Summary: The Resurrection Provides Confirmation For Jesus’s Claims That He Is God.
Title: Jesus Is . . .My Lord And My God
Series: Who Is Jesus? (Sermon # 5)
Text: John 20:24-28
Date Preached: March 30, 2008
COPYRIGHT © Joe La Rue, 2008
A. As we begin this morning, we are going to play a little game. I am going to make three claims about myself. Two of them are true. One is false. Your job is to pick the claim that is false when I ask you to vote. Are you ready? Here we go:
1. I argued an issue before the Ohio Supreme Court and won, nine years before I attended law school.
2. I have been honored by a Black church and interviewed on television for my contribution to our society’s understanding of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.
3. I have authored a book explaining the history leading up to the famous Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America, as well as the case’s effect on modern society today, and that book made the New York Times’ Bestseller’s List.
Okay, which one of those three statements is false? Raise your hand if you think that I didn’t argue and win an issue before the Ohio Supreme Court nine years before I went to law school. That one is actually true.
How about number two: who thinks that I was not really honored by a black church and interviewed on television in relation to my work on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement? That one is also true.
Though not quite as impressive as I am making either of them sound, both of those statements are really true. So, the one that is false? Number 3. I have not authored the book on Roe v. Wade, though I actually hope to at some point.
B. You know, I could probably tell you just about anything and get you to believe it. And you could do the same to me. If we know how to persuade people, we can make just about anything sound believable. I mean, how many people have a book that has been on the New York Times’ Bestseller’s List? That’s a pretty incredible tale! Yet, it sounded convincing when I told it, didn’t it? If we know how to persuade people, we can make almost anything sound believable! We can make people believe almost anything . . . except that we are God. That’s one of the few claims that people know is false. When we hear someone say that he or she is God, we intuitively know that they are not. We don’t pause and wonder, “Hmmm. Could this person really be God?” Rather, we know that they are not God, because experience teaches us that people are not God. In order to believe that someone really was God, it would take some pretty convincing proof, don’t you think?
C. Trans: And yet, make no mistake: Jesus claimed to be God.
I. JESUS CLAIMED THAT HE IS GOD.
A. For instance, Jesus claimed the right and the ability to do things that only God has the right and ability to do.
1. In Mark’s Gospel, the 2nd chapter, for example, we find the story of the paralyzed man who was carried by his friends to Jesus. They were hoping that Jesus might heal him. And when they got to the house where Jesus was teaching, they found such a great crowd that they could not get their friend into the house. Remember what they did? They cut a hole in the roof of the house and lowered their friend down on his pallet to Jesus’s feet. And the Bible says that Jesus said to the man, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5, NASB). And the people sitting around kind of did a collective gasp and said, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7, NASB).
a. And they were right: only God can forgive sins in total. You see, each of us can forgive the sins that have been done to us. If someone were to punch me in the nose, I can forgive him. But I cannot forgive him if he punches you in the nose—that would be for you to do. And you cannot forgive him for punching me in the nose. That is for me to do. That’s why we say that only God can forgive sins in total: only God has the ability to declare sins forgiven in their totality.
b. Yet Jesus said to this man, “Your sins are forgiven.” And when we read this passage, we do not get the impression that Jesus was forgiving only sins that the man had done to him specifically, but rather, that Jesus was forgiving the man’s sins in their totality. And that, friends, is something that only God has the right and ability to do; yet, Jesus claimed to have that right and ability, too.