As human beings it is a part of our old nature, a remnant of which remains within all of our flesh to rationalize that which we do not fully understand with our natural finite minds.
This is the place where the doctrines of men are born!
But our Father God, in His infinite knowledge and wisdom, has provided us with a record of what He had to say to us when He walked the earth in the person of Jesus the Christ.
The questions here are:
Will we seek the truth, will we receive the truth, will we speak the truth, even when it flies in the face of conventional thought and dogma?
Let the word of God be true and every man a liar!
The single thing that keeps so many Christians in darkness is their pride. So many Christians are unwilling to repent of that which they believe to be the truth and refuse to even admit to themselves that they could be in error. Some of these people simply can not see that the light that is within them is darkness (Mat 6:22) and others simply reject the light (Joh 3:14).
(Pro 23:6) Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats:
(Pro 23:7) For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
(Pro 23:8) The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
What is this "evil eye" and how can we identify it?
(Mat 6:22) The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
(Mat 6:23) But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
(Mat 6:24) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
(Mar 7:20) And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
(Mar 7:21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
(Mar 7:22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
(Mar 7:23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
In Matthew 6 Jesus tells us that the eye (our perception) is that which illuminates the body (this can speak to us individually and collectively as the body of Christ). This light (luchnos - a portable lamp or other illuminator (literally or figuratively), this illumination, can be either light or darkness depending on the eye.
Notice that Jesus says that the body with a "single" eye shall be full of light and that the body which has an evil eye will be full of darkness.
But our Lord also asks a question here; If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?
The key to understanding here is found within the eyes, one being single and the other being evil. If the single eye fills the body with light (leukos - white) and an "evil eye" fills the body with darkness (skotos - darkened eyesight or blindness) then it stands to reason that the single eye has clear vision and the evil eye has a more obscured vision than the single eye.
The word "single" used here is translated from the Greek word (haplous) which gives us an image of a piece of cloth or other material, neatly folded once, and without a variety of complicated folds. Hence the idea of simplicity or singleness. In a moral sense, artless, plain, pure. The word as used here represents soundness, as opposed to evil or diseased. Possibly with reference to the double-mindedness and indecision condemned in Mat 6:24.
Subsequently it also stands to reason that the single eye can be said to be representative of the perception of the single minded person while the evil eye represents the perception of the double minded person because the double minded person has some light but that light is often obscured by darkness.
The reason I point this out here and now is because we MUST have a single eye when reading and receiving the words of our Lord. We must rely not on our own understanding rather on the truth of His words as revealed to us by His Holy Spirit who was sent unto us to, among other things, teach us all things and guide us unto all truth and Jesus is The Way, The Truth, The Life and the Light of the World!
What Did Jesus Say About Himself?
Jesus Called Himself The Son of Man
The titles of Jesus of Nazareth, such as the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the Messiah, the King of Israel were all given to Him by His disciples and others but the title The Son of Man was a title that He applied to himself.
This phrase "The Son of Man" is used only by Christ in speaking of Himself; and elsewhere only in Acts 7:56, where the name is applied to Him by Stephen. It occurs less frequently in John than in the Synoptists, being found in Matthew thirty times, in Mark thirteen, and in John twelve times.
The phrase Son of man is the expression of Christ's self-consciousness as being related to humanity as a whole: denoting His real participation in human nature, and designating Himself as the representative man. It thus corresponds with the passage in Daniel, where the earthly kingdoms are represented by beasts, but the divine kingdom by a Son of man.
While the human element was thus emphasized in the phrase, the consciousness of Jesus, as thus expressed, did not exclude His divine nature and claims, but rather regarded these through the medium of His humanity. He showed Himself divine in being thus profoundly human. Hence two aspects of the phrase appear in John, as in the Synoptists. The one regards His earthly life and work, and involves His being despised; His accommodation to the conditions of human life; the partial veiling of His divine nature; the loving character of His mission; His liability to misinterpretation; and His outlook upon a consummation of agony. On the other hand, He is possessed of supreme authority; He is about His Father's work; He reveals glimpses of His divine nature through His humanity; His presence and mission entail serious responsibility upon those to whom He appeals; and He foresees a consummation of glory no less than of agony.
