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I Who Was Jesus of Nazareth? II The Miracles of Jesus John Oakes Foster Stanback.

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Presentation on theme: "I Who Was Jesus of Nazareth? II The Miracles of Jesus John Oakes Foster Stanback."— Presentation transcript:

1 I Who Was Jesus of Nazareth? II The Miracles of Jesus John Oakes Foster Stanback

2 You are Invited! 2010 International Christian Evidence Conference Concordia University Irvine, CA Evolution: Four Views

3 Future Apologetics Certificate Classes World Religions, San Diego, May, 2010, John Oakes Existence of God Doug Jacoby and John Oakes August 27-28, 2010 History, Archaeology and Christian Apologetics. John Wilson, Doug Jacoby, John Oakes. Orange County October 29-31, 2010.

4 ARS recent debate: Jesus: Man, Myth or Messiah? ARS recent debate: Jesus: Man, Myth or Messiah? The trilemma (C. S. Lewis) Liar, Lord, Lunatic The trilemma (C. S. Lewis) Liar, Lord, Lunatic More modern version (Doug Jacoby) Liar, Lord, Lunatic, Legend More modern version (Doug Jacoby) Liar, Lord, Lunatic, Legend

5 Sage Sage Prophet Prophet Liar Liar Crazy person Crazy person Messiah Messiah Son of Man Son of Man God in the flesh God in the flesh Legend/Myth Legend/Myth Man (ie. mere man) Man (ie. mere man) An important religious leader among many An important religious leader among many

6 I Claims of Jesus II Jesus and Other Religious Leaders III Extra-Biblical sources on Jesus IV Reliability of the Witnesses V Messianic Prophecies VI The Jesus Myth Hypothesis VII Transformed Lives VIII The Miracles of Jesus IX The Resurrection Our Outline

7 Grading (if you are getting credit) The Reading 30% The Reading 30% Required Reading: Reasons For Belief J. Oakes IPIBooksRequired Reading: Reasons For Belief J. Oakes IPIBooks Exam 30% Exam 30% Paper 40% A research paper of 5 or more pages on a special topic of your choice. Paper 40% A research paper of 5 or more pages on a special topic of your choice.

8 I. The Claims of Jesus If we can assume the gospels faithfully record the claims of Jesus then he is either: If we can assume the gospels faithfully record the claims of Jesus then he is either: CrazyCrazy A manipulative liarA manipulative liar OrOr The Messiah and Son of God.The Messiah and Son of God.

9 Claim of Jesus Scripture Hearer’s Response Fulfilled all the O.T. prophecies of the Messiah John 5:39 Refused to come to him I am the bread of life John 6:35 Grumbled A life without sin John 8:46 Jesus is demon-possessed (crazy) I AM God John 8:58 Attempted to stone him I and the Father are one John 10:30 Attempted to stone him I am the resurrection and the life John 11:25 Plotted to murder him I am the only way to God John 14:6 No negative response (Jesus talking to disciples) JESUS’ CLAIMS ABOUT HIMSELF IN THE BOOK OF JOHN

10 II. Is Jesus just one of many similar religious leaders? Confucius Joseph Smith

11 Is Jesus a Guru? A Great Prophet? One of Many Important Spiritual Leaders? Lao Tzu Buddha Muhammad? Baha’u’llah Moses

12 III. Jesus and Extra-Biblical Sources Roman (7) Roman (7) Jewish (2) Jewish (2) Christian (33) Christian (33)

13 Not all the relief that could come from the man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of bbeing believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Therefore, to squelch the rumor, Nero created scapegoats and subjected to the most refined tortures those whom the common people called ‘Christians,’ [a group] hated for their abominable crimes. Their name comes from Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius, had been executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate. Suppressed for the moment, the deadly superstition broke out again, not only in Judea, the land which originated this evil, but also in the city of Rome, where all sorts of horrendous and shameful practices, from every part of the world converge and are fervently cultivated. Annals Cornelius Tacitus approx AD 114

