The Divine Evidence
E. Russell King
The existence and providential working of Jehovah God in behalf of mankind has never been without sufficient evidence (cf. Acts 14:17; Psalm 19:1-4:) to produce an acknowledgment of the existence of God and obedience to His will, leaving man without excuse (Romans 1:19-20) for unbelief and/or disobedience. Unbelief did not come for lack of divine evidence; it came about when men chose to become “futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened … and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:21-23 ESV). Far too frequently, man has given so-called Mother Nature glory over her Creator and Sustainer, simply ignoring the Divine evidence embedded in nature and in the universe.
In addition to this standing evidence, God spoke to and acted within and upon humanity “at many times and in many ways” (Hebrews 1:1 ESV), especially in and through His chosen people, Israel. Yet, when “the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son” (Galatians 4:4), for what we might say the grand finale of Divine evidence, certifying eternal salvation. “He was in the world, and the world did not know Him ... and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:9-11). Even His own had developed a dull heart, hardened ears, and closed eyes (Matthew 13:15). So, God chose to act in a special way by His presence in and speaking through His Son in a way powerful enough to overcome all unbelief.
When John the apostle recorded John the Baptist’s apparently excited announcement, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV), this testimony was the beginning of a new phase of divine evidence substantiating God’s eternal purpose and the finishing of His work through Jesus (cf. John 5:36). The apostle John chose to record the events of about 20 days out of about 1,000 days of the ministry of Jesus to document the Divine evidence of God’s visitation of His people through His incarnate Son, Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 1:68-69; 7:16). This evidence was in the person, the speaking, and the works of Jesus, confirmed by “signs and wonders, with various miracles” (Hebrews 2:4) — all to affirm and reaffirm “that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God” (John 20:30-31), the source of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9 ASV).
Jesus made many claims that elevated Himself above humanity to the status of being God, a claim that especially infuriated the Jews and motivated them to seek His death (John 10:33). He claimed that He represented God in person, saying, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), a fact affirmed by Paul: “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3 ESV). He claimed to be Deity existing before creation, being one with the Father, coming down from heaven, speaking the things of the Father, doing only the will of the Father, and giving life to all who would “eat of His flesh” and “drink of His blood,” along with many other claims recorded by John. Therefore, as Homer Hailey (That You May Believe, p.27) rightly stated, “The claims that Jesus made concerning himself as set forth in the Gospel of John, if sustained, are such that prove Him to be the Son of God; if they are not sustained, they prove Him to have been the arch-impostor of history.”
John chose seven signs (miracles), a working which, as Nicodemus declared, is manifestly the work of God (cf. John 3:2), succinctly listed by Andrew M. Connally (The Gospel of John, Fred David, ed., p 3) as: (1) Turning water into wine, 2:1-11 — Master of Quality; (2) Healing the nobleman’s son, 4:46-54 — Master of Distance and Space; (3) Healing the impotent man, 5:1-19 — Master of Time; (4) Feeding the five-thousand, 6:1-14 — Master of Quantity; (5) Walking on the water, 6:16-21 — Master over Natural Law; (6) Healing the man born blind, 9:1-13 — Master of Misfortune; (7) Raising of Lazarus, 11:1-40 — Master of Death.
All of this was, as Jesus said, “... the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29; cf. 9:3), serving as irrefutable divine evidence to assure the honest and good heart (Luke 8:15) of the God-ordained eternal salvation available to all who believe. -Rt. 5, Box 310-A, Keyser, WV 26726. email@example.com
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