The Real Blasphemer

Scripture: John 19:7, ‘The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.”


Observations: Even though Pilate finds Jesus innocent, because of the Jews he decides to flog Jesus with the hope that they will think that’s enough, but when he presents Jesus again, they demand he be crucified. And when Pilate asks why, they respond ‘according to the law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.’ It’s interesting that there is no specific law about calling yourself ‘the Son of God,’ so presumably they are referring to blasphemy (Lev 24:16). Earlier in John the Jews tried to stone Jesus ‘for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God. (Jn 10:33)’ And still earlier, ‘the Jews were seeking to kill him, because he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (Jn 5:18)’ In the eyes of the Jews Jesus was the worst of sinners, he was a blasphemer, someone who mocked God. As far as they were concerned Jesus was a liar who manipulated other people for his own aggrandizement. Unfortunately, they were wrong. Jesus wasn’t lying, he really was the Son of God, he really was equal with God, he wasn’t a blasphemer he was God. In fact he was the fulfilment of the law that they were using against him. In a sense the Jews were right, according to the Scriptures Jesus had to die, but not because he was a blasphemer, but because we are, and only his death could atone for our sins.


Application: It’s so easy for us to use God’s word in the complete opposite way that God intended. It’s so easy to deceive ourselves and twist God’s word to make it say what we want it to say, rather than what God wants it to say. Instead of it being about Jesus we make it about ourselves. Rather than using it to glorify Jesus we use it to glorify ourselves. In many ways we are just like the religious leaders. Rather than using the Bible as a weapon against others, maybe we should use it as a weapon against our own sin and as the means for healing in our lives as well as the lives of others. The Bible points people to God’s love and grace towards humanity in Jesus Christ.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it’s not Jesus who deserved to die, it’s me who deserved to die. Jesus really is Your Son, of all people who ever lived he was the only one who truly honoured Your name and did Your will. And yet my thoughts, and my words, and my life so often don’t honour You. Loving Father, I thank You for Your grace that forgives when I deserve Your condemnation. I thank You for Your mercy that You have shown me in Jesus Christ. In His name I pray. Amen. 

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