Weekly Devotional 7-29-19 Emphatic Claims of Jesus
Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, claimed several things during His ministry. Those claims were emphatic in nature. That is, they were spoken with the surety of conviction and authority. Consider for instance an excerpt from the gospel of John, chapter 3, as an example. “13No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:5-9), even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:13-21).
Speaking futuristically, futuristic of the time spoken, Jesus said that no one had ascended into heaven but He who came down from heaven. Jesus, of course, spoke of Himself. He prophesied that He would be lifted up as was the bronze serpent back in the time of Israel’s wilderness wanderings. He said that God had sent Him to die for the sins of man, declaring that this was necessary for man’s salvation, that He was God’s only begotten son and emphatically declaring that He was God in the flesh. He declared that it was absolutely necessary that mankind is to believe in Him for their salvation. Sometime later, he affirmed this when He said to Thomas, one of His apostles, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Emphatic claims for sure; emphatic, but also true. This was borne out when He arose from the dead three days after He had been put to death by Roman crucifixion.
Speaking of being raised from the dead, He told Martha, the sister of Lazarus, just before He raised him from the dead, “‘23bYour brother will rise again.’ 24Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ 25 Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die’” (John 11:23b-26a).
Looking once again at the passage quoted above (John 3:13-21), we find Jesus emphatically saying that all who believe in Him for their salvation will not be condemned, but those who do not believe in Him for their salvation are condemned already (vs. 18).
Fifty days after Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended into heaven the apostle Peter, standing before a gathered crowd of Jews, some who had called for the death of Jesus, addressed this issue saying, “22Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know–23Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence. 29Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’’ 36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:22-36).
Just a few days later, when confronted by the Sanhedrin (Israel’s religious-political leaders), he said to them just as emphatically as had his Lord and Savior, “10let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.11This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).
Peter and all the apostles believed in Jesus so strongly that they all, with the exception of Judas Iscariot who committed suicide, and John, who suffered exile, gave their lives up to execution rather than denounce their faith in Jesus. He was theirs and man’s salvation.
So, what is it that you believe about Jesus? Do you believe His claims?
All Scripture used is from the NKJB
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man