14 About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. Antiquities 18:3:3 Josephus AD

15 On the eve of Passover they hung Yeshu and the crier went forth for forty days beforehand declaring that "[Yeshu] is going to be stoned for practicing witchcraft, for enticing and leading Israel astray. Anyone who knows something to clear him should come forth and exonerate him." But no one had anything exonerating for him and they hung him on the eve of Passover. Ulla said: Would one think that we should look for exonerating evidence for him? He was an enticer and G-d said (Deuteronomy 13:9) “Show him no pity or compassion and do not shield him.” him? He was an enticer and G-d said (Deuteronomy 13:9) "Show him no pity or chow him no pity or compassion,” Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a-b Talmud (1 st and 2 nd Century AD)

16 "As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he (Claudius about AD 50) expelled them from Rome”

17 Lucian of Samosata The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account… You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and life after his laws. The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account… You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and life after his laws. (Lucian The Death of Peregrine)

18 Pliny the Younger AD 112 Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ — none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do — these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshiped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ

19 V. Are the Gospel Witnesses Reliable? Martyrdoms. (Romans 5:6-8) Martyrdoms. (Romans 5:6-8) James, the brother of Jesus AD 62 (Josephus Ant )James, the brother of Jesus AD 62 (Josephus Ant ) Apostle James, brother of John (Acts 12:1-2)Apostle James, brother of John (Acts 12:1-2) Peter and Paul in Rome about AD 64Peter and Paul in Rome about AD 64 Tradition: all but JohnTradition: all but John Compare to the Book of Mormon. Compare to the Book of Mormon. Three witnessesThree witnesses Eight witnessesEight witnesses

20 Reliability of the Gospel writers The embarrassment factor. The embarrassment factor. Written and read in Jerusalem when could be refuted. Written and read in Jerusalem when could be refuted. Galatians AD 49 1 Corinthians AD 55 Mark AD 60? Galatians AD 49 1 Corinthians AD 55 Mark AD 60? Independent attestation. Independent attestation. Luke the historian. Luke the historian.

21 Sir William Ramsay I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth. In fact, beginning with a fixed idea that the work was essentially a second century composition, and never relying on its evidence as trustworthy for first century conditions, I gradually came to find it a useful ally in some obscure and difficult investigations. Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy; he is possessed of the true historic sense; he fixes his mind on the idea and plan that rules in the evolution of history, and proportions the scale of his treatment to the importance of each incident. He seizes the important and critical events and shows their true nature at greater length, while he touches lightly or omits entirely much that was valueless for his purpose. In short, this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians. Sir William Ramsay, St. Paul, the Traveler and the Roman Citizen, (Hodder and Stoughton, 1920).

22 Messianic Prophecies Fulfilled Isaiah 53:1-12. Despised, rejected, silent when accused and pierced. Isaiah 53:1-12. Despised, rejected, silent when accused and pierced. Micah 5:2 Born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 Born in Bethlehem. Isaiah 9:1 From the land of Zebulun and Naphtali Isaiah 9:1 From the land of Zebulun and Naphtali Psalms 22:14-18 crucified, garments divided and gambled over Psalms 22:14-18 crucified, garments divided and gambled over Zechariah 11:12-13 betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, money thrown to the potter. Zechariah 11:12-13 betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, money thrown to the potter. Daniel 9:24-25 The Messiah to come to Jerusalem about AD 33. Daniel 9:24-25 The Messiah to come to Jerusalem about AD 33.

23 Jesus Fulfilled Historical Foreshadows Prophet, Priest and King Prophet, Priest and King One like Moses (Deut 18:17-19) One like Moses (Deut 18:17-19) Genesis 22 Abraham and Isaac Genesis 22 Abraham and Isaac Raised from the dead on the 3 rd day 1 Cor 15:4, Heb 11:19Raised from the dead on the 3 rd day 1 Cor 15:4, Heb 11:19 Moses and the snake (Numbers 21:4-9) Moses and the snake (Numbers 21:4-9) Jonah (Matthew 12:39-40) Jonah (Matthew 12:39-40) Joseph Joseph David David

