Presentation on theme: "GOD OR FRAUD? DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE GOD? IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY? AFTER"— Presentation transcript:
1GOD OR FRAUD? DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE GOD? IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY? AFTER MANY PEOPLE SAY THAT JESUS WAS A GREAT MAN, A GREAT TEACHER, OR THAT HE WAS AN EXAMPLE OF THE GOD THAT IS IN ALL OF US.BUT CHRISTIANITY CLAIMS THAT JESUS WAS GOD INCARNATE. GOD IN BODILY FORM.DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE GOD?IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY?
2John 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
3HAVING SHOWN GOOD ARGUMENTS GOD’S EXISTENCETHE BIBLE’S TRUSTWORTHINESSPOSSIBILITY OF MIRACLESTHE OCCURRENCE OF PROPHECYTHE HISTORY OF THE RESURRECTIONAFTERTHE QUESTION NOW BECOMES,“WHO DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE?”IF HE PERFORMED MIRACLES, FULFILLED PROPHECY, AND WAS TRULY RESURRECTED, THEN IT WAS NOT WITHOUT PURPOSE.
4WHO DID JESUS SAY HE WAS? THE MESSIAH QUESTION. The word messiah comes from the Hebrew word for “anointed one.”The word “Christ” is derived from the translation of “messiah” into Greek.BEFORETHOSE EVENTS WERE DONE TO ESTABLISH HIS AUTHORITY TO MAKE CERTAIN CLAIMS, CLAIMS THAT HAD TO DO WITH HIS IDENTITY.AFTERIN THE OLD TESTAMENT THE WORD CAME TO BE UNDERSTOOD AS A SPECIFIC PERSON SPOKEN OF IN THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES. THIS MESSIAH WOULD BE THE SAVIOR FOR THE NATION OF ISRAEL WHO WOULD OVERTHROW GENTILE RULE AND ESTABLISH AN ETERNAL REIGN. AND YET THE PROPHECIES ALSO PREDICTED THE MESSIAH WOULD SUFFER. THESE WERE 2 DIFFERENT DESCRIPTIONS DIFFICULT TO IN VISION IN A SINGLE PERSON. BUT IT WAS THIS SPECIFIC, NARROW SENSE THAT JESUS CLAIMED TO FULFILL.
5WHEN JESUS ARRIVED MANY JEWS WONDERED IF HE WAS THE MESSIAH PROMISED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. Most people by this time believed in a political messiah who would free Israel from the oppression of the Romans.AFTERFROM THE ERA BETWEEN MALACHI AND JOHN THE BAPTIST THERE WAS PUBLISHED LITERATURE ABOUT A POLITICAL MESSIAH.AS HAS BEEN OBSERVED, NONE OF THIS LITERATURE SHOWS A MESSIAH THAT WOULD SUFFER FOR MEN AS A REDEEMER. THE IDEA THAT THE MESSIAH WOULD COME WITHOUT RESTORING ISRAEL TO A NATIONHOOD WAS UNTHINKABLE.
6JESUS WAS VIEWED BY HIS AUDIENCE THROUGH A LENS DISTORTED BY MISUNDERSTOOD PROPHECIES AND UNWARRANTED EXPECTATIONSJESUS APPEARED, IN THE END, TO BE COMPLETELY DISQUALIFIED FROM BEING CONSIDERED MESSIAH.
7JESUS NEVER SAID “I AM GOD.” It is true that in scripture we never see Jesus say the words “I am God” but this does not mean that Jesus did not claim to be God.In the 1st century, to say “I am God” would be almost meaningless.Even Roman Emperors were ascribed or claimed deity themselves.BEFORESOME SAY THAT JESUS NEVER CLAIMED TO BE GOD.AFTER
8What Jesus did do was claim to be a very specific God to a very specific people in a very specific way.And the way He made His claims was very unmistakable to those people.AFTERIN MAKING HIS CLAIM JESUS SPOKE IN A WAY THAT WAS PECULIAR TO HIS AUDIENCE. THE 1ST CENTURY JEWS.CONSIDER THIS SENTENCE. “THAT CAT CAN WAIL”IF U WERE A VETERINARIAN IT WOULD MEAN SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN IF U WERE A JAZZ MUSICIAN.THOUGH THE WORDS ARE THE SAME, THE IDIOM PROVIDES THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE PROPER INTERPRETATION.
9With that in mind, Jesus claimed to be the God of the OT. He made this claim in ways that would be considered blasphemous if He were, in fact, not God.He also made this claim by exercising prerogatives that belong to God alone, such as forgiving sins and accepting worship.
