As we continue our study of John’s Gospel and the number seven, we come to our fourth number seven. We have covered the seven “I AM’s” of Jesus, the seven “signs” or miracles, and the seven witnesses to the identity of Jesus. In today’s article, we will look at an important and often overlooked aspect of John’s gospel and Jesus’ identity.
Scripture teaches repeatedly that Jesus is God, equal with the Father and the Spirit in every respect, and worthy of our worship and adoration. Perhaps the most appropriate Bible passage to mention here is John 1:1-5, 14. John begins by unfolding to us the eternal nature and activity of the “Word” who became flesh and dwelt among us. He was with God and is God in every way. He was in the beginning and is the very beginning of all created things. He was life and is the very life that came to reclaim His creation from the bondage of sin. It’s no wonder John spends an entire chapter speaking about the divinity of Jesus in chapter 1.
The divine superiority. In John 1:27, Jesus is superior. John explains that Jesus is superior to him in every way. So superior in fact, that John didn’t feel worthy to even act as a servant and strap on his sandals.
The divine sacrifice. John 1:29 builds on the idea of Jesus’ superiority by telling us that Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Passover Lamb had one purpose and that was to die and shed its blood. Just like Abraham said to Isaac, our God has provided a sacrifice.
The divine redemption. John 1:29 tells us another important thing about Jesus. As our Passover Lamb, he has come to take away the sins of the entire world. Jesus is our Redeemer when no one or nothing else would be enough for the sins of the entire world.
The divine pre-existence. John 1:30 adds an element that is often overlooked by many today. Jesus is not just a son of God, he is the Son of God, the one who ranks before us simply because he is God and existed before us.
The divine anointing. The theological significance of Jesus’ anointing by the Holy Spirit is profound. In John 1:32, we are told that the Spirit of God descended from heaven, like a dove, and remained on him. The Spirit empowered Messiah, as promised throughout the Old Testament, has finally arrived and will usher in the New Kingdom of God.
The divine prerogative. For years, I never understood the idea that Jesus is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. In John 1:33, we see the divine prerogative to give the Spirit to whomever he chooses. Giving the Spirit to a person is a divine right that Jesus and the Father have as God.
The divine person. In this seventh proof of Jesus’ divinity, we see his interactions with Nathanael. In John 1:49, we see Nathanael’s response to a seemingly innocuous statement about seeing him under the fig tree. 1 Kings 4:25 and Micah 4:4 tells us that Jews considered being under the fig tree a place of peace, security, rest, and worship. The idea is likely that Jesus’ supernaturally saw him there and knew his thoughts and therefore, knows him completely.
Hopefully, we like can be like Nathanael. Upon hearing the seven proofs of Jesus’ divinity, we should be able to say, “… you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49, ESV).