24 VI. The Jesus Myth Myth Is the biblical Jesus an interpolated “Christian” myth? Is the biblical Jesus an interpolated “Christian” myth? Adonis (Greek) Adonis (Greek) Osiris (Egypt) Osiris (Egypt) Tammuz (Egypt) Tammuz (Egypt) Dionysus (Greek) Dionysus (Greek) Mithra (Persia) Mithra (Persia) Krishna (India) Krishna (India) Appolonius of Tyana Appolonius of Tyana Peregrinus Peregrinus Empodocles Empodocles Attis Attis Hercules Hercules Romulus Romulus Baal Baal

25 Osiris An Egyptian god/man. Very obviously a mythical figure. An Egyptian god/man. Very obviously a mythical figure. Killed by his brother. Body cut up into 13 pieces. His wife Isis reassembles and sews back together 12 of the 13 pieces (see the parallel to the apostles?) He comes back to life and goes to rule in the underworld to judge the living and dead. Killed by his brother. Body cut up into 13 pieces. His wife Isis reassembles and sews back together 12 of the 13 pieces (see the parallel to the apostles?) He comes back to life and goes to rule in the underworld to judge the living and dead.

26 Appolonius of Tyana A miracle worker. A Pythagorean in the city of Tyana in 1st century AD. Saves a friend in Corinth. Predicts a plague in Ephesus. Says: stone this beggar to death to end the plague. The do so, and when they remove the stones they find a large dog alive and well. Appolonius disappears and is never seen again. A miracle worker. A Pythagorean in the city of Tyana in 1st century AD. Saves a friend in Corinth. Predicts a plague in Ephesus. Says: stone this beggar to death to end the plague. The do so, and when they remove the stones they find a large dog alive and well. Appolonius disappears and is never seen again. No death. No resurrection. No ascension. No death. No resurrection. No ascension. Only one very unreliable source years after he died. No eye witness testimony. Which story is mythical? Only one very unreliable source years after he died. No eye witness testimony. Which story is mythical?

27 Christian Myths Acts of Peter (3rd century) Peter squares off with Simon Magus. A dog tells Simon Magus to repent. Jesus raises a smoked fish to life. Acts of Peter (3rd century) Peter squares off with Simon Magus. A dog tells Simon Magus to repent. Jesus raises a smoked fish to life. Gospel of Thomas. Jesus works whacky miracles as a baby which seem quite silly. Jesus kills a child for carelessly bumping into him. Gospel of Thomas. Jesus works whacky miracles as a baby which seem quite silly. Jesus kills a child for carelessly bumping into him. There is nothing like this is the New Testament. There is nothing like this is the New Testament.

28 Conclusion Given Jesus’ claims about himself Given Jesus’ claims about himself Given the historical evidence, both from Christian and Pagan sources Given the historical evidence, both from Christian and Pagan sources Given the strong evidence that Jesus worked wonders and signs. Given the strong evidence that Jesus worked wonders and signs. Given the quality and quantity of the witnesses Given the quality and quantity of the witnesses Given the fulfillment of clear messianic prophecies Given the fulfillment of clear messianic prophecies and... Given the evidence for the resurrection and... Given the evidence for the resurrection I conclude that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. Jesus is who he said he was. I conclude that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. Jesus is who he said he was.

29 One More Point: VII. Changed Lives Jesus has had more influence on human history than any other person. Jesus has had more influence on human history than any other person. How to explain the vitality and growth of a religious movement started by uneducated, ordinary men. How to explain the vitality and growth of a religious movement started by uneducated, ordinary men. Millions of lives transformed by a personal experience with Jesus Christ. Millions of lives transformed by a personal experience with Jesus Christ.

