Men have had all kinds of different ideas about who Jesus really is. Read Matthew 16:13-14. In the days when our Lord walked this earth, there were people who thought that Jesus was ______________________. Others thought He was ___________________. Some thought that He was __________________, and others thought that He was one of the ___________________.
His enemies said that He was a madman who was possessed by a ______________ (John 10:20). They accused Him of performing His miracles by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:22-26; Mark 3:22). They called Him a S_______________________ (John 8:48), which to the Jews was a most hateful and insulting term. They also thought of Him as a blasphemer (Matthew 9:3; 26:65)—a mere man who claimed to be equal with God and therefore a man who was worthy of death (compare John 10:33; John 19:7; Leviticus 24:16). Was Jesus merely a man, or was He more?
People today also have many ideas about who Jesus really was (and is)! Some say that He was a great Teacher. Others believe He was a famous Prophet. Some promote the idea that He was Jesus Christ the "Superstar" (but remember, many mere men are recognized as superstars, such as great athletes and famous performers). Some might even say that Jesus was the most righteous and perfect man who ever lived, but they believe He was only a man.
If you were to ask your friends for their ideas of who Christ was, what might they say?
What might your school teachers say? What might other adults say? __________________________________________________________________
Nothing is more important than a persons concept of who Jesus really is. If I truly believe Jesus Christ is Almighty God, then I will "bow down before Him, love and adore Him" (as the song says). If I really believe He is Lord, then Ill serve and obey Him. If I believe He is a liar, then Ill never trust Him. If I believe Hes a madman, then Ill never come to Him. If I make Him my "Superstar," then soon another superstar will come along for me to idolize. If He was only a good teacher, then Ill consider what He says, but Ill also read and believe what other good teachers say. If He was only a Prophet, then I will be looking for other prophets to show me the way to God. If He were a mere man who died 2000 years ago, then He is still dead with no power to change my life today.
Jesus, in many ways, seemed to be like any other man of His day. His physical appearance was not unusual, and He certainly resembled other Jewish men who then lived in Palestine. He did not have a glowing light or a halo around His head (as some paintings suggest), nor did He have long, flowing hair which made Him look different from His disciples and the other men of His day. In age, He appeared to be about 30 years old (compare Luke 3:23 and John 8:57). The Jews did not think of Jesus as someone who had come down from heaven, but rather they thought of. Him merely as one who had come from the family of Joseph (John 6:41-42; compare Matthew 13:55-56). And yet, this man made the most amazing and astonishing claims. Let us consider some of these important claims:
The Jews who knew their Old Testament Scriptures would have understood that the promised Messiah was none other than (please MATCH):
|1) _________||The King whose Name is the MIGHTY GOD||(A) Isaiah 7:14|
|2) _________||The King whose Name is THE LORD (Jehovah)||(B) Isaiah 9:6-7|
|3) _________||The King who is the ETERNAL, EVERLASTING GOD||(C) Jeremiah 23:5-6
|4) _________||The King who will be born of a virgin and called IMMANUEL (God with us)||(D) Daniel 7:13-14|
|5) _________||The King who will reign forever and ever||(E) Micah 5:2|
When a man claimed to be the Messiah, it was as if he were saying, "I want you all to know that I am Gods promised King, the One who is the eternal and mighty Jehovah-God, who shall reign forever and ever!" Thats quite a claim!
What is another term, used frequently in the New Testament, which means the very same thing as "Messiah" (John 1:41)? ____________________ When Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, "I...AM HE!", who was He claiming to be (see John 4:25-26)? ______________________ In John 10:24, what did the Jews want Christ to tell them so they would no longer have any doubts in their mind? _______________________________ Do you think these Jews got their answer (read John 10:26-33)? ______ According to His enemies, did Jesus ever claim to be the Messiah (see Luke 23:2,35)? ________
Did Jesus ever say, "I am the Son of God!" (see John 10:36)? ________ When the man who was born blind asked Jesus, "Who is the Son of God?" what answer did Jesus give (see John 9:35-38)? ______________________________________________________________ Was Peter rebuked for saying the wrong thing in Matthew 16:22 (see verse 23)? _______ Was Peter rebuked for saying the wrong thing in Matthew 16:16 (see verse 17)? ________ According to His enemies at the foot of the cross, what claim had Jesus made (Matthew 27:43)? ___________________________________________ When the high priest asked, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One (God)?" what answer did Jesus give (Mark 14:61-62)? ____________________ Compare Matthew 26:63-66 and Luke 22:70-71.
Some people might say, "Its true that Jesus claimed to be Gods Son, but He never claimed to be God." But how did the Jews understand the expression "Son of God"? What did it mean to them?
If a man said that God was His Father (thus claiming to be the Son of God), he would be making himself ___________ ________ _______ (John 5:18). Thus in the days of Christ, the title, "Son of God" was understood to mean "equality with God" (having the same nature and attributes as God). According to Jewish law (Lev. 24:16), what should be done to any mere man who claims to be the Son of God (John 19:7; compare John 5:18; 10:31-33)?____________________________________________________
Note: Jesus did not usually refer to Himself as the Messiah or as the Son of God, though on certain occasions He certainly claimed to be such. The title that He most frequently applied to Himself was "the Son of man" (see Luke 5:24; 6:5; 7:34; 9:22,56,58; 11:30; 12:40; 17:30; 19:10; etc.). The significance of this term is seen in the fact that Daniel used it to describe the Messiah who would return to establish an everlasting kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14). In His trial, Jesus referred to this very passage (Matthew 26:64) which so infuriated the Jews (Matthew 26:65) and led to His crucifixion (Matthew 26:66).
