Summary: This sermon asks the question, Who Is Jesus? It is a great foundational message about Jesus.
I heard some time ago that when Vince Lombardi was the coach of the Green Bay Packers that he stood before the team the day after a tough game and spoke to the men. These seasoned men had been playing the game of football nearly their entire lives. They know the gridiron and how to play the game. As this famed coach stood before these men he lifted up the pigskin ball and said, “Men, this is a football.”
There are times when it is important to go back to the basics and review the fundamentals. As we begin this series, our goal is to review the foundation upon which we build our faith and the future of the church here in Chickasha.
I am always amazed at the process of constructing a house or building. For months it seems as I drive by the building site that all there ever is, is a hole in the ground. Yes, work is taking place, but the longest time all I see is dirt plied up and a hole. It takes time to set the foundation because it is most important part of the structure. You can only build as high as the foundation is secure. Once the foundation is set, then things can start taking shape where people can see them. Again, for the longest time as I would drive by a construction site, there would seem to be little progress, but then one day the framing of a house would appear. Once the foundation is set, it seems that the building takes shape “over night.” Let’s make sure our foundation is deep, strong and secure. Then, the sky is the limit as to what God will build.
As we lay the cornerstone of our foundation, it is all about Jesus! What we believe about Jesus makes all the difference. Every other religion is based upon the teachings of their leader. Our faith is based upon a person. Every other religion can point to the tomb of their leader. For us, the tomb is empty because Jesus is not dead – He is alive! So, let’s start with the question Jesus asked: “Who do people say I am?”
Who do people say Jesus was?
• A Good Man
• A Great Teacher
• A Moral Leader
• A Great Person in History
These titles are the common responses given to the question – who was Jesus?
Who Did Jesus Say He Was?
Matthew 14: 61-64 Jesus before the High Priest
62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" 63But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."
64"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."
John 10:27-33 Jesus before the Jews
27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one."
31Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"
33"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
John 11:25 Jesus before the mourning
25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
John 14:6-9 Jesus before his disciples
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know[a] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."
8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us."
9Jesus answered: "Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ’Show us the Father’?
In these verses, Jesus clearly did not leave the option for people to consider him simply a good man, a great teacher, a moral leader or an influential person in history. Jesus said that he was God in human flesh. The Jewish leaders understood that and that is why they wanted to kill him by stoning. If a mere man claimed to be God, could he really be a good man or great teacher? As Josh McDowell or C.S. Lewis put it, He would have to be either a liar, a lunatic or actually Lord. There really are no other options available. If Jesus claimed to be God, knowing that he was merely a man, he would be a liar. If Jesus thought he was God but was only a man, he would be delusional and therefore a lunatic. The resurrection however proved that he was who he said he was – the Christ, the Messiah, God’s son and Lord.