Sunday, December 22, 2013

More Evidence That God Sent His Son

Who was Jesus? Does it really matter? Consider the evidence for yourself.

John 3:16-17  "For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  17  God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

Romans 1:2-4  God promised this Good News long ago through His prophets in the holy Scriptures.  The Good News is about His Son. In His earthly life He was born into King David's family line,  and He was shown to be the Son of God when He was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:8  But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

1 John 4:9-10  God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.  10  This is real love--not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Who was Jesus? Does it really matter? Many people think that indifference is the right way to react to Jesus but if the things that have been said about him are really true then indifference is a very dangerous reaction.

In the previous post "God Sent His Son" we saw that Jesus arrival was:

✔ Predicted with great detail long before it happened.
✔ Announced and celebrated with a lot of heavenly delight.
✔ Marked with a supernatural sign in the sky.

In this post I want to look at Jesus life for more evidence that Jesus was God's son.

Jesus claimed to be equal with God.

John 17:21 I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one--as You are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me.

There has been a lot written on this topic, after doing a great deal of research, many people have come to the conclusion that Jesus had to be who he said that he is or he must have been the greatest liar or the craziest lunatic the world has ever known. In his book "Mere Christianity," C.S. Lewis says:

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell."

"You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

There isn't any middle ground with Jesus, you either love him as Lord or you reject him as a madman.

A voice from heaven told us who Jesus is.

Matthew 3:16-17 After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy."

Luke 9:35 Then a voice from the cloud said, "This is My Son, My Chosen One. Listen to Him."

How much more obvious can God make it?

Jesus sinless character.

John 8:46 Which of you can truthfully accuse Me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don't you believe Me?

If God became a man what characteristics would that person have?

You would expect him to be sinless, speak profoundly with great wisdom, have an effect on the people that were around him, do miracles, know the future. Jesus did that!

Jesus friends testified about him.

John 3:31-36 "He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but He has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else."

32 "He testifies about what He has seen and heard, but how few believe what He tells them! 33 Anyone who accepts His testimony can affirm that God is true. 34 For He is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God gives Him the Spirit without limit."

John 6:66-69 At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. 67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, "Are you also going to leave?" 68 Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know You are the Holy One of God. "

These are just two examples, John the Baptist and Peter, of Jesus friends testifying about who Jesus is.

The early church testified about Jesus.

Acts 4:23-28 As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said.

24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: "O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, Your servant, saying, 'Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans? 26 The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against His Messiah.'

27 "In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, Your holy servant, whom You anointed. 28 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to Your will.”

Jesus friends worshiped him.

John 20:28-29 "My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me."

The people that knew Jesus best knew his true identity and they were not afraid to worship him. 

Jesus miracles supported his claim.

John 20:30-31 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name.

Jesus’ miracles recorded in the New Testament were not for show, he wasn't trying to impress us, Jesus used miracles to help us believe his claim to be God's son. Could anybody else raise a dead man from the grave? Could anybody else fix body parts that never worked? How about walking on water?

Demons knew who Jesus was.

Matthew 8:28-29 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by demons met Him. They lived in a cemetery and were so violent that no one could go through that area. 29 They began screaming at Him, "Why are You interfering with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torture us before God's appointed time?"

There were many times that demons referred to Jesus as the Son of God. Even the Devil and his demons can't help but tell the truth when confronted with Jesus.

Jesus death and resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:4-8 He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him.

Acts 13:27-33 The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the One the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned Him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets' words that are read every Sabbath. 28 They found no legal reason to execute Him, but they asked Pilate to have Him killed anyway. 29 "When they had done all that the prophecies said about Him, they took Him down from the cross and placed Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead! 31 And over a period of many days He appeared to those who had gone with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now His witnesses to the people of Israel. 32 "And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors, 33 and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. This is what the second psalm says about Jesus: 'You are My Son. Today I have become Your Father. '

The eyewitnesses were so convinced of his resurrection that they were willing to suffer and die because of their belief.

Jesus departure was as big as his arrival.

Acts 1:9-11 After saying this, He was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see Him. 10 As they strained to see Him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go!"

Many people down through history have claimed to be a god or the son of God, yet only one person has the proof, the evidence in favor of Jesus being God's son is awesome. God knew that there would be skeptics, he knew that we would want a logical explanation, thankfully he has revealed the truth to us so that we can believe.

Thank you Lord for loving us and allowing us to know you.