10BLASPHEMY?One of the best indicators of who Jesus claimed to be is the response of His audiences. Their reaction to His words is very helpful in understanding the content of His words.
11John 8:52-59 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon John 8: The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.AFTERWHY DID THEY RESPOND WITH SUCH VIOLENCE TOWARD JESUS?NOTICE VERSE 58, WHERE HE SAYS BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS, I AM. THIS WAS NOT BAD GRAMMAR, JESUS WAS CLAMING THE PERSONAL NAME THAT GOD GAVE HIMSELF WHEN HE SPOKE TO MOSES FROM THE BURNING BUSH.HIS AUDIENCE UNDERSTOOD THIS BUT DID NOT BELIEVE HIS CLAIM, AND WERE READY TO STONE HIM.
12Leviticus 24:16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him.AFTERTHE PENALTY FOR BREAKING THE 4TH COMMANDMENT WAS DEATH BY STONING. THEY UNDERSTOOD WHO HE WAS CLAIMING TO BE, AND THEY TOOK IT AS BLASPHEMY.
13OTHER EXAMPLES John 10:30-33 I and the Father are one.” 31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.”
14John 5: And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
15Matthew 26:63-66 But Jesus remained silent Matthew 26: But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.”
16The very specific words that Jesus used and the reaction of His audience confirm that Jesus claimed to be God of the bible.Jesus did not correct their understanding of the law which declared that blasphemers must be executed. Rather He tried to correct their misunderstanding if His identity.
17THE FORGIVING OF SINSJesus also claimed to be the God of the bible in implicit ways.These ways have to do with Jesus claiming rights, privileges, and powers that belong to God alone.The forgiving of sins was one of these.
18Mark 2:3-12 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
198 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”AFTERJESUS AUDIENCE UNDERSTOOD THAT FORGIVING SINS IS AN EXCLUSIVE RIGHT OF GOD, AND THEY RIGHTFULLY OBJECTED TO THE CLAIM. AFTER ALL, IT IS EASY TO SAY “YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN” BUT HOW COULD ANYONE ACTUALLY VERIFY SUCH A CLAIM?JESUS DID JUST THAT BY PERFORMING A MIRACLE TO AUTHENTICATE HIS CLAIM AND THUS ESTABLISH HIS IDENTITY. THE MIRACLE CONFIRMED THE CLAIM THAT JESUS IS GOD, AND AS SUCH, CAN FORGIVE SINS.
20Luke 44-50Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
21ACCEPTANCE OF WORSHIPAnother way Jesus claimed to be God is by accepting worship.If Jesus was simply a good teacher living a moral life, then he would surely rebuke such behavior as misguided and inappropriate.Other wise, His teaching would not be good, and He would be acting immorally by accepting that which is not His.AFTERJESUS ACTED IN A WAY THAT INDICATED IT WAS RIGHT AND PROPER FOR HIMSELF TO RECEIVE WORSHIP.
22Matthew 14: Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
2328 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”AFTERTHOUGH JESUS HAD JUST REBUKED PETER’S LACK OF FAITH IN VERSE 31, HE DID NOT REBUKE THE DISIPLES WHEN THEY REACTED TO HIS WORKS WITH WORSHIP. IN JESUS’ VIEW THIS WAS A PROPER RESPONSE.
24John 9: Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.ANOTHER EXAMPLEHERE JESUS IS MAKING 2 CLAIMS.BY ACCEPTING WORSHIP HE IS CLAIMING TO BE GOD INCARNATE. AND BY IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS THE SON OF MAN, HE IS CLAIMING TO BE THE PROMISED MESSIAH PROPHESIED IN DANIEL 7:13THIS IMPLICATION WAS NOT LOST ON HIS AUDIENCE. IN FACT THE JEWISH LEADERS COMPLAINED ABOUT HIM ACCEPTING WORSHIP.
25Matthew 21: And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,“‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”BEFOREHERE WE SEE THERE COMPLAINTAFTERJESUS DOES NOT REBUKE THE PRAISE.
26John 16:23-24 In that day you will ask nothing of me John 16: In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.BEFOREJESUS GOES EVEN FURTHER IN HIS CLAIM. HE DOES NOT SIMPLY ACCEPT WORSHIP, HE TEACHES US TO PRAY TO GOD IN HIS NAME.
27IS JESUS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD? By teaching us to pray in his name, Jesus is claiming to be in a position of mediator or reconciler between man and God.It is only thru praying in Jesus’ name that believers can have access to God.John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
28John 3: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
29Matthew 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
30Jesus’ claim of being the sole access to God as well as God incarnate are not just an important part of His teaching, they are the foundation on which all of His teachings rest.They are the primary distinctions between Him and other religious leaders such as Buddha, Muhammad, and Moses.
