We are in the season of remembering and celebrating the God who is Light. (Jn 8:12; 1Jn 1:5) Both Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) and Christmas, the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, are coming one after the other in the next two weeks. It is often claimed that Yeshua never said that He was God, only the Son of God. Let us look to see if the Holy Spirit did not inspire the writers of the New Testament to write what they did in a way to demonstrate that, in fact, Jesus is YEHOVAH God – Immanuel. (Is 7:14; Mt 1:22-23)
Jn 10: 22-42 “And the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s Porch. Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, How long do you make us doubt? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.
“Jesus answered them, I told you and you did not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you did not believe because you are not of My sheep. As I said to you, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. (Is 43:10-13) I and the Father are one.
“Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, I have shown you many good works from My Father; for which of these do you stone Me?
“The Jews answered Him, saying, We do not stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God.
“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, “I said, You are gods?” If He called those gods with whom the Word of God was, and the Scripture cannot be broken, do you say of Him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, You blaspheme, because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me. But if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works so that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him. Then they again sought to seize Him, but He went forth out of their hand.
“And He went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John baptized at the first, and He stayed there. And many came to Him and said, John indeed did no miracle, but all things that John said concerning this One were true. And many believed on Him there.”
During Hanukkah, the Jewish leaders and people were again challenging Jesus to declare if He is the Messiah. Jesus says that He had told them, but that they did not believe. He had just given a man born blind new eyes, and now he saw the light, and Jesus validated His grace by doing the work of power in His own authority. (Jn 9; Is 35:5-6) He goes on to say that the works that He did are the works of His Father, who is God. The Jews understood this to mean that He was making Himself God by claiming He was the Son of God, doing what His Father does. (Jn 5:17-23)
What are some works of the Father that Jesus did which prove He is YEHOVAH God? In the Tanach, YHVH God is normally understood as being God the Father (yet as believers, we know now that YHVH can refer to any of the triune God).
Let’s read Mk 2:1-12, and compare there what is written about God in the Tanach:
“And again He entered into Capernaum after some days. And it was heard that He was in a house. And immediately many were gathered, so that none any longer had room, even to the door. And He proclaimed the Word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing one who was paralyzed, who was carried by four. When they could not come near to Him because of the crowd, they unroofed the roof where He was. And digging through, they let down the cot on which the paralytic was lying.
“And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, Son, your sins are forgiven to you.
” But some of the scribes were sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why does this one speak such blasphemies? Who can forgive sins except God only?!
” And instantly knowing in His spirit that they reasoned so within themselves, He said to them, Why do you reason these things in your heart? Which is easier to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and take up your cot and walk? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority upon earth to forgive sins, He said to the paralytic, I say to you, Arise, and take up your cot, and go to your house. And immediately he arose and took up his cot and went out before all. So that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, We never saw anything like this!”
In the Old Testament, we read in Ps 130:3-4 that only YHVH does forgive sins, so that He may be feared, exactly what we see Yeshua doing, and the people responding.
“If You will keep in mind iniquities, O Yehovah, who shall stand, O Lord? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”
Let’s read Mk 4:35-41:
“And evening having come, He said to them on that day, Let us pass over to the other side. And when they had sent away the crowd, they took Him with them as He was in the boat. And there were also other little boats with Him. And there arose a windstorm, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was now full. And He was in the stern of the boat, asleep on a headrest. And they awakened Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we perish?!
” And He awakened and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace! Be still! And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said to them, Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith? And they feared exceedingly and said to one another, Who is this man, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?!”
In verse 39, Mark writes that Yeshua rebuked the wind, and the wind and the sea became calm. This caused His disciples – who were still learning who it was that called them to follow Him – to be amazed, and to wonder who this Man could be that even the winds and the sea obeyed Him. Do we find an answer to this in the Old Testament?
Let’s read Ps 106:9:
“And He (YHVH) rebuked the Red Sea, and it was dried up; so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.”
And Jonah 1:9-16:
“And he said to them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear Yehovah, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land.
“Then the men were afraid with a great fear. And they said to him, What is this you have done? For the men knew that he was fleeing from before the face of Yehovah, because he had told them. Then they said to him, What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm to us? For the sea was going on and being tempestuous.
“And he said to them, Take me up and throw me out into the sea. And the sea shall be calm to you; for I know that this great tempest has come on you for my sake.
“But the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not, for the sea was going on and being more tempestuous against them. And they cried to Yehovah and said, We beg You, O Yehovah, we beg You, let us not perish for this man’s life, and do not lay on us innocent blood. For You, O Yehovah, have done as it pleased You. And they lifted Jonah up and threw him out into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared Yehovah exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to Yehovah, and vowed vows.”
We see in the New Testament and in the Old that both pagans and Israelis were amazed when God rebuked the winds and the seas, and the winds and the seas obeyed Him and became calm. It elicited a fear of God that they glorified the Father and the Son as the light became brighter as to who the true God is by His mighty works. There are many other examples in the Bible of what Jesus did which demonstrate that He and the Father are one. (Jn 21:25)
As the world pays attention to the holidays of Israel and the Church, we want to be confident in our own understanding of the mystery of the faith – God has come to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is YEHOVAH to the glory of God the Father. Our response should be fear, honor, worship, and thanksgiving to the great God who does such mighty acts for His people and all the sons and daughters of Adam. Jesus came into the world as the Light, to bring us back to God the Father, and have calm and peace in our soul and spirit.
Let’s close with Ps 107:21-32:
“Let them praise Yehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing!
“They who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters; these see the works of Yehovah and His wonders in the deep.
“For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up its waves. They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble.
“They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and all their wisdom is swallowed up. And they cry to Yehovah in their trouble, and He brings them out of their troubles.
“He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still. And they are glad because they are quiet; so He brings them to their desired haven.
“Let them praise Jehovah for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the sons of man! And let them exalt Him in the congregation of the people, and praise Him in the gathering of the elders.“