Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Many Opinions, One Truth

Matthew 16:13-16
"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?
There is no greater question than this.  To get the answer to this question wrong has absolute eternal consequences.

In our New Testament Bible text above Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do men say that I the Son of man am?"  They recount what the 'talk of the town' is.  There were numerous opinions.  Some people were speculating that Jesus was John the Baptist.  Well, that is pretty wild, since John the Baptist was beheaded just months before.  Other people were more conservative in their speculations, but still missed the mark, saying that Jesus was one of the Old Testament prophets returned.

In other places in the New Testament we find other people thought Jesus was...
An opportunity for free food:    Jesus had many followers when he fed the 5000 and then the 4000; but they followed him to fill their bellies, John 6:26.
A source of entertainment:    Luke 9:9, with 23:8.
A great teacher:    Mark 1:22.
A blasphemer against God:    Matthew 26:64-65.

Today (and all through history) there are so many opinions about Jesus Christ that it makes one dizzy.  But, opinions are just that, opinions.  You may have an opinion about who Jesus Christ is.

The fact is, Jesus Christ knew (knows) who he was (is).  In our text above Simon Peter answered the truth: Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  In the immediately following verse the Lord Jesus commends Peter for this answer.

Jesus is the CHRIST.
The title 'Christ' means anointed one.  It is equivalent to the Hebrew word, 'Messiah.'  The Jews were then, and still are, looking for their Messiah to come.  Jesus confronted the Jewish religious leaders with who the Messiah was in total as recorded in Matthew 22:41-46.

This incident in Matthew 22:41-46 comes after two or three days of heavy questioning of Jesus by the religious rulers.  They were determined to destroy him.  Jesus effectively stops their mouths by confronting them with a truth, a truth that they were trying to avoid at all cost.  Jesus asks them, "What think ye of Christ? whose son is he?'  Their answer was, "The son of David."  And they were right, as far as that answer went.  The Christ/Messiah was to be the son of ancient King David--i.e. a direct descendant of King David.  The Jews were waiting for a man to sit on the throne of Israel that was promised by God.  But Jesus is not going to leave the issue there.  There is a truth about Christ to which they were blind and Jesus brings them face to face with that truth.  Needless to say, they turned away from that truth.

Jesus asks them, "How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?  If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?"  Jesus is referring to Psalm 110:1.  This is a passage that all Jews knew spoke of Messiah.  Jesus has backed them into a corner.  There is only one possible answer.  The Messiah is GOD!  This is the only way that King David of Israel could refer to his son as Lord.

Jesus is the SON of GOD.
Today, especially in western culture, a son is seen as below his father.  But this was not the case in ancient Jewish culture (and in other ancient cultures).  In ancient Jewish culture to call yourself a son of someone was to claim to be an equal.  We see this in the following...

John 5:17-18
"But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."

John 10:30-33
"I and my Father are one.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.  Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?  The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God."

Matthew 27:43--people mocking Jesus as he hung on the cross said...
"He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God."


Where do you stand on this?

Jesus flatly claimed to be and proved himself to be GOD.  You cannot have him any other way.  Some say He was a great moral teacher, but not God.  Sorry, that will not work.  You cannot have a great moral teacher that lies; for if Jesus was not God them he was a liar.  Some say that Jesus was a prophet of God, but not God.  Sorry, this is impossible!  A true prophet of God cannot lie.  If Jesus was not God then he was a liar.

The Son of God's incarnation (becoming a man) was prophesied numerous places in the Old Testament.  Here is a very well known prophesy.

Isaiah 9:6-7
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."

The fact that Jesus of Nazareth is GOD and man is shouted to all the world for all time by His bodily RESURRECTION from the dead.

Romans 1:1-4
"Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:"

Have you ever noticed that the world does not get upset with Budda, or Mohammad, or Chrishna, or the Pope, and rant and rave against them?  The religions that these people represent are religions of man's opinion, and men are not threatened by a 'you have your opinion, I have my opinion' situation.  But men are threatened and angered by the Lord God Almighty who is holy, undefiled, perfect, righteous, and who will hold all His creatures to account.

My friend, your opinion about God and Jesus Christ will not change who Jesus Christ really is.  It is God with whom we have to recon.  You must change.  Repent toward God and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Who do you say Jesus Christ is?

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