30 Miracles What is a miracle? Lewis: I use the word miracle to mean an interference with nature by a supernatural force.” Webster: “A miracle is an event which apparently contradicts know scientific laws” Oakes: An event which requires the intervention of God C. S. Lewis

31 Miracles? Reggie Miller scores 9 points in last 11 seconds to win a playoff game “Miracle Mets” A man rescued after 28 days in the rubble in Haiti Miraculous transformation of lives by God

32 Miracles: Acts 2:22 Jesus… accredited by… miracles, wonders and signs. miracle = dunamis “Power or ability, physical or moral, residing in a person or thing.” wonder = teras “Something strange… a marvel” sign = semeion “Sign or signal” In apologetics we are most interested in the third definition.

33 Do Miracles Happen? If miracles happen then supernatural/God exists, but that is circular reasoning. What does science tell us? Science cannot answer the question of miracles; it can only help us to define the miraculous. If that happened, it would definitely be a miracle!

34 The Miracle of Creation A most difficult question: Why does anything at all exist? One thing for sure. The universe was created. Another thing for sure. Life was created.

35 The Miracle of Sustaining the Universe Colossians 1:15-17 In him all things hold together C. S. Lewis: I contend that in all these miracles alike the incarnate God does suddenly and locally something God has done or will do in general. Each miracle writes for us in small letters something that God has already written, or will write (or is now writing), in letters almost too large to be noticed, across the whle canvas of Nature.

36 Old Testament Miracles Paul: The Jews demand miraculous signs (semeion) and Greeks look for wisdom. No wonder they did… God prepared them to expect miraculous signs to accompany new revelation. The reason for signs, wonders and miracles Hebrews 2:3-4

37 Old Testament Miracles The flood. Genesis 7–8 The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19 The ten plagues in Egypt. Exodus 7–12 The pillar of cloud and of flame. Exodus 13:21–22 The parting of the Red Sea. Exodus 14–15 Manna, quail and water Exodus. 16–17 Thunder, lightning, flame and trumpet blasts on Mt. Sinai Exodus. 19:14–25 Judgment on those in Korah’s rebellion, the budding of Aaron’s staff. Numbers 16:28–49 Parting of the Jordan River. Joshua 3–4 The sun stands still, hailstones at Gibeon. Joshua 10:7–15 Elijah endless supply of flour and oil. 1 Kings 17:7–16 Elijah resurrects son of widow of Zarephath. 1 Kings 17:17–24 Elijah on Mt. Carmel. 1 Kings 18 Elisha resurrects the Shunammite woman’s son. 2 Kings 4:8–37 Naaman healed of leprosy. 2 Kings 5 Destruction of the Assyrian army. 2 Kings19:35–37, 2 Chronicles 32 Jonah in the belly of fish. Jonah 1–2

38 Evidence for OT Miracles Sodom and Gomorrah Exodus and Conquest Hezekiah, Isaiah and Sennacherib

39 The Five City League, including Sodom and Gomorrah

40 Papyrus Ipuwer 2:2—The river is blood = The river was turned to blood—Exod 7:20 2:6— Blood is everywhere = Blood is throughout all the land of Egypt— Exod 7:21 4:14—Trees are destroyed = And the hail… broke every tree in the field— Exod 9:25 9:11—The land is not light = And Moses stretched forth his hand… and there was a thick darkness— Exod 10:22 2:13—He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere = For there was not a house where there was not someone dead— Exod 12:30

41 One of the Tel El Amarna Letters 1400 BC Abdi-Hiba pleaded for military aid from Pharaoh Akhnaton; ‘The Habiru plunder all lands of the king. If archers are here this year, then the lands of the king, the lord, will remain; but if the archers are not here, then the lands of the king, my lord, are lost.’

42 The Sennacherib Cylinder or Taylor Prism British Museum, London (2 Kings 18) 691 BC As for Hezekiah, the Judean who did not submit to my yoke, I surrounded and conquered forty-six of his strong-walled towns and innumerable small settlements around them by means of earth ramps and siege-engines and attack by infantry men…. I brought out from them and counted 200,150 people of all ranks…. He [i.e., Hezekiah] himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city, like a bird in a cage…. The warriors and select troops he had brought in to strengthen his royal city Jerusalem did not fight…

43 The Message Of OT Miracles Judgment (flood, Sodom, etc…) Salvation (flood, Sodom, Exodus, Jonah, etc.)

44 Miracles of Timing or Supernatural Events? Water turned to blood, flies, frogs, hail, pheasants, wind that drove back the Red Sea. Maybe… Jordan River stops, Moses glows, water from a rock, death of first-born, events on Mt. Sinai. No way.