31“The founders of the worlds great religions made no claims as extravagant as Jesus of Nazareth did: to forgive sins, to be the judge of all, to always be present with His followers throughout the ages, to hear their prayers.” because of Jesus’ claims the earliest believers were even referred to as being members of The Way.Paul Copan writes
32EXCLUSIVITYThe exclusivist claim of Jesus to be the only way to God, is extremely unpopular and politically incorrect.But the criticism leveled against Christianity on this is unjustified. Every religion makes exclusive claims, that is what makes them distinct religions.
33Hinduism may be open to accepting Jesus onto its pantheon of gods, or Buddhist may be willing to claim Jesus is someone who has attained enlightenment, or even Islam may say that Jesus was a great prophet, but to do so they must reject much or all of what Jesus taught about Himself and the world.AFTERIN OTHER WORDS, JESUS IS FINE WITH HINDUS AS LONG AS JESUS IS HINDU, JESUS IS FINE WITH BUDDHISTS AS LONG AS JESUS IS BUDDHIST, AND JESUS IS FINE WITH ISLAM AS LONG AS HE IS MUSLIM. THE SAME IS TRUE OF EVERY OTHER RELIGION. AND AS WELL CHRISTIANITY WOULD WELCOME THE BUDDHA AND MUHAMMAD OR ANY OTHER RELIGIONS FOUNDERS INTO THE FOLD IF THEY WERE TO DENOUNCE THEIR EXCLUSIVE TEACHINGS AND ACCEPT THE WORK AND PERSON OF JESUS FOR THEIR SALVATION.
34“ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME” One says Rome is everywhere.One says Rome is in oneself.One says Rome is unknowable.One says Rome doesn’t even exist.But one says Rome is a specific place and can only be gotten to in a very specific way.BEFORESOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT EACH RELIGION IS A DIFFERENT ROAD TO THE SAME PLACE. THIS QUICKLY FALLS APART.
35Either all roads are wrong or only one is right. Instead of all roads leading to Rome, all roads lead to their own exclusive destination and do not even intersect.They may all call their destinations “Rome” but they do not mean the same things by it.Either all roads are wrong or only one is right.AFTERTHIS EXCLUSIVE NATURE IS WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY SOMETHING IS TRUE. ALL TRUTH IS EXCLUSIVE BY DEFINITION.CONTRADICTORY CLAIMS CANNOT BE TRUE AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME WAY. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DO NOT HOLD TO DIFFERENT RELIGIONS AT THE SAME TIME, THERE ARE NO ISLAMIC CHRISTIANS. RATHER THEY CONVERT THERE THINKING ABOUT GOD, FROM ONE WAY OF THINKING TO ANOTHER.
36If Jesus is not the exclusive way to salvation, but just one way, then why did He die? Why did He live at all?For what possible reason would God become incarnate in the person of Jesus, live a life of perfect obedience, service, and self denial, suffer torture and then execution in one of the most horrible ways imaginable if there were plenty of other ways to God?AFTERONLY A SADIST GOD, A GOD FAR FROM BEING WORTHY OF WORSHIP BY ANY RELIGION, WOULD PERPETRATE SUCH AN EVIL ACT.FOR THOSE THAT SAY THERE IS NO FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RELIGIONS, THIS IS THE GOD THEY ARE LEFT WITH.
37But that kind of God contradicts the God we saw in the moral argument. If our morals are rooted in and informed by the character of our creator, God, then we would not be able to recognize the evil in His behavior. In fact we would agree with it, approve of it, and call it good instead.AFTERBUT WE CLEARLY CANNOT DO THIS. AND AS THE MORAL ARGUMENT SHOWS, WE ARE NOT LEFT WITH THE OPTION OF AN OBJECTIVE MORAL STANDARD THAT EXISTS OUTSIDE OF GOD’S CHARACTER AND TO WHICH HE, AS WELL AS WE, ARE OBLIGED.AS A RESULT WE ARRIVE BACK AT EXCLUSIVITY, A FEATURE OF ALL RELIGIONS, NOT JUST CHRISTIANITY.
38CONCLUSIONIt is clear that Jesus thought of Himself as God, in a very specific way. He showed this in a way that could be easily understood, even though it was not necessarily accepted. He also taught that He was the only way to salvation
39We must understand that these things deal with the content of faith, not just faith alone, not just the sincerity of the believer.Many people sincerely believe false things, but that does not change the truthfulness of what they believe. The object of faith, is what determines whether a religion is true or false, not the sincerity of its adherents.
40HOW COULD GOD ALLOW EVIL? NEXT TIMEHOW COULD GOD ALLOW EVIL?