Summary: The fundamental question we must ask when we read our Bibles or watch "The Passion" is this: Who is this guy Jesus? This sermon explores his claims and the evidence that he is who he said he is. *HANDOUT INCLUDED*
#3: True or False: Jesus Is the Son of God?
“I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM. . .” John 8:58
One of the fundamental questions we have to face when we read our Bibles, and when we watch the Passion, and when we decide whether it’s all true or false is this:
IS JESUS REALLY THE SON OF GOD?
There are plenty of people around today who will tell you that Jesus never claimed to be God. Some of them are atheists. There are even some that are Christians. Has anyone here ever heard of Kenneth Copeland, the TV evangelist? Copeland claimed that Jesus appeared to him in a vision and said,
“They crucified me for claiming I was God. But I never claimed I was God. I just claimed that I walked with Him. . .”
(Quoted by Hank Hannegraaff in Christianity in Crisis, 137-138)
If we are going to examine the evidence for Jesus being God, we first have to ask the question: “Did Jesus really CLAIM to be God?”
If Jesus really claimed this, he was the ONLY leader of a major world religion to do so.
Sure, you have your David Koresh and Jim Jones types. But I mean major world religions. . . for instance,
- Buddha never claimed to be God.
- Confucius never claimed to be God.
- Mohammed never claimed to be God.
When we objectively examine the Bible text, it becomes very clear what Jesus was claiming:
1. Jesus claimed to be the I AM of the Old Testment.
John 8:58 “Before Abraham was, I AM.”
This is the exact same name (in the original languages) as Exodus 3:14, where God said to Moses, “Tell the children of Israel that the I AM has sent you.” For Jesus to say this was to identify himself with God!
John 8:24 “If you do not believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins.”
(In your Bible, it may say, “I am he”. The word “he” does NOT appear in the original! Jesus is again identifying himself with God. Note that Jesus is not only claiming to be God, he is saying, You’ve got to believe it in order to be SAVED from your sin!)
2. He claimed to be ONE with God the Father.
John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.”
Now, some people have claimed that this isn’t really Jesus claiming to be God – he’s just trying to say that he and God are one in PURPOSE. You know. . . God and I agree on a lot of things!
That’s not a feasible answer. Here’s why: The Jews knew their religion better than anyone else. They knew EXACTLY what Jesus meant. And look what it caused them to do:
John 10:31 “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.”
When Jesus asked them why, they said,
John 10:33 “. . .because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."
3. Jesus claimed to possess God’s ATTRIBUTES.
- Omnipresence. Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
- Eternity. John 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify Me . . .with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
4. Jesus claimed to be able to do God’s WORKS.
- To forgive sins. Mark 2:10 “...the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins.”
- To resurrect those that believe in Him. John 6:40 “...everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
- To give eternal life. John 4:14 “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. . .”
5. He accepted worship as God.
The background of this is that Jesus himself claimed that ONLY God deserved to be worshipped.
Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ’You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’"
Jesus accepted the worship of Thomas.
Joh 20:28-29 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Since we can see that Jesus claimed to identify himself as GOD, we are only left with a few options. He was either:
He was a Liar.
One I often hear is this: “Well, Jesus wasn’t God, but he was a great moral teacher.”
I couldn’t possibly disagree more. We’ve already seen that Jesus claimed to be God. If he knew it wasn’t true, but still made the statements he made, then he’s NOT a great moral teacher – he’s the biggest liar of all time!