We have already seen that to claim to be the Son of God is to claim equality with God (John 5:18). What astonishing claim did Jesus make in John 10:30? ___________________________________________ What did the Jews think of this claim (John 10:31)? _____________________________________________ Why did the Jews want to kill Jesus (John 10:33)? ____________________________________________ What was His great crime (see John 10:33)? _______________________ According to John 10:33, how did the Jews define the word "blasphemy"? ________________________________________ Was this the reason Christ was put on the cross (Mark 14:64; Matthew 26:65-66; John 19:7)? _________
What did Jesus say to the paralytic man that so astonished the Jews (Mark 2:5)?
_________________________________________ The only person who can really forgive us is the
person we have offended and sinned against. If I punch you in the nose, I must go to you
for forgiveness because you are the one who has been offended and hurt. When we sin, who
is the Person we always offend (Psalm 51:4)? ______________ Who then is the only Person who
can forgive us? ____________ Did the Jews understand this (Mark 2:7)? ________ Would it be
blasphemy for a mere man to claim to forgive sins? _______ If Christ could really forgive
sins (and He proved that He could by the healing miraclesee Mark 2:9-12), then who
must He be? __________ [Note: On a human
level, we can forgive someone who offends us or who sins against us, but on a
higher level, only God can forgive sins. The kind of forgiveness that is
needed for salvation can come only from God.]
In the Old Testament, the divine name "LORD" (spelled with all capital letters) is the Hebrew word "JEHOVAH" (or "YAHWEH"). Sometimes this same word is spelled "GOD" (all capital letters). To the Jews, this was the most sacred name of God (so sacred that they would not even pronounce it; they still do not pronounce it in synagogues today when the Hebrew Scriptures are read).
According to Psalm 23:1, who is the Shepherd? ______________________ According to Jesus in John 10:11,14, who is the Good Shepherd ___________________________? Does this help you to understand why many of the Jews were so upset after hearing the Lord speak about who the Good Shepherd really is (John 10:20)?
According to Isaiah 41:4 and 44:6, who is the First and the Last? ___________________________ According to Revelation 1:13,17-18; 2:8, who is the First and the Last? ____________________
According to Psalm 18:2, who is the Rock? __________________ According to 1 Corinthians 10:4, who is the Rock? _________________
According to Jeremiah 31:34, who is the Forgiver of Sins? ____________________ According to Mark 2:7,10, who is the Forgiver of Sins? _________________________
Did Jesus claim to be Jehovah? __________
Does anyone apart from God have the right to Judge men and to send some men to hell to be punished forever (compare James 4:12)? ________ Did Jesus claim this right (John 5:22,27; Matthew 25:31-46)? ___________ If Jesus were a mere man, would such a claim be blasphemy (compare John 10:33)? ____________
What question did the Jews ask Jesus in John 8:57? _______________________________________________________
When did Abraham live (circle the correct answer)?
- 4000 years before Christ
- 3000 years before Christ
- 2000 years before Christ
- 1000 years before Christ
(Your teacher may need to help you with this answer.)
How did Jesus answer their question (John 8:58)? ______________________________________________ Today, if a man who appeared to be 30 years old were to come up to you and claim to be over 2000 years old, what would you think? What did the Jews think of the Lords astonishing answer (John 8:59)? _____________________________________________
When Jesus said, "I AM" (John 8:58), this was very significant to the Jews who heard Him. They recognized "I AM" as a sacred name of God as revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14-15:
"____ _____ THAT _____ _____: Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, ____ _____ hath sent me unto you."
Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus claimed to be the Great "I AM":
John 6:35: ______________________________________________
John 8:12: ______________________________________________
John 10:9: _______________________________________________
John 10:11: ______________________________________________
John 11:25: ______________________________________________
John 14:6: _______________________________________________
Why did John write the gospel of John (John 20:31)? ________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________
In Matthew 16:15 the Lord Jesus asked His disciples the most important question, "But who say _____ that I am?" Who do YOU think Christ is? Your eternal destiny depends on how you answer that question!!!
Actually, there are only three honest answers (and only one true answer!) that can be
given. Either Jesus was a LIAR, a
LUNATIC or He was LORD. See
the chart below.
This chart is taken and adapted from Josh
McDowell's book, Evidence That Demands A Verdict, page 108.
His claims were FALSE.
His claims were TRUE.
He KNEW His
He made a
He was a LIAR
He was a HYPOCRITE
He was EVIL
He was a FOOL
|He DID NOT KNOW
His claims were FALSE.
He was SINCERELY
He was a LUNATIC
|You can Accept||
|You can Reject|
Eternity with Christ in heaven or eternity without Christ in hell
*Concerning these two alternatives Thiessen wrote: "If He is a deceiver, or is self-deceived, and, in either case, if He is not God, He is not good" (Thiessen, Outline of Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 65).
It is foolish and dishonest to accept any other alternative. For example, many people say that Jesus was a great Teacher, but they deny that He was GOD. Consider the following:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "Im ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I dont accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunaticon a level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis, p. 56). Note: Although we agree with this quote by C. S. Lewis, and find it very helpful, this is not an endorsement of his views in general.
Was Jesus a Liar, Lunatic or Lord?
What was Thomas conclusion (John 20:28)? ____________________________________
What was Peters conclusion (Matt. 16:16; Acts 2:36)? ____________________________
What was Pauls conclusion (Tit. 2:13; Rom. 9:5)? ________________________________
What was Johns conclusion (1 John 5:20)? _____________________________________
What was the writer of Hebrews conclusion (Heb. 1:8)? ___________________________
What was Stephens conclusion (Acts 7:59)? ____________________________________
What was God the Fathers conclusion (Matt. 3:17; 17:5)? __________________________
WHAT IS YOUR CONCLUSION?
| Who is
Jesus? I believe Jesus is (fill in the rest)