45 Miracles as Foreshadows/Prefigures of Jesus Moses sets Israel free from slavery Israel “baptized” into Moses as they leave slavery in Egypt. Moses gave bread and water. Jonah resurrected on the third day

46 Prefigure MiracleMiracle Prefigured Elijah provides an unlimited supply of flour and oil. 1 Kings 17:7 ­ 16 Jesus provides bread for John 6:1 – 14 Elijah raises the son of the widow at Zarephath. 1 Kings 17:17 – 24 Jesus raises Jairus the synagogue ruler ’ s daughter. Mark 5:21 –­ 43 Elijah parts the Jordan River. 2 Kings 2:7 – 8 Jesus walks on water. Matthew 14:25 – 33 Elijah ascends. 2 Kings 2:11 – 12 Jesus ascends. Luke 24:50 – 53 Elisha fills large jars with oil. 2 Kings 4:1 – 7 Jesus turns large jars of water into wine. John 2:1 – 11 Elisha raises the Shunammite woman ’ s son from the dead. 2 Kings 4:18 – 37 Jesus raises the daughter of Jairus the synagogue ruler. Mark 5:21 – 43 Elisha feeds one hundred. 2 Kings 4:42 – 44 Jesus feeds five thousand. Luke 9:10 – 17 Elisha heals Naaman of leprosy. 2 Kings 5:1 – 14 Jesus heals a man of leprosy. Matt 8:1 – 4 Jesus heals ten of leprosy. Luke 17:11 – 19 Elisha opens the eyes of the blind. 2 Kings 5:1 – 14 Jesus opens the eyes of the man born blind. John 9:1 – 6

47 VIII. Jesus and Miracles Four Possibilities: Four Possibilities: He neither worked miracles nor claimed to work miraclesHe neither worked miracles nor claimed to work miracles He claimed to work miracles, but he was a charlatan.He claimed to work miracles, but he was a charlatan. He worked genuine miracles, but as a sorceror/by the power of Satan.He worked genuine miracles, but as a sorceror/by the power of Satan. He worked genuine miracles and his claims about himself are validated by those miracles.He worked genuine miracles and his claims about himself are validated by those miracles.

48 The Jews Expected the Messiah to Give Miraculous Signs 4Q5:21

49 Reasons to believe Jesus worked miracles 1. A great number of the miracles were done publicly, often in front of the greatest skeptics and harshest critics of Jesus. 2. There were tens of thousands of eyewitnesses from every background to these events. 3. The apostles openly proclaimed that Jesus worked a great variety of miracles during the lifetime of those who could have refuted the claims. 4. Both Roman and Jewish histories report at least the general fact that Jesus worked “wonders.” 5. Pharisees and Rabbis did not deny miracles, but instead claimed Jesus did his signs by the power of demons. 6. Those who recorded the miracles as eye-witnesses (the gospel writers except Luke) have every appearance of being credible.

50 About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. For the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. Antiquities 18:3:3 Josephus AD

51 On the eve of Passover they hung Yeshu and the crier went forth for forty days beforehand declaring that "[Yeshu] is going to be stoned for practicing witchcraft, for enticing and leading Israel astray. Anyone who knows something to clear him should come forth and exonerate him." But no one had anything exonerating for him and they hung him on the eve of Passover. Ulla said: Would one think that we should look for exonerating evidence for him? He was an enticer and G-d said (Deuteronomy 13:9) “Show him no pity or compassion and do not shield him.” him? He was an enticer and G-d said (Deuteronomy 13:9) "Show him no pity or chow him no pity or compassion,” Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a-b Talmud (1 st and 2 nd Century AD)

