Jesus professes to have a unique knowledge of God. Jesus says: “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Matthew 11:27)
No prophet, priest, king, angel or anyone else in the Hebrew Scriptures made this kind of claim. Jesus establishes a unique and exclusive relationship between himself—as “the Son,” not merely “a son”— and the Father. He also equates the Father’s knowledge of the Son with the Son’s knowledge of the Father.
This implies an equality of divine knowledge. Further, Jesus claims unique ability as the absolute and exclusive revealer of the Father and as mediator between the Father and those who receive the revelation of the Father through the Son Jesus’ statement about the Son’s singular relationship to the Father closely parallels many claims in the Gospel of John, particularly his controversial answer to Thomas’ question, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:5-7; see also John 1:18)
As in Matthew 11:27, Jesus claims to be the sole and exclusive mediator between humans and God the Father, and to be the sole and exclusive revelation of God to humans. To know Jesus is to know the Father as well Not to know Jesus is not to know the Father Jesus’ singular role as mediator was an early item of attention and declaration in the early Christian movement.
In Jesus’ response to challenges about his activities on the sabbath, Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:17-18)
Jesus healed on the sabbath on several occasions and used the opportunity to proclaim, “The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:28) It is one thing to teach about the sabbath It is another to claim to be “the Lord of the sabbath.” Such a person must be no less than the Lord of creation—that is, God Almighty, who himself created and blessed the sabbath. (Genesis 2:2)
When Jesus’ disputants said, “Who do you think you are?” he concluded his response by saying, “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am!” John observes, “At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” (John 8:53, 58-59) Jesus thus affirmed his preexistence as God. Jesus also expressed his uniqueness by saying, “For God so loved the world that he gave his on and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) He affirmed that he alone is the agent of redemption as God’s “only Son. ”
Jesus’ claims could be uttered by anyone (with enough nerve) But these claims could only be substantiated by Jesus through his acts and by his character For the Gospel writers, God is focused in Jesus of Nazareth John declares that Jesus has made the Father known by coming into the world (John 1:18)
Jesus glorified the Father as no one else could. Therefore, he can make strong demands on God’s creatures. We hear the ring of exclusivity in Jesus’ warning:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14; see also John 10:7-10).
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