Summary: Is the Jesus you profess to have in your heart the Jesus of the bible?
November 20, 2011
Text: Matthew 16:13-20
Subject: Who Jesus Is
Title: Jesus in You; The Search for the Biblical Jesus
Our Wednesday night bible study sparked some discussion about the bible and how it came into being and why there are some books that are not included in our bible that are included in others or books that claim Divine authorship that are not included. Here are the qualifications for a book to be included in the New Testament: 1) Written by an apostle or someone who had close association with an apostle. 2) It was widely accepted by the church at large. 3) It was consistent with the rest of scripture. 4) There was evidence of change in those who read the book as witnessed by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Now, there are many who claim that other books should be included but that the church denied them because they contained additional information about Jesus that would call the rest of scripture into question. That is exactly why those books aren’t included. Let me read a few verses from the “Infancy Gospel of Thomas” and you can judge for yourself if you think this book belongs in the bible.
1. I Thomas, an Israelite, write you this account, that all the brethren from among the heathen may know the miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ in His infancy, which He did after His birth in our country. The beginning of it is as follows:--
2. This child Jesus, when five years old, was playing in the ford of a mountain stream; and He collected the flowing waters into pools, and made them clear immediately, and by a word alone He made them obey Him. Having made some soft clay, He fashioned out of it twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when He did these things. There were also many other children playing with Him. A certain Jew, seeing what Jesus was doing, playing on the Sabbath, went off immediately, and said to his father Joseph: Behold, thy son is at the stream, and has taken clay, and made of it twelve birds, and has profaned the Sabbath. Joseph, coming to the place and seeing, cried out to Him, saying: Wherefore doest thou on the Sabbath what it is not lawful to do? Jesus clapped His hands, and cried out to the sparrows, and said to them: Off you go! The sparrows flew, and went off crying. The Jews seeing this were amazed, and went away and reported to their chief men what they had seen Jesus doing.
3. The son of Annas the scribe was standing there with Joseph; and he took a willow branch, and let out the waters which Jesus bad collected. Jesus, seeing what was done, was angry, and said to him: O wicked, impious, and foolish! what harm did the pools and the waters do to thee? Behold, even now thou shalt be dried up like a tree, and thou shalt not bring forth either leaves, or root, or fruit. Soon that boy was quite dried up. Jesus departed, and went to Joseph’s house. But the parents of the boy that had been dried up took him up, bewailing his youth, and brought him to Joseph, and reproached him because, said they, thou hast such a child doing such things.
4. After that He was again passing through the village; A boy ran up against Him, and struck His shoulder. Jesus was angry, and said to him: Thou shalt not go back the way thou camest. And immediately he fell down dead. And some who saw what had taken place, said: Whence was this child begotten, that every word of his is certainly accomplished? The parents of the dead boy went away to Joseph, and blamed him, saying: Since thou hast such a child, it is impossible for thee to live with us in the village; or else teach him to bless, and not to curse: for he is killing our children.
OK, so what problems do we see with this passage? First, Jesus never worked any miracles until the Holy Spirit had come upon Him at His baptism in the Jordan River. Second, Jesus never came to take away life – He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly… Third we never see anywhere that Jesus worked any kind of miracle to satisfy Himself…
Now this book is obviously not Holy Spirit inspired. But like many of the other books that claimed Holy Ghost authorship, the content is so different than that of our bible that we know that they can’t be true. What we do see, however, is a compilation of books that paint Jesus in the light that the author sees Him.