The other aspect is related to the future. He has visions of another life of glory and dominion; though present in the flesh, His coming is still future, and will be followed by a judgment which is committed to Him, and by the final glory of His redeemed in His heavenly kingdom. Roberts Word Studies
Jesus Called Himself the Resurrection and The Life
(Joh 11:25) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
(Joh 11:26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
The words I am are very significant here. Martha had stated the resurrection rather as a doctrine, a current tenet and Jesus states it as a fact identified with His own person. He does not say, I raise the dead or I perform the resurrection, rather "I am the resurrection" In His own person, representing humanity, He exhibits man as immortal, but immortal only through union with Him as God because only God can raise the dead or grant eternal life!
Now albeit there are many verses of scriptures where our Lord attributes certain qualities to himself, in the interest of time and for the purpose of this study I'd like to present what in my mind are the most important and telling scriptures of what Jesus has spoken about himself:
(Joh 14:6) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
(Joh 14:7) If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.
Within these two verses of scriptures our Lord proclaims that He is the way to the Father, the Truth about the Father, the Life of the Father, and the only way to the Father.
How can Jesus proclaim these things?
Because He and The Father Are One!
Jesus is saying to Thomas; you really do not know me because if you did know me would know that I and my Father are one and from this time forward you know Him because you have seen Him.
Then Philip, who obviously did not understand what Jesus was saying to Thomas or could not believe what he was hearing, joins the conversation:
(Joh 14:8) Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
(Joh 14:9) Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
(Joh 14:10) Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
Philip asks Jesus to show His disciples the Father and Jesus responds to the question in a very remarkable way and the Concordant Literal Translation offers a wonderful clarification of His words:
(CLV) Jn 14:9
•Jesus is saying to him, "So much time I am with =you, and you do not °know Me, Philip! He •who |has seen Me has seen the Father, and how are you/ saying, `Show us the Father'?
(CLV) Jn 14:10
Are you not believing that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The declarations which I/ am speaking to =you I am not speaking from Myself. Now the Father, •remaining in Me, He/ is doing His •works.
Jesus is saying that He, at that moment in time, is not speaking from himself rather it is the Father within Him who is doing the speaking. Even more interesting that Jesus clarifies this statement by saying that this speaking is a work of the Father (He is doing His works).
Jesus is not speaking about the working of signs and wonders here He is speaking of the work of the Father speaking through Him!
Now Watch This!
(Joh 14:11) Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
(Joh 14:12) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Jesus is continuing along the same line of thought here, He has not changed the topic of the Father speaking through Him. With that in mind, when Jesus says that those who believe on Him will do the same works He is saying that the Father will likewise speak through us after He goes to the Father.
(Act 2:4) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit (the Father - Jesus) gave them utterance.
Now I make this point here to bring to light that the way Jesus was responded to Philip was not in the same manner as He responded to Thomas. When He was speaking to Thomas He spoke as the man Jesus about the Father, in the second person, but when He responded to Philip He responded in the first person as deity!
Notice that Jesus when speaking to Philip (the Father speaking through Him) says; I have been with you a long time Philip, yet you do not know me!
Jesus is saying that you have seen the Father and have heard the Father. In fact it is the voice of the Father that you are hearing at this very moment because I am the Father!
Why then did Jesus proclaim that the Father was greater than Him? (Joh 14:28)
Because when Jesus came into the world He did so of low estate. That is to say that He was, for a time, made to be a little lower than angels:
(Heb 2:9) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
(Heb 2:10) For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Jesus had to come into the world and suffer death, which neither any person of the Godhead nor the angels can suffer.
But when His work on earth was finished Jesus asked of the Father:
(Joh 17:5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Here Jesus prays for full restoration to the pre-incarnate glory and fellowship (Joh 1:1) enjoyed before His incarnation (Joh 1:14).
Jesus was God before His incarnation and His glory (honor) was returned to Him, the same honor that He shared with the Father (making them again equal and one) before the world was.