Summary: Examining whether Jeus is God’s Son.
Luke 4:38 - 44 – Jesus is God’s Son – True or False?
I have been teaching Grade 7 RE since the beginning of the year and they are literally full of questions. I have a question box which is available for them to put questions in and we will attempt to answer them over the course of the year. Well, I’ve been swamped by questions about God, Jesus and faith.
One of the most common questions is how do we know that God is real. It’s a question that many of us grown ups ask also. And probably the best answer to this question is to take a look at Jesus’ life. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. In John 10:30, Jesus said “I and the Father are one.” He also claimed that God was his Father (John 5:18), and claimed many of the characteristics of God. For example, Christ claimed to have the authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10). He claimed that one day he would sit at the right hand of God in power (Mark 14:62) and would come with power to judge (John 5:22). He asserted several times that he had the authority and power to raise the dead (John 6:39-40).
But words are cheap aren’t they – you or I could make the same claims right here and now, but it is another thing to be able to prove them. When Jesus was on earth, he spoke with authority and people marveled, but they still weren’t convinced by his mere words. It took more, it usually took miracles or wonders to prove to those watching that Jesus was who he said he was – God’s Son.
This Morning I want to attempt to answer the question – Jesus is God’s Son – True or False? This is the first in a series of messages which will lead us into Easter. Over the coming weeks, I want to ask these 3 questions …
Jesus is God’s Son – True or False
Jesus is the only way to God – True or False
Jesus died for you and me – True or False
But today I want to ask the question - Jesus is God’s Son – True or False? This is the first question which must be answered before we can believe in Him. And the only way to answer this question is to look at His life and actions and see whether they indeed prove Jesus’ self claims. Before we get to that, though, it is important to realize that when we talk about Jesus, we have 4 choices before us. By the end of today’s service, you will have to decide on one of these.
1. He is a liar - He knew He wasn’t God’s Son, but he deliberately misled those that heard Him. Maybe it was for a big ego trip, or maybe it was to gain popularity. Most people, even those who don’t believe he was the Son of God, believe he was a great moral teacher. Teaching people how to live right before God. But there is a problem here if you think he is a great moral teacher, but not the Son of God. Because Jesus could hardly be a great moral teacher if he was living a double life and lying about his own identity. He was either who he said he was in which case we should listen to him. Or, Jesus is a liar on all accounts and we can’t trust anything he says.
2. The second option is that Jesus was well meaning, but a bit confused. He was a lunatic. But when we look at his life, we don’t see an abnormal or imbalanced person who has no control of himself. Just the opposite. Jesus always seems to be in control even when faced with external pressure. There is little evidence that Jesus was a Lunatic.
3. The third option is that Jesus was a Legend. There is no doubt that Jesus of Nazareth lived. His life and death are testified by Roman historians living at the time. But some argue that while Jesus was a real man, the stories about him and the accounts of miracles were fabricated and the stuff of legends and stories. This is a difficult argument to support though, because our four gospel accounts (Biographies if you like) were written within the lifetime of eyewitnesses. To have made up such fairy tales and have them accepted as truth by the population at large would have been inconceivable. It would be like us saying that Slim Dusty was not just a country and western singer, but he was actually God’s Son who traveled around Australia doing incredible miracles. He healed people, rose people from the dead. He brought rain to drought stricken towns. He was God’s Son and actually has risen from the dead and is now in heaven. Now you and I wouldn’t believe a bar of it would we, because we could probably very easily track down some people who had seen Slim Dusty in the flesh and could discount any of these stories. That is what it was like for the Gospel writers. Their accounts were up for scrutiny, but instead of being rejected as fiction, they were universally accepted as accurate and true. And they are seen in that light even to today. So this option doesn’t really hold much water.