John 14:1-14 (ESV): I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: 14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; [a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[e] anything in my name, I will do it.
For non believers, the name of Jesus many times causes negative emotions. These emotions take many different forms. It confuses them. It embarrasses them. It makes them angry. It makes them want to change the subject. It makes them want to argue. But why?
If you go to a friend and bring up the subject of god (lower case) then people are ok but when you bring up the name of Jesus people have a problem.
When Jesus started His mission here on Earth people began to realize that He was making many amazing and hard to believe statements about who He was, why He was here and what was happening. How could a simple carpenter from Nazareth be saying such things?
So what were some of these statements that He made:
- He was making claims that would make Him equal to God.
- He was the only way to salvation.
- He was the only way to forgiveness of sins.
Today we will begin looking at the claims Jesus made and decide if they were true. The truth isn’t about what you want to believe but what is real.I We live in a world were people believe in many different things and in many cases those things are not real.
So what about Jesus? Who did He claim to be? Are those claims true?
Let’s start at the beginning. He claimed to be God. Many different belief systems believe in a “god” or a spirit of the universe who created and is in charge of the world. Muslims, Jews, and Hindus all believe in a God that knows them personally and takes an active role in this planet’s affairs.
Believing in Jesus takes it one step further. God became man through Jesus. This is what makes being a Christian far different then the other belief systems. Jesus Christ is not a first and last name. In Greek the name Jesus means “the lord saves” and Christ mean “anointed one” which points towards a King and/or a priest.
The Old Testament promised His coming and the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus Christ is God. The references throughout the scripture could only apply to God.
These are so many scriptures in both the Old and New Testament referring to Jesus and how it had to be Him. The characteristics Jesus had can only be true of God.
- Jesus is self-existent. (Existing independently of any cause, as God. –Dictionary.com) John 1:2 (NIV): 2 He was with God in the beginning.
- Jesus is omnipresent. (Present everywhere at the same time.) Matthew 18:20 (NIV): For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
- Jesus is omniscient. (Having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding.) John 6:64 (NIV): 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.
- Jesus is omnipotent. (Almighty or infinite in power.) Matthew 8:26-27 (NIV): 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Jesus’ first followers were Jews who had very strong religious beliefs and only believed in one true God. Some of theses early believers included:
- Paul who was named Saul a Jewish Rabbi. Before Jesus changed his name to Paul, he was a violent persecutor of the early church. (See Acts 8:3)
- Peter a Jewish fisherman, who Jesus called at the beginning of His Earthly ministry. (See Matthew 16:16)
- Martha who was a personal friend of Jesus. (See John 11:27)
- Stephen who was the first Christian to be stoned to death for his belief. (See Acts 7:59)
- Thomas who first doubted that Jesus had rome from the grave. (See John 20:25-28)
Jesus made some bold claims about who He was. He also did some amazing things in the presence of many witnesses:
- Jesus himself claimed to be eternal.
- He claimed to be equal with God.
- Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath.
- Jesus was in direct conflict with the Jewish leaders.
As Jesus said and did these things, the religious leaders of the day became increasingly angry.and hostile towards Him. They sought to kill him several times before His actual trial. There were several attempts at stoning Him and in one instance they tried to throw Him off a cliff. Why were they so angry?
They understood the claims that He was making and the things He was doing. It drove them crazy. He claimed to be the Son of God. He claimed that He had the ability to forgive sins. He healed sickness. He performed numerous miracles. During His trial He made claims that further infuriated the authorities. They never stopped to consider if His claims were true.
Jesus was put on trial for who He claimed to be, not for anything he may have done. During the trial Jesus confessed to being God (Matthew 27:41-43). You must decide if that claim is true.
Jesus is the only one who has and can offer eternal life. 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV) says “11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Will you accept His Offer?
Next time was Jesus crazy? Was He lying? Or is He God? There are no other choices.
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