Attributes of God Manifested in Jesus Christ.

During the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and only three months away from crucifixion, Jesus is confronted for the final time in His public ministry by the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus’s desire for these religious leaders to believe is an act of His mercy, an attribute of God manifested in Christ. Though not mentioned in this passage, the twelve disciples are witnessing the debate between Jesus and the religious unbelief at Solomon’s portico (John 10:23). It was customary for open theological debates to occur during festivals and for followers to be near their Rabbi. Jesus’s followers were only three years old in Christ or less. Though Jesus is specifically addressing unbelief, He is mindful of those listening to Him and how His words might strengthen them. Just as Peter had to be instructed by Paul (Galatians 2), it is normal for the followers of Jesus to become unsettled at times by circumstances and situations.

Clearly and concisely, Jesus announces something He had never said before about Himself and His deity. Jesus boldly proclaims (John 10:30) that He and His Father are one, drawing attention to the Godhead. He proclaims that His words and works should have been enough for them to know Him and believe (John 10:37-38).

The Attribute of Omnipotence

The omnipotence of God is manifested in Christ Jesus (John 10:25-29) and is better understood when we examine the saving work of God in Him. God is all-powerful. Jesus says that He and His Father are one. All powerful means doing all that He wills with consistency to His nature and purpose. God is omnipotently capable to perform all that He has eternally decreed and willed to happen. What He wills, He fully and omnipotently accomplishes.

God omnipotently wills the salvation of men from eternity past. This is what Paul calls the surpassing greatness of His power towards those who believe. It has been said that redemption and all its related aspects including the resurrection of Christ is undoubtedly the greatest exercise of His power. Our unfailing source of strength as His people is found in God’s omnipotence.

We read in John 10:26-29 about both the Good Shepherd’s and God’s divine ability to save and to keep. The Good Shepherd gives eternal life, and His sheep will never perish. Those who are God’s sheep receive eternal life by the omnipotent, divine work of Jesus Christ, and this is abundant life (John 10:10). Another omnipotent promise Jesus makes is that no one will be able to snatch the sheep, gifted to Him from His Father, out of His hand nor out of His Father’s hand. All God’s sheep are eternally secure in Christ.

The Attribute of Omniscience

Jesus knows all things for He is God. Though He may lay aside the independent use of His attributes as He is also fully man, with the Father’s permission, He remains divinely and fully aware of the condition of the hearts of the people around Him. Jesus understands the paralyzing effect of unbelief on the hearts of men. Those who followed Jesus believed in Him in part because God’s grace compelled them to see who Jesus was from His words and works.

Jesus references His works that were done to evidence His divinity (John 10:25, 37-38). To this, unbelief is blind, negatively influencing those who genuinely believe. A believer’s heart should settle in peace at the words of Jesus, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them (John 10:27).’ Jesus knows us omnisciently.

In Christ, God continues to fully know us. His knowledge of us includes all things past, present, and future immediately, simultaneously, and eternally whether actual or possible. God draws His knowledge directly from the basis of reality as it lies within Himself. Therefore, God omnisciently knows the sinfulness of our hearts before salvation, and He equally and fully knows us as His children once we are born-again in Christ Jesus.

As the Father knows His Son, He fully knows us. The completeness of God’s all-knowing ability to be familiar with His own Son is the same completeness in which He knows us. Wholly knowing us as His children in salvation, He wholly knows the ability He granted us to follow His will. Though we will struggle, God’s grace produces the perseverance of His sheep. When we are told to cast our care because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), that caring is omniscient.

The Attribute of All-Wise

Wisdom, which is more than just intelligence and knowledge, includes the ability to control and direct the mind. God, who is in absolute and perfect control of His knowledge, applies it so the best means are employed to achieve the highest ends as to glorify Him the most.

Jesus challenges the unbelief of the religious leaders in John 10:34-36. Using the Word of God, He applies it to the practical situation for the best outcome. Jesus is referencing a courtroom scene from Psalm 82 where Jewish leaders are called gods, the Hebrew word ‘elohim.’ Understood from Genesis to mean ‘God alone,’ ‘elohim’ is also interpreted as ‘judges’ or ‘rulers’ in other Old Testament texts. The God above all gods established finite rulers over man. The Jewish leaders, called gods or judges of the Word, should have known the Word well enough to discern what God said about the coming of His Son Jesus.

In an all-wise way, Jesus states clearly to these men who are as gods, judges, and discerners of the Word, that they have failed to recognize Jesus for who He is and instead call Him a blasphemer. They should have known Him by His works and by His words.

The Attribute of Grace

We see grace in the final verses. Jesus returns to where it all began (John 10:40-42), ministering for ninety days in private until the week when He is crucified. People come to Jesus affirming the message of Christ as taught by John the Baptist. Faithfully teaching Christ, John the Baptist lived that Christ would increase and that he would decrease (1 Cor. 2:1-5). May this be the reality for each believer, and that we faithfully preach Christ and Christ alone, leading to the fruit of belief. May we remain faithful to the person, message, and works of Jesus Christ.

Application Points

  • Do you hesitate to turn to the Lord when you sin? Never fear to go to Him because your heavenly Father knows you completely as His child and loves you. God the Father longs for you to be transparent with Him.
  • Are you in the Word? Do you meditate on the Word? Are you begging God for wisdom regarding how to live the Word? Are you faithful in the hearing of the Word? Your spiritual protection and growth are bolstered within and by these layers of Word saturation.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Omnipotence: Genesis 17:1; Job 1:12; 26:7-14; 42:2; Isaiah 40:28; Jeremiah 10:2; 32:17; Daniel 4:17, 35; Matthew 19:25-26; Ephesians 1:18-22; Revelation 19:6
  • Omniscience: Psalm 33:13-15; 139; Isaiah 46:9-11; Matthew 10:30; Luke 1:24
  • All Wise: Psalm 104; Romans 8:28; 11:33; 16:27; Ephesians 3:10
A Hymn to Encourage: "Predestinated" by Joseph Irons

I sing the gracious fixed decree,
Passed by the great Eternal Three,
In council held in heaven above:
The Lord's predestinating love.

All that concerns the chosen race,
In nature, providence, and grace,
Where they shall dwell, and when remove,
Fixed by predestinating love.

Their calling, growth, and robes they wear,
Their conflicts, trials, daily care,
Are, for them, well arranged above,
By God's predestinating love.

In this let Zion's sons rejoice,
Their God will not revoke His choice;
Nor sin, nor death, nor hell, can move
His firm predestinating love.

This is our bulwark of defense,
Nor foes, nor fiends, shall drive us hence:
In life, and death, and realms above,
We'll sing predestinating love!