Depending on the various traditions of their religious background they might call this concoction ‘God’, ‘The Trinity’, ‘Father, Son and Holy Ghost’ or if from a ‘Oneness’ background ‘Jesus’.
God is not a soup!
Acts 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord (Greek; Despota = absolute ruler), You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant (Greek; paidos = child - servant) David have said:
‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the LORD and against His Christ.’
For truly against Your holy Servant (Greek; Paidos = child – servant) Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants (Greek; doulos = slaves) that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant (Greek; Paidos = child - servant) Jesus.”
Here the disciples of Jesus the Christ were praying as He had commanded them: to God the Father in the name of His Son Jesus. Not to God in God’s name. Not to Jesus in Jesus’ name.
Romans 1:1 Paul, a bondservant (Greek; doulos = slave) of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God (God’s good news, not the good news about God.) which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus the Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh (as was supposed by lineage of his adoptive father Joseph), and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him (Jesus, the Son of God) we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name (Jesus, the Son of God), among whom you also are the called of Jesus the Christ; To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul here as in all his letters is careful to distinguish between God our Father (If we are born of God) and the Lord Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.
1 Corinthians 8:4 Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
The vast majority of people in the world today believe that there is one God. But to the disciples of Jesus the Christ this God is the Father in truth, and the Lord Jesus the anointed King is the One through whom we live.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all (all who are in Christ) shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. Then comes the end, when He (Christ) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He (God) puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He (Christ) must reign till He (God) has put all enemies under His (Christ’s) feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He (God) who put all things under Him (Christ) is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him (God) who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
A tricky piece to read and understand. For this reason I inserted the bracketed identity of the persons involved. Jesus Christ has come to do all the will of Him who sent Him. Jesus has been made both Lord and anointed King (Christ), with all authority and power to reign until all things are under His feet. We are at this moment in time when Christ is reigning at the right hand of the majesty on high. We are to obey Him, the Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord (Jesus the Christ), the veil is taken away.
2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
No man has seen God at any time, but by looking to Jesus we can behold the glory of God in His (Jesus’) face.
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
Our hope is the Son of God who lives in His disciples, those who have put their trust in His name for the remission of sins by baptism in His name, who repent, take up the cross and follow Him daily.
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He (God) chose us in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him (God) in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself (God), according to the good pleasure of His (God’s) will, to the praise of the glory of His (God’s) grace, by which He (God) made us accepted in the Beloved (Christ).
In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His (Christ’s) blood, the forgiveness (literally remission) of sins, according to the riches of His (God’s) grace which He (God) made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His (God’s) will, according to His (God’s) good pleasure which He (God) purposed in Himself (God), that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He (God) might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him (Christ).
In Him (Christ) also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him (God) who works all things according to the counsel of His (God’s) will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His (God’s) glory. In Him (Christ) you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom (Christ) also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His (God’s) glory.
Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (Christ), the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His (God’s) calling, what are the riches of the glory of His (God’s) inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His (God’s) power toward us who believe, according to the working of His (God’s) mighty power which He (God) worked in Christ when He (God) raised Him (Christ) from the dead and seated Him (Christ) at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
And He (God) put all things under His (Christ’s) feet, and gave Him (Christ) to be head over all things to the church, which is His (Christ’s) body, the fullness of Him (Christ) who fills all in all.
Here we see how the Lord Jesus is the One whom the saints trust in and to whom they answer as head of His body, the assembly, to the praise of God’s glory.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Jesus). And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The word of the Christ abides in those who listen to Him. It is a two way conversation.
Colossians 3:23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord (Christ) and not to men, knowing that from the Lord (Christ) you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Only those who serve the Lord Jesus, who are sent by Him, can do all things in His name.
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
Paul was not preaching that men should keep God’s laws and worship God. He had been doing that before he was arrested by the Lord Jesus the Christ on the road to Damascus. Now he was sent to preach the mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”?
“I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?
But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”
And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.”
But to the Son He says:
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
“You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.”
The writer to the Hebrews was careful to point out the unique identity and character of the Christ as the only begotten Son of God, through whom He made the worlds.
2 John 7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Sadly we are in a time when the unique character and identity of Jesus the Son of God, who came born of a woman with a body prepared for Him by God, is hazy at best. Many who claim to believe on Him, Jesus, actually direct their praise, their service, their hopes towards God and bypass Jesus of Nazareth, our only saviour and Lord.
Many have not even heard that remission of sins is in His name, Jesus, which is often replaced by the expression ‘Father Son and Holy Ghost’.
Salvation is through faith in the name of Jesus the Christ. Neither is there salvation in any other name.
Eating the flesh of Jesus the Christ and drinking His blood is what gives us eternal life.
To discuss this or any other matter regarding the good news of Jesus Christ please email;
Colin Thompson, Gateshead, England.
Comments welcome by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Other material on site at http://www.followingjesuschrist.co.uk/