The purpose, goal and benefits of the Bible – Part 12
The Bible makes Jesus Known cont’
Angels and people worship Him (Heb. 1:6; Matt. 2:2). He possesses equality with the persons of the Trinity (John 14:23; 2 Cor. 13: 14). Beyond these assertions, the NT provides even clearer evidence regarding the deity of Christ. He is called God in Heb. 1:8. John’s prologue (1:1-18) affirms that Jesus is from the beginning, that He is “with” (literally “face to face”) God, and that He is God. John’s intricate Greek declares Jesus to be equal in nature with God the Father but distinct in person! Another important passage is John 5:16-29.
During a controversy with the Jews about healing a man on the Sabbath, the Jews sought to kill Him because He blasphemed in making Himself equal with God. Rather than correcting them for mistaking His identity, Jesus went on to make even further claims regarding His deity: He has power to give life to people (v. 21), all judgment is handed over to Him (v. 22), and all should honour the Son with the same honour they accord the Father (v. 23).
Jesus’ preexistence as God is demonstrated in John 8:58, where He affirmed that He transcends time. Romans 9:5 reveals that Paul called Jesus God, and there is no doubt that in Phil. 2:5-1,1 Paul understood Jesus to be the One that existed eternally in the form of God and on an equal nature with God. The outstanding Christological passage in Col. 1:15-23 says Christ is the image of the invisible God; that is, He is such a reproduction or likeness of the God Who is invisible to mortal man that to look at Christ was to see God. Clearly, the Christ of the NT is not a man who was deified by His disciples (the view of classic liberalism), but He is the eternal Son of God, Who voluntarily became a man to redeem lost humanity.
Teaching and Mighty Works Jesus was a master teacher. Crowds that claimed no loyalty to Him were forced to admit, “No man ever spoke like this” (John 7:46). At the close of His compelling Sermon on the Mount, the multitudes were amazed at how He taught (Matt. 7:29). He taught mainly about His Father and the kingdom that He had ushered in. He explained what that kingdom is like and the absolute obedience and love His followers are to have as citizens of the kingdom.
His teaching often enraged the religious leaders of His day because they did not understand that He was the promised Messiah who appeared to usher in the kingdom, through His death, resurrection, and second coming. He stressed that the kingdom, though inaugurated at His first appearing, will find its consummation in His second coming (Matt. 24-25). Until His second coming, His disciples were to conduct themselves as salt and light in a dark, sinful world (Matt. 5-7). Often, He spoke in parables, helping people to understand by using common things to illustrate spiritual truths.
Jesus’ mighty works validated His unique and divine nature. He backed up His claims to deity by demonstrating His power over sickness and disease, over nature, and over life and death itself. One great miracle that demonstrates conclusively His claim to deity is His resurrection from the dead. Death could not hold Him. He rose from the dead and showed Himself alive by many “convincing proofs” (Acts 1:3). Despite rigorous attempts by liberalism to expunge the miracles from the Gospels, it is impossible to eliminate these supernatural elements from Jesus’ life without consequently damaging the credibility of the Gospel records about Him.
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