52 Why Did Jesus Do Miracles? Because he had compassion. Matt 14:14 To fulfill prophecy. Matt 12:40 To validate his message. John 10:36-39 Because of people’s faith. Matt 15:21-28 To create faith in people. John 20:30-31 Because his mom asked him to. John 2:1-11

53 ReferenceMiracle John 1:1–4The miracle of creation John 2:1–11Water into wine John 4:46–54Healing of the official’s son Mark 1:21–28Casting out evil spirit Mark 1:29–34Healing Peter's mother-in-law Mark 1.35–39Miscellaneous healings John 5Healing man lame from birth Luke 5:1–11Miraculous catch of fish Mark 1:40–45Healing leprosy Mark 2.1–12Healing the paralytic Matthew 8:5–13Healing the Centurion's servant Luke 7:11–17Raising the widow's son Mark 3:20–30Healing the blind mute Matthew 8:23–27Rebuking the wind and waves Mark 5:1–20The pig incident Mark 5:21–43Raising of Jairus' daughter Mark 5:25Healing the bleeding woman Matthew 9:27–34Blind men The Miracles of Jesus

54 Mark 7:24–30Healing the Canaanite's daughter Mark 7.31–37Healing the deaf mute Matthew 14:13, Mark 6:30, Luke 9:10, John 6.1Feeding the multitudes Mark 8:22–26Healing the blind man Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28The Transfiguration Matthew 17:14, Mark 9:14, Luke 9:37Healing the deaf mute boy Matthew 17:24–27The coin in the fish's mouth Luke 13:10Healing the crippled woman John 9Man born blind Luke 14:1–2Healing of the man dropsy” John 11Raising Lazarus Luke 17:11The ten lepers Matthew 20:29–34, Mark 10:46, Luke 18:35Healing Bartimaeus and his friend Mt 21:18, Mk 11:12Cursing the fig tree Luke 22:51Healing the soldier's ear John 21Resurrection Mark 16:9, John 20:11Appearance miracles John 21:1Miraculous catch of fish reprised The Miracles of Jesus

55 The Miracles of Jesus Why he did it What it tells us about Jesus Go and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Matthew 11:4-5

56 John 2:1-11 Water to Wine Jesus the Creator Why? To meet a need and because his mom asked him to.

57 John 6:1-14 Feeding 5000 Surely this is the Prophet! Jesus the creator and the sustainer of life Jesus is “the bread of life” Jesus is spiritual food Jesus the source of eternal life

58 Jesus, Miracle Worker John 6:35 “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” John 6:1-15 Jesus feeds 5000 men, plus women and children.

59 Mark 2:1-12 Healing of the Paralytic Why? Because of the faith of the friends. Jesus controls our health. Jesus can forgive sin.

60 Matthew 8:23-27 Jesus Calms the Storm Why? To save the apostles from death. Jesus rules the physical universe “What kind of man is this?” The apostles now realized Jesus is God.

61 Mark 1:21-28 Jesus Drives Out An Evil Spirit Jesus has control over the demon world.

62 John 1:46-49 Jesus Knows Nathanael Jesus knows the thoughts and the heart of Nathanael. Jesus knows our thoughts and our hearts. “When you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” “Rabbi, you are the King of Israel.”

63 Luke 21:20-21 Jesus Predicts the Future “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.” Jesus, knows and by implication, controls the future

64 Eusebius “If any man will compare the words of our Saviour with the whole History of the Jewish war, as related by Josephus; he cannot forbear to admire and acknowledge our Lord’s prescience and prediction to be wonderful above nature, and truly divine.” (Book III. Ch. 7) “But the people of the church in Jerusalem had been commanded by a revelation, vouchsafed to approved men there before the war, to leave the city and to dwell in a certain town of Perea called Pella.” (Book III, Ch. 5)

65 John 11:1-53 Jesus Raises Lazarus Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Jesus will raise those who put their faith in him. Hundreds present The smell of death was strong Lazarus came out Look at the responses. There are only two rational responses to Jesus the miracle-worker.

