A Bold Claim
We have all heard far-fetched stories from habitual “exaggerators” who want to make a particular event in their life or characteristic of themselves seem better than the reality. These tales often cause us to roll our eyes, smirk with a secret knowing, or become captivated in what we know to be fiction.
Realistically, the only way someone can propel us to believe an exaggerated or false claim is by adding, at the very least, a semblance of truth to the account.
Very rarely can someone captivate us and foster belief in the most outlandish of stories. Bold claims are rarely believed because, well, they’re simply too “impossible” to believe to be possible.
This is one of the arguments against Jesus’s Divinity, and it was an argument that was particularly used during His ministry. This is why people of Jewish culture and faith worked so adamantly against Jesus and were actually willing and ready to stone Jesus earlier on in His ministry. However, as the Jews were readying themselves to kill Jesus, He provided and argument for His bold claim.
33 “We aren’t stoning you for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for blasphemy, because you—being a man—make yourself God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Isn’t it written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods?’ 35 If he called those to whom the word of God came ‘gods’—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36 do you say, ‘You are blaspheming’ to the one the Father set apart and sent into the world, because I said: I am the Son of God? 37 If I am not doing my Father’s works, don’t believe me. 38 But if I am doing them and you don’t believe me, believe the works. This way you will know and understand that the Father is in me and I in the Father.” (John 10:33-37)
Jesus’s claim was bold. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the One who was sent by the Father. To anyone this claim would have seemed outlandish and impossible. “How can God send someone? How can God be human?”
Not only does Jesus present their claims of impossibility though, but He also answers them by saying, “If I am not doing my Father’s works, don’t believe me.”
Basically, Jesus is saying, “Listen, if I’m not performing miracles and teaching through Divine wisdom, then there is nothing to believe in. But, obviously I am doing these things!”
By this point in Jesus’s ministry everyone would have known about the carpenter from Nazareth who was going around and healing paralytics, blind people, and lepers. No one would have disputed this, and in fact there are plenty of extra-biblical sources which substantiate the claims of Jesus’s miracles.
Keeping this information in mind, we have to realize that just because Jesus’s claims are bold it doesn’t mean they aren’t true. Jesus talked about how impossible His claims may have seemed, but His actions proved what He said.
In an age where everyone is a sceptic of everything, and when there is an increasing number of people who think of Jesus as a “great teacher” and nothing more, it is vital that Christians see Him for who He truly is: The incarnate manifestation of God.
It is important that we join along with Peter’s proclamation:
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:13-16)
The world can turn Jesus into a number of things. They can claim He was a great teacher, a magician, a person possessed by demons, a myth, or just another prophet, but as Christians we know He is far above all of these.
Jesus is God. He proved Himself to be God through the wondrous works of His ministry, and through the powerful, bondage breaking work of the Resurrection. There is plenty of evidence to prove this to be true, but our faith in Him and His bold claim should always be what propels us throughout life as we anticipate the eternity He paid for on our behalf.
Questions for Reflection
1. What personal struggles have you had with your faith in Jesus? Struggles in faith are nothing to be ashamed of, but do you bring these struggles before Him?
2. The entirety of the New Testament, specifically the Gospel accounts, speak to the miraculous power of Jesus. How do we know that these accounts are true?
3. Everything within the Christian faith hinges on the resurrection. This powerful act is also overwhelming proven to be true. Do you know any of the evidences for the Resurrection? Why is it important for modern Christians to know some?