Summary: Part 5 of a Series on The Da Vinci Code, Faith Fact or Fiction. In this message we explore the claims of Brown’s book agains the divinity of Christ, His "marital status" and just who He left the responsibility of the Church to.
This Man Jesus
The Da Vinci Code Part 5
Text: Luke 1:1-4
There are three claims made by Dan Brown’s character, the British historian Leigh Tebing that concern the man Jesus of Nazareth and that have caused a global response from the Church. They are:
• Jesus was not, and made no claims to be divine.
• That as a man, Jesus because attracted to, courted and married Mary Magdalene.
• That Jesus was murdered by the Romans before the birth of his only child, a daughter named Sarah.
• That Jesus entrusted the advance of the Church not to the twelve Apostles, but to one woman, Mary Magdalene.
I hope this morning to address all four of these claims and to bring a little more clarity to the question Who was this man, Jesus?
Last week we established the authenticity and accuracy of the scriptures, so it is from there we will look for our answers. Bare in mind that the text we will be using this morning have been the uncontested canon for nearly two millennia. ….. With that in mind, let’s begin.
What about the subject of Jesus’ divinity?
According to Brown, the subject was first introduced, voted on and accepted by the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The “real close vote” that Tebing eludes to was 318 to 2. But what was this vote all about.
• Theologian by the name of Arius was teaching that Jesus had undoubtedly been a remarkable leader, but he was not God in flesh. Arius was enough of a problem and persuasive enough as a false teacher to justify dealing with the issue in this formal fashion. Actually, more specifically, Arius claimed that Jesus was a created being.
• It was a re-affirmation of faith in doctrine, not the creation of new doctrine.
What was the original stand of Jesus’ divinity? Let’s look at how the Apostle John opens his letter to Asian Minor with these words.
According to John’s Gospel, and earliest Christian teaching, Jesus “was” before his incarnate existence on earth.
1. Jesus said of himself “before Abraham was I AM” (John 8:58)
2. John 17:5
And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
3. Micah 5 tells us that Promised One existed “before all eternity”
Arius argued that Jesus was a created being and thus was not God. But according to Scripture He was in existence before the foundations of the earth were laid, He was the voice of God at Creation, He appeared pre-incarnate on at least six occasions.
• To Abraham under the tree (Gen 18:1-2)
• To Hagar in the dessert (Gen 16:13)
• To Jacob at Bethel (Gen 32:29-30)
• To Moses on the Mount (Ex 3:14)
• To Joshua at Jericho (Josh 5:13)
• To Samson’s Parents in the fields (Judg 13:17-18)
The second claim we will consider is that Jesus was in fact in love with and eventually married Mary Magdalene.
First, let it be clearly noted that no where in scripture, accepted or Gnostic, in no historical record, religious or secular is there any evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was married. In fact, there is strong scriptural evidence to the contrary. If you recall the argument made in the Da Vinci Code is that if Jesus were not married one of the four gospels would have mentioned it. I have been asked by several to offer a compelling argument they could use as response to their unchurched friends as proof that Jesus was not married.
First, marriage in Jewish culture of Jesus’ day was a very public affair. The whole town would be involved in the multi-day event. (The wedding at Cana) Had Jesus married in the middle of his ministry (when he met Mary) one of the Gospel writers would have detailed the festive celebration in Jesus’ hometown.
Second, it was against Jewish law for a man betrothed to a woman (betrothal had the same covenant weight as marriage without consummation) to pursue another woman let alone marry her. Jesus could have been put to death for such an action.
• Jesus came to earth betrothed to the Church!
• We are the bride of Christ awaiting the return of the Bridegroom to take us to the marriage chamber He has prepared for us.
Third, had Jesus been married it would have been His wife, not His mother that he entrusted to John at His death. Had Jesus, in his death failed to “provide” for His family He would have been marked as worse than an infidel, an unbeliever. He did provide for His earthly family, His mother!
Did Jesus and Mary have a child together?
Again, look at Levitical Law. A betrothed man would be considered a fornicator if he had a child by another woman. And, had he married Mary, He would have broken His covenant with the Church, His true bride.