66 The Greatest Miracles of All: The Incarnation. C. S. Lewis Miracles “The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation.” The apostle John: “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us.” (John 1:14)

67 The Incarnation: A Miracle on Many Fronts It fulfilled prophecy. Isaiah 7:14 “The Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.” Mary believed in Jesus. It fulfilled a prefigure. Joseph left the right hand of his father and became a slave in Egypt. He saved Israel. Moses left the right hand of Pharaoh to become a slave in Egypt and save Israel. It was a physical miracle. It proves God can create human life ex nihilo.

68 The Incarnation: A miracle A miracle in a sense not allowed by our definition. It is a “miracle” that God would humble himself in this way. Philippians 2:6-8 It is a “miracle” that “the fullness of deity can dwell in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9) What is the evidence that this miracle happened? Jesus: “I am the bread which came down from heaven” (John 6:41) Which he proved by making bread Jesus: “Before Abraham was born, I AM.” John 8:58

69 The Ultimate Miracle: The Resurrection of Jesus

70 Why is the resurrection so important? 1 Cor 15:13-19 If Christ has not been raised then your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. If Jesus was raised, then there is life after death.

71 “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” David Hume

72 Jesus of Nazareth was crucified under Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem

73 From the very beginning, the church unanimously claimed that Jesus was resurrected

74 The tomb was empty

75 Jesus of Nazareth was crucified under Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem

76 Josephus AD About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. The prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared. Antiquities 18:3:3

77

78 To squelch the rumor [that he had started the Great fire in Rome], Nero created scapegoats and subjected to the most refined tortures those whom the common people called ‘Christians,’ [a group] hated for their abominable crimes. Their name comes from Christ, who, during the reign of Tiberius, had been executed by the procurator Pontius Pilate. Annals 15.44

79 On the eve of Passover they hung Yeshu Babylonian Sanhedrin 43a-b Talmud (1 st and 2 nd Century AD)

80 From the very beginning, the church unanimously claimed that Jesus was resurrected Acts 2:24 But God raised him from the dead… How else to explain the growth of the church?

81 The tomb was empty If not….

82 1. 1. Jesus’ body was taken from the tomb Jesus did not actually die (swoon theory) Jesus was bodily resurrected from the dead.

83 The Stolen Body Theory Who would have stolen the body? The Jews? The Romans? The disciples? Could they have stolen the body? Did they, in fact, steal the body?

84 The Swoon Theory Beaten to the point of near death. No food or water for more than two days. Crucified and died. Pierced with a sword. Separated blood and “water” (plasma)

85 The Mass Hallucination Theory The women at the tomb. Peter and John. The twelve apostles, including doubting Thomas. Many other appearances. Over 500 witnesses. Do hallucinations eat fish?

86 Genesis 22:1-12 Abraham received Isaac back from the dead on the third day. (Hebrews 11:17-19) Jonah 1:7 Jonah was raised from the dead on the third day. (Matthew 11:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights….)

87 Prophecies of the Resurrection Feast of Firstfruits. Lev 23:9-14 Jesus is the firstfruit from among the dead. His resurrection is a promise of ours. Colossians “the first fruit from the dead.” Romans 6:2-7 If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

88 Implications of the Resurrection: Validates the claims of Jesus John 11 I am the resurrection and the life It confirms that we, too, will be resurrected. 1 Peter 1:3-4 It confirms that there will be a judgment day. Our doubts become much less significant. What about…. Jesus was raised from the dead!

89 What Is Your Reasonable Response? John 11:45-48 Either; Put your faith in Jesus or Radically reject him and all he stood for. A Challenge: Have Resurrection Faith.

90 Ultimate Miracle #3: The Ascension of Jesus

91 The Ascension After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9–11) If nothing else, it was a physical miracle: violating the law of gravity. It tells us that Jesus will come back in the same way he came.

92 The Miracles Jesus Did Not Do Meeting his own needs. Working miracles in order to convince the hard- hearted. Working a miracle because he was challenged to do so by an unbeliever. A miracle to take revenge or in judgment. Forcing the will of someone—taking away free will. Jesus did not prevent the crucifixion.


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