1. At Caesarea-Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples a very important question ............. "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
a. "John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of prophets."
b. "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" (Peter).
2. If Jesus were to ask his disciples today that same question:
a. "Good man, Inspired Rabbi, Apocalyptic Prophet, Non-existant."
b. Our Question: "Who does the Son of Man say the Son of Man is?"
c. Explore ....... The claims of Jesus about himself.
3. POINT: Jesus claimed unique authority over mankind.
a. Actions of Jesus which show his unique authority.
b. Words of Jesus which show his unique authority.
I. ACTIONS OF JESUS WHICH SHOW HIS UNIQUE AUTHORITY.
A. Jesus claimed to have authority (Mark 11:27-33).
B. Authority of Jesus as seen in his miracles:
1. Authority over demons (Mark 1:21-28).
2. Authority over nature (Mark 4:35-41).
3. Authority over death and disease (Mark 5:21-43).
C. Cleansing of the Temple (Mark 11:15-18).
2. Reason: Merchants crowding the Court of the Gentiles.
II. WORDS OF JESUS WHICH SHOW HIS UNIQUE AUTHORITY.
A. Authority over the Torah (Matt. 5:21, 27, 31, 33, 38).
1. Offensive to all Jews--LOM one unifying factor in all sects.
2. Claimed right to authoritatively interpret LOM (cf. Dt. 18).
B. Use of "AMEN" (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16).
1. "Amen" (truly, verily) an Aramaic term--claim of certainty.
2. Most often said at synagogues at end of prayers/sermons.
3. Jesus use at beginning is totally without parallel in Judaism!
1. Natural to forgive offenses against yourself:
a. You steal my money--"I forgive you."
b. You call me a jerk--"I forgive you."
2. What do you make of person who's NOT been stolen from or called a name and yet he forgives you for doing it to s/one else?
3. INCREDIBLE CLAIM! "Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
D. The "totalitarian" claims of Jesus:
1. Matt. 10:32-33 ..... Entire confession centered on self!
2. Mark 8:34-38 ....... Deny self, take up cross, follow me!
3. Matt. 7:24-27 ...... Words of mine = Build life on my words!
4. Matt. 10:35-37 ..... Commitment to Jesus above all others!
E. Jesus' claim to be "greater than" others:
1. Abraham ............ John 8:53, 58.
2. Moses .............. John 5:45-46.
3. Temple ............. Matt. 12:6.
4. Sabbath ............ Matt. 12:8.
5. Satan .............. Matt. 12:25-29.
6. Jonah .............. Matt. 12:41.
7. Solomon ............ Matt. 12:42.
1. Jesus' claims are either true or false.
2. Jesus left no middle ground--either we are for him or against him.
"I am trying here to prevent anyone (from) saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: `I'm ready to accept
Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him or kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity ).