Friday, March 22, 2013

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Who Do You Say That I Am?

        Who do you say Jesus is? Do you say that He is Lord, the Son of God, Messiah, or a first century liar who fooled the whole world? Is Jesus not Lord because you don’t believe in Him? If that is the case, it must be your belief system that determines if He is God or not God. Let’s see now, if we don’t believe He’s God, therefore He can’t be? If that is the case, we must be all powerful, and all knowing. Perhaps the world doesn’t revolve around me, or you, and what we determine our beliefs to be.

        Atheists say there is no God, because they don’t believe He exists. People who do believe in God are backed up by thousands of historical documents, both biblical and non biblical, which testify to the existence of God. The preponderance of evidence, regardless of our beliefs, falls to the fact that the Bible is the word of God and therefore trustworthy.

        In the Bible, the lineage of Jesus is given twice, and appears to be contradictory. The lineage given in Matthew 1:1-16 and the lineage give in Luke 3:23-38 seems to give credence to those who say there are mistakes in the Bible and therefore the Bible is not trustworthy. Because of this, we must investigate the reasoning of God in supplying the two different lineages. In Matthew we see the line of ascension to be from Abraham, to David, to Nathan, to Mary, to Jesus. The Luke ascension is from Abraham, to David, to Solomon, to Heli, to Joseph, who was the husband of Mary. The division is based on which son of David is taken. Joseph’s line came through David’s son Solomon, while Mary’s line came through David’s son Nathan. Jesus’ human bloodline was through Mary, while His Heavenly bloodline was from God. Jesus, through the marriage of Mary and Joseph, was called the son of Joseph; in the same way that Ruth, by marriage, was called the daughter of Naomi, as explained in the book of Ruth 1:11-13. In the Jerusalem Talmud, Mary is called the daughter of Heli, by marriage, to Joseph. Jesus was both the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus was the ‘real’ Son of God (through the Holy Spirit), and the legal son of Joseph (through the law). The relationship of Jesus, through the ‘seed of the woman’, was first announced in Genesis 3:15, and fulfilled in the birth, through Mary, by the Holy Spirit, without the seed of man being involved.

          John, the Baptist, said stones could be turned into sons of Abraham. Matthew 3:9 says: “And think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” In Luke 19:40, when Jesus was asked to silence his followers He said , "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!" In Matt. 15:8 they say Jesus is Lord but they don’t believe it, “This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me”. In Matthew 12:39-40 and 16:4, when the people asked for a sign that He was God, His answer was that the only sign He would give would be the sign of Jonah; in that He would rise again on the third day. In essence, this was the same response He gave to Satan in the wilderness when He said “tempt not the Lord thy God”. In Matthew 16:15-20 Jesus said: “But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock (that rock being the fact that He was the Christ) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then He told His disciples to tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”

       When Jesus was here on earth, He couldn’t be everywhere at the same time. Because He rose again from the dead, and ascended to the Father, He was then able to send His Spirit to be with us, and throughout the whole world (Omnipresent). His Spirit testifies of Him in the same way He testified of the Father, when He was among us. That yet still voice, that urges you to wonder about Jesus, is the Holy Spirit: then you ask yourself, ‘who do I say that He is’?

       The foundation of the Christian experience is not the fact that Jesus lived here as a man on earth. Jesus always was, is now and will be forever. The foundation of Christianity is that He, who lives forever, for a short time, came to be with us, in the flesh, to establish the personal relationship with us that He intended to have when He created the heavens and the earth. Throughout the years it has been man turning his back on God; not God turning His back on man. That was the reason Jesus had to sacrifice Himself, to reestablish the relationship that was lost, by man, in the Garden of Eden. He accomplished this task when He rose again from the dead, to make eternal life available to us. He gave us free will, so now we have to make the choice, either to accept Him or to reject Him. The lack of making the choice is considered to be rejection of Him. Therefore, we see that sitting on the fence in not a choice. The choice is simple: reject Him or do nothing and live life your own way, or accept His free gift and live eternal life with Him.

This same question is being asked by Jesus today. Who do you say that He is? Is He your Lord and Savior, or are you yet to enter into the kingdom of Heaven by the only means possible? The fact is that Jesus is “the Son of God”, the “Savior of the world”, The Alpha and Omega and the “Creator of the World”. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and He is the only way to salvation. No one was ever perfect, except for Him, and therefore he was the one who had to pay the price for our transgressions. When, after He rose from the dead, well over five hundred people saw Him there was no doubt in any of them. Thomas did not believe his fellow apostles about Jesus’ resurrection, until he saw for himself and touched Jesus’ wounds. Now, the choice is yours. “Who do you say that I am?”


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