April 15, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
“Thou being a man, makest Thyself God.”
The charge of the Jews was the exact opposite of the truth. He was not a man making Himself out to be God. He was, in truth, God manifest in flesh. He was God uniting manhood into a perfect, indivisible and indissoluble union with Himself.
Their reaction makes it clear that their complaint in verse 24 was not a sincere request for enlightenment, but a ploy to find a basis for an accusation against Him. His words, indicating a unique filial relationship to the Father, made it abundantly clear to them that He claimed equality with God. Their appreciation of His claim was far more perceptive and accurate than many today.
Stones, readily at hand, were picked up and as they postured to begin hurling them at Him, the Lord Jesus asked them for which good work they were stoning Him. His works gave testimony to Who He was (Acts 2:22). His works made it evident that God was among them. Yet in their blindness they persisted in condemning Him for His claim to deity.
Psalm 113 celebrates and worships at the uniqueness of God – a God Who humbles Himself to even look at earth. What would the Psalmist have thought had he known that the God for Whom a glance at earth is an act of untold mercy and self-humbling, would not only look, but live on this orb? That He would not only condescend to consider us, but would actually be made like unto us? In Psalm 113, the Psalmist praises the God Who lifts the needy up and sets him among princes. What would he have thought had he known that, to accomplish this, that same God would be set at nought, treated a nothing by Herod and his soldiers, and would Himself become poor, that He might enrich us and make us heirs?
Rather than the accusation, “Thou being a man makest Thyself God,” the testimony of Scripture is that “Being in the form of God … He was made in the likeness of men.” (Phil 2:5-8). Little wonder that the Spirit of God speaks of Him “enduring the contradiction of sinners against Himself.”(Heb 12:3).
1. Consider the full implications of the Lord Jesus’ reply in verses 34-36. Is He ‘lowering’ Himself in this reply or is He fully justifying His claim to deity?
2. Look at the place which Solomon’s porch (v 23) has in the book of the Acts and how it again bears testimony to the Father’s seal on the Son’s claims to deity.