Summary: Part 5 of a series that examines The Da Vinci Code; exposing the errors of Dan Brown’s claims and showing the truth of history and the Bible.
Decoding The Da Vinci Code – part 5
“Who Does Jesus Really Claim To Be?”
Pop culture on “Who Is Jesus?” – Video Clip (have clip earlier in service but refer back to it now) – no wonder so many are ready to accept Dan Brown’s claims in the Da Vinci Code. There don’t seem to be many who have really studied for themselves who Jesus is or seem interested in pursuing it.
Dan Brown –
p. 233 – “Many scholars claim that the early Church literally stole Jesus from His original followers, hijacking His human message, shrouding it in an impenetrable cloak of divinity.”
p. 234 – “Constantine commissioned and financed a new Bible, which omitted those gospels that spoke of Christ’s human traits and embellished those gospels that made him godlike. The earlier gospels were outlawed, gathered up, and burned.”
p. 256 – When referring to never seen documents he believes exists, “In those trunks are reputed to be the Purist Documents – thousands of pages of unaltered, pre-Constantine documents, written by the early followers of Jesus, revering Him as a wholly human teacher and prophet.
Jesus Seminar – Jesus was human – a sage – perceived as a prophet and an enemy to the Jewish religious establishment.
Cult Leaders -
1. Charles Russell, leader of the Jehovah’s Witness cult said, “The man Jesus is dead, forever dead.”
2. Brigham Young, of the Mormon cult said, “Jesus Christ was a polygamist; Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus, were His plural wives, and Mary Magdalene was another.”
3. The Christian Scientist founder – Mary Baker Eddy – said, “God is indivisible. A portion of God could not enter man; neither could God’s fullness be reflected by a single man.”
Islam, - Jesus was one of God’s many human prophets who were chosen to teach Islam to mankind at different stages; the final and completed stage being taught by God’s final prophet, Mohammed. Jesus was one of God’s highest ranked and most beloved prophets sent for the guidance of Children of Israel and who was born miraculously without any human biological father by the will of God.
There is no god except the one true God. God does not have a son. Thus, as with all prophets, Jesus was a human being.
Almost anyone can accept these pictures of Jesus – very non-threatening. A billion Muslims will say: "Prophet, yes. God, no!" Jews scattered around the world will say: "Teacher, yes. Messiah, no!" Liberal Protestants and people of various religions will say: "Incredible man and teacher, yes. Divine, no!" There is only one problem. It doesn’t take into consideration what Jesus claimed for Himself. It ignores Jesus’ own voice, His own words.
When people say they have no problem with Jesus – just with organized religion, they are making a statement in ignorance. They don’t really have a clue who Jesus was – what He claimed. Because Jesus didn’t leave us with an identity option that He was just a good man, teacher or prophet.
If you’re in Lake City, Florida one of these days and happen to run into a 50-something fellow with a sandy moustache, a receding hairline, and aviator glasses, you may be in the presence of “I Am Who I Am.” Really. But that’s because Columbia County Court turned down his first request for a new name: “God.” The former Charles Haffey says he wanted a new identity because of lingering feelings of anxiety over his military service in Vietnam. (10/15/02 News Headlines from The Christian Science Monitor) I guess anyone can claim to be God, but there is something about Jesus claiming to be God that is much more important. People sense that if Jesus claimed to be God, that we ought to take notice, listen and consider. That’s what He wanted.
Who Did Jesus Really Claim To Be? (remember we are looking to the N.T. after we have established that it meets all the tests of a reliable witness of Jesus).
1. Key passages about Jesus. (just a sampling)
Vs. 1 - “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God.”
Vs. 3 – “He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn’t make.” -
Vs. 6 – “Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.”
“My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed.”
“But to his Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in righteousness.’’
“while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.”
2. How Jesus makes direct claims to His deity.