24 June 2019

Hello and welcome to our Foundations Daily Podcast. My name is Liam and I’m part of the team here at STC. It’s great to be able to share some reflections from the Bible with you this week. A huge thank you to my colleague Helen for her excellent podcasts last week which focused on the theme of ‘Truth and Lies’. As we journey through the next section of John’s Gospel this is something we are going to continue to explore further through asking the question, ‘Who is Jesus?’

Our focus verse for today is John 10:30: ‘I and the father are one.’ Our thought for the day is this: ‘Jesus is God.’


As a church and as individuals we, at STC, have been engaging with something called the Grow Project – through which we seeking to grow in our faith and also as a church. In one of the recent sessions, we watched a video where Bono (the lead singer of U2) was being interviewed about his faith. It’s a fascinating watch and at the heart of the interview was this debate around… ‘Who or what is Jesus?’

What we read in today’s passage, is perhaps one of the most direct claims that Jesus makes about himself and his divine identity. ‘I and the Father are one.’

Jesus’ words, which echo the ancient confessions of the faith of the Jewish people, are as clear a claim to deity as you could get. Jesus clearly said he was God.

But not only that – from the way John lays out his Gospel account, we can see also that Jesus backs these claims up. He not only said he was God, he did the things that seemingly only God could do. Our job, as readers, is to look at these ‘signs’, alongside these claims Jesus makes about himself and to consider our response.

Because Jesus always provokes a response in people.

As we see in today’s passage, sometimes it’s a negative response. In verse 31 we read that ‘The Jews [that is, the religious leaders of the time] picked up stones again to stone him’.

Their actions seems a little extreme to us don’t they? But when we boil it down in essence, what the Jewish leaders were trying to do was to silence Jesus. The things he said and did – to them it was not only disrespectful but it was a lie… and it caused them massive offence. Helen spoke really powerfully about this on last Tuesday’s podcast – do listen back to that one.

The Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus because he was telling them the truth. And the problem with the truth, as we heard last week, is that it reveals, unearths the lies which we believe about ourselves. For the Jewish leaders of the time, this was that people no longer looked to them for how to relate to God, they came to Jesus – and he healed them, he forgave them and he set people free.

And so they sought to silence Jesus.

In our society today, it can often feel like Jesus is being silenced. That we can’t talk about Jesus any more in our schools, in our universities, in our workplaces. And within many organisations, there are clear guidelines which actually stipulate that. Now this isn’t a comment on these as such but it does gives us a clear indication of our society’s stock response to Jesus. Basically it’s this – don’t talk about him.

As I was reflecting back on the Bono video again, it becomes clear that both he and the interviewer are coming from two different points of view. At one point, the interviewer says, ‘I’m talking about God’. Bono replies, ‘The person of Christ is my way to understanding God.’

This got me thinking about my own life. It challenged me on how I speak about Jesus to others. I reflected on how I often find myself talking to people who aren’t Christian about what I do for a living – I’m the Youth Leader here at church – and so often I do so in a way which doesn’t actually mention Jesus!

And yet….if I really believe that Jesus is who he says he is: that he is God; that he is the only way by which we are saved; that he’s the one who can give us life, and life in abundance… then I should want to speak about him more.

Of course, we do so within whatever boundaries we are required to operate within in at work – I’m not say we deliberately defy these. But, at the same time, we shouldn’t and we don’t have to hide our faith in Christ. We don’t need to feel a sense of embarrassment or a need to continually justify our beliefs. Jesus is God. And if we believe that, we should be prepared to own that and, when given the opportunity, speak in such a way that reflects that. To speak with gentleness and respect, as the Bible puts it, but also with conviction.

And so as we begin this week, as we view these familiar scriptures afresh, let us each ask ourselves the question – who is Jesus to us? And where/who is God calling us to speak of him?


Jesus, thank you that you are who you say you are. Thank you that you came into this world and revealed yourself to us. As we read the Bible this week, we pray that we would encounter you afresh and discover a renewed confidence in our faith. We pray that in a culture that so often seeks to silence you, you would give us the courage, wisdom and passion to speak of you, and our faith in you, to those who you place around us. Amen.

READING: John 10:22-52

Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered round him, saying, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.’

Jesus answered, ‘I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.’

Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’

‘We are not stoning you for any good work,’ they replied, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’

Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your Law, “I have said you are ‘gods’”? If he called them “gods”, to whom the word of God came – and Scripture cannot be set aside – what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, “I am God’s Son”? Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.’ Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptising in the early days. There he stayed, and many people came to him. They said, ‘Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.’ And in that place many believed in Jesus.