A devotional thought from Geoff Ashley for “Jesus’ Deity”
What do you do for a living? Though a common question today, it would have sounded strange to people in past centuries. This is because traditionally sons followed their fathers into the family business. If a father were a farmer, the son would farm. If the father were a blacksmith, the son would shoe horses. Though not an absolute and universal rule, it was the common cultural standard until rather recently.
Take a moment to read John 5:19, where Jesus talked about His relationship to the Father. Do you see how Jesus talked about doing the works of the Father? Seems simple enough, but some deeper truth is lurking below the surface. According to the traditional cultural convention, Jesus was claiming sonship. A son follows his father. Jesus, the Son, follows God, the Father.
There is a profound implication of sonship that is supremely simple yet often overlooked. A son shares in the same nature as his father. Goats beget goats, giraffe beget giraffe, badgers beget badgers, monkeys beget monkeys, and so forth. Bears do not give birth to badgers or birds nor to bananas or beans. Bears gives birth to bears. A son is of the same substance or nature as his father.
When Christ claimed sonship, He was claiming more than intimacy with the Father; He was claiming essential equality with the Father. As the Father is of a divine nature, so is the Son. The Son does the work of the Father because He is the Son of the Father and the exact representation of His being (Heb. 1:3). Furthermore, as the Son, He shares in the divine nature of the Father. He is indeed God.
Pause and Reflect
• Read Colossians 1:15-20 and contemplate the majesty of Paul’s depiction of Christ. What words come to mind?
• Given Christ’s deity, what is the proper response to His commands? What are some of the things that He commands us?