With Pastor Joseph Rodrigues
Continuing from the previous study, we ‘zoom in’ to the second critical aspect in the revelation of God’s master plan – the ‘self-revelation’ of Christ.
By this, I do not mean what Christ said about himself, but the evidence that he gave as to his nature and his mission.
This study is vital to the protection of one’s biblical and apostolic faith in the biblical Jesus.
Why? Because of the unbiblical Jesus of the cults!
The standard against which
all ‘truth’ is to be measured is the declared word of God. What does the bible
say of Jesus? About his humanity? About his deity? Is that what we hear
In the previous session, we considered the aspect of the prophetic revelation about Jesus (the Christ, the Messiah). We considered what God said about him through the prophets –his names/titles/work. In this section, we are going to examine the self-revelation of Jesus (the Christ, the Messiah); that is, what Jesus said about himself, and his way of life that gave evidence as to who he was.
[Note: The Scriptures used here are by no means exhaustive, but are more than sufficient for our study]
There are two important aspects to be considered here in relation to the promised redeemer:
1. that he (Jesus) is fully human and
2. that he (Jesus) is fully God
Rejection of either of these two truths is to miss the plan and purpose of God and to deny his salvation.
Consider why this is so!
There is ample material in the gospels to substantiate the true humanity of Jesus:
-His genealogy (Mt. 1: 1-16; Lk3:23-38)
-His conception, normal human birth, after normal period of gestation (Mt 1: 25, Lk. 2:7)
-His growing up as any other child within a family (Lk. 2:40-52, Mk. 6: 1-6)
-His subjection to normal physical limitations
Tiredness (Jn. 4:6); thirst (Jn.4:7); hunger (Mt. 21:18); agony of the soul and the body and ultimate death (Lk. 22:63; 23:33-35; Mk. 14:33-36 etc.)
-His experience of the full gambit of human emotions
Anger (Mk. 3:5); amazement (Lk. 7:9); sorrow (Mt. 26:37); joy (Lk. 10:21); love (Jn.11:5); compassion (Mt. 9:36)
-His involvement in religious activity
He engaged in public worship (Lk 4:16), meditated upon and expounded the truths of scripture (Mt. 4:4 ff; Lk.2:46; 24:27) prayed audibly (apart from his continual relationship with his father - see Luke, chaps 3 and 6). He showed utter submission to and dependence upon the father who had sent him on a mission (Jn. 4: 34; 6:38; 12:49 etc)
-His limited knowledge (even though he was able sometimes to disclose a person’s past, knew his enemies’ thoughts etc). However, he was without error in all he said or did. Consider the implications of his infallibility!
-His subjection to temptation to sin (Mt. 4:1-11)
Consider the implications for us of Jesus’ humanity- (for example, not just representation but substitution!
Also important that we understand that he experienced the full range of human emotions, but was STILL WITHOUT SIN. This is in direct contrast to the first Adam.
Jesus Christ while truly (fully) man is also truly (fully) God. This truth lies at the heart of Christianity and makes it distinctive from the Jewish and Islamic faiths, which trace their ancestry back to the patriarchs, revere the prophets, & acknowledge one sovereign God.
We are going to consider in this session Jesus’ awareness of his deity. What did Jesus think and believe of himself?
In this context, it is important to note that Jesus never made the explicit claim to deity, saying in so many words, “I am God”. But we do find claims that he made which could not be appropriate if he were not God!
Biblical evidence of his deity
He said in Matt. 13:41 that he would send “his
angels”; elsewhere they are spoken of as ‘the angels of God” (Luke12: 8-9: 15:10). That reference is
particularly important because Jesus also speaks of the
He claimed to be able to forgive sins (the paralytic, Mark 2:5). This was something that only god could do! He also spoke of judging the world in Matthew 25:31 ff, something that is again only God’s prerogative!
He claimed to exercise authority in respect of the Sabbath (Mark 2: 27-28), something that had been established by God (Ex. 20: 8-11).
He indicated his authority to place his own word on the same level as the Old Testament Scripture, effectively claiming the power to himself lay down authoritative teaching: “You have heard that it was said,…..but I say to you…..” (Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28 et al)
He claimed to be “one with the Father” (Jn. 10:30), and that to see and know him is to see and know the Father (Jn. 14:7-9)
He claimed pre-existence with the Father (Jn. 8:58); note “I AM”!
He implied, stated directly, and demonstrated his power over death. (Jn. 5:21; Jn. 11:25).
Other biblical teaching about his deity can be found in the Gospel of John, The Book of Hebrews, and of course in Paul’s epistles. It would pay to do individual studies in these.
Consider some of the implications for us of the deity of Christ.