Evangelii = The Gospel in Latin
PART FOUR OF SIX
What did Jesus say about Himself? Quite a lot actually. Let’s take a look.
In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”
This statement says a lot about the deity of Jesus and the nature of the Godhead. He is saying, while the Father and Son are not the same person, there are equal in nature. In essence, Jesus is God.
In John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
He left no question about His deity, or His claim about His deity. The Jews prepared to stone him in response. They heard Him, but they did not HEAR him. The enemy continues to blind the eyes, ears, and minds of unbelievers of the truth of the gospel message.
Further, we see the I AM statements in the Gospel of John. Jesus said: I AM the bread of life, I AM the light of the world, I AM the door of the sheep, I AM the good shepherd, I AM the resurrection and life, I AM the way, the truth, and the life, I AM the vine.
In Mark 2:5, speaking to a paralytic man, Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” The ransom of the life of Jesus was paid to God the Father, who accepted it as a just payment for the sins of many.
Lee Strobel, in his book A Case for Christ, points out that every attribute of God is found in Christ. Strobel was an atheist, and after his wife’s conversion to Christianity, set out to disprove Jesus was God. Instead, he found the Bible affirms Jesus is omniscient (all-knowing, John 16:30), omnipresent (everywhere all the time, Matthew 28:20), omnipotent (all-powerful, Matthew 28:18), eternal (John 1:1), and immutable (never-changing, Hebrews 13:8).
So far, Jesus has: claimed to be God, claimed to be the I AM (another name for God), said he was the way to God, claimed to forgive sins, and claimed to be the payment for our sins. Then, in John 10:24-25, the Bible says, “So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, ‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me.”
Jesus said I told you and you do not believe.
In other words, I told you: I and the Father are one, I told you I AM the bread of life, I told you I AM the light of the world, I told you I AM the door of the sheep, I told you I AM the good shepherd, I told you I AM the resurrection and life, I told you I AM the way, the truth, and the life, I told you I AM the vine, I told you I forgive sins, I told you I came to give my life as a ransom for many.
Jesus was not unclear at all about His identity, yet many then, and many today, still have hearts of unbelief.
C.S. Lewis famously said, “I am trying to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I am 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…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.”
When one truly studies what Jesus said about the gospel and what Jesus said about Himself, we are faced with a decision: Is the gospel a lie, lunacy, or life itself (the truth)?
There really are not other options….We have to know where we stand. Once, and for all time.
Just for today, answer this question for yourself….Who is Jesus to you? He is either a liar, a lunatic, or He is who He claimed to be.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Five…..