Summary: Study 5 - Jesus claimed such tremendous things that He was either mad, (as His family once claimed), or telling the truth that He was God
Jesus made many other claims than those we saw in Study 4.
1. He claimed to FORGIVE SINS. To the paralysed man Jesus did not say, "God will pardon your sins one day". He Himself pronounced that the man`s sins were forgiven!
The Jews immediately challenged Him: "Who can forgive sins, only God Himself". YES! Only God can forgive sins, but Jesus forgave this man`s sins. The only valid conclusion we can draw is that Jesus is God.
2. Jesus claimed to give ETERNAL LIFE, and only God can give eternal life.
3. He claimed, "He who has seen me has SEEN THE FATHER", showing that He was the perfect revelation of the Father. As we look at Him we can see all that we can grasp of God.
4. When He claimed "Before Abraham was, I am", He was claiming that He shared not only God`s essential nature and His eternal nature. He is taking us back to Exodus 3.14 where Moses is told by God to go to the people of Israel and tell them, "I AM has sent me. Tell them that Jehovah (I AM), the God of your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has sent you. (This is my eternal Name to be used throughout all generations.)".
There is no getting away from the greatness of the claim that Jesus makes here. In claiming the Name "I AM" for Himself, He was claiming the Eternal Name of God. The Jews were well aware of this and tried to stone Him for blasphemy.
A word of warning needs to be sounded at this point for those who will not accept Him for what He claimed to be. He warned people like this: "Unless you believe that I am who I am, you will die in your sins". Dare we deny that Jesus is God!
5. It was the same when He defended His Sabbath activities by saying that HIS FATHER was ceaselessly at work. "This made the Jews still more determined to kill Him, because He was not only breaking the Sabbath, but by calling God His own Father, He claimed equality with God" (John chapter 5. verse 18). This claim of equality is stressed by St. Paul in Philippians chapter 2 where J.B.Phillips version tells us, "He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God`s equal, but stripped Himself of all privilege........".
6. Time and time again we see Jesus COMPLETING the statements of the Old Testament Law. "You have heard that it was said by them of old time..... but I say unto you". When the Law was first given, Moses made it quite clear that it was God who gave it. If Jesus was just a man, then He had no right to make additions to or reinterpretations of the Law. The Jehovah`s Witness might say that the fact that He is MEDIATOR between God and Man gives Him that right, but Jesus claims to be more than a Mediator when He says "but I say unto you!". That is on a par with "Thus saith the Lord". It puts Him on the same level as God!
7. He claimed, "I am that Way, the Truth and the Life".
8. He called His hearers to return, NOT to God, but TO HIM (Matthew 11.28). This was blasphemy unless He Himself was indeed God.
9. He did not say (like Buddha), "This is the way, follow it". He said, "I am the Way. Follow ME".