Posted by: Joe Palmer | December 22, 2009

WHO IS JESUS?



WHO IS JESUS

By Joe Palmer

I. Communication has come a long way
A. From Smoke signals to telegraph: from walkie-talkies to cell phones: from Letters to Text messages
B. Did you know that today text messages have surpassed phone calls as the primary form of communication? The typical mobile phones sends 357 text message compared to 204 calls.
C. God has sent you a text message. Go ahead check it and see
D. Did you get my text?
1. Doesn’t mean did you get it, as much as read it and respond.
2. God has sent his son to be a new way of communicating to us.
3. Heb 1:1-3 – God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
E. Was Jesus really born? Was he just a man, or can I believe with any validity the fact that he is God?

II. Jesus was a historical figure authenticated by many sources
A. Secular Historians
1. Cornelius Tacitus – Called the Great Roman Historian of all time. Lived 55 to 120 A.D. Wrote Annals & Histories covering AD 14 to 96.
2. He wrote about how Nero accused Christians of setting Rome on fire and his persecution of Christians. “Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also. (Annals XV,44)

3. Lucian of Samosata – Greek satirist of the late second century –Non Believer. “The Christians you know, worship a man to this day – the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account… You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for al time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them: and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike regarding them merely as common property.”

4. Suetonius –Historian and court official under Hadrian. “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus he (Claudius) expelled them from Rome. FOUND IN LUKE 18:2

5. Thallus writing around AD 52 tries to explain in natural terms the darkness of the cross thinking it was an eclipse. However this was noted by other writers quoting him as being impossible since it was at the Passover the time of the full moon.

6. Even the Jewish Talmud’s spoke of Christ though not in friendly terms. The Jewish Historian Flavius Josephus wrote. “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and man of the Gentiles. He was the christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him . And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day. ” (Antiquities, XVIII, 33)

B. Early Christian Writers
1. Sometimes we dismiss the Bible as just a book.
a) It is the most studied and critiqued book in history.
b) While there are questions there is a great deal for which we can be certain.

2. John says 1 John 1:1-3 NKJV – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life– the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us– that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

3. 1Timothy 3:16 NKJV – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

III. Was Jesus God?
A. Jesus claimed to be God

1. John 14:7 -11 NKJV – “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own [authority]; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I [am] in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

B. What do we do with Jesus Claim?

Our options?

Two Alternatives –

1. His Claim was True

2. His Claim was false

1   If False. Two alternatives  1) He knew his claim was false.
a) He made a deliberate misrepresentation
b) He was a liar, hypocrite, demon, or fool
2. He did not know his claims were false?
a) He was sincerely deluded
b) He was a lunatic

D. If His Claims were true. He is the Lord ( Two alternatives )
1. Accept it?
2. Reject it?

Joe Palmer

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