Claims of Divinity

Sometimes people who don’t know the Bible very well will make statements like, “Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah. And he certainly never claimed to be the Son of God!”

I guess for me the question boils down to this. What actually constitutes a claim to divinity? If others who know you repeatedly and consistently make the claim for you, and you are aware of this, and yet fail to ever once deny those claims, then is that not the very same thing as making the claim yourself?

In John’s gospel, chapter 1, the apostle John brings up one person after another who recognized Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. They all verbally stated their recognition of this out loud, often with crowds of people around, and Jesus right there in their presence.

Not once does Jesus say, “No, that’s not true. Don’t make those claims about me.”

So, we’re left with only two possibilities. One is that Jesus was a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur who listened to others verbalize lies and fantastic claims about himself and did nothing to stop it. The other is that Jesus really is the Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He truly is the Son of God.

Personally, I am already persuaded the latter is the right conclusion. And I think as you continue to read with me through the Bible, you will become convinced of the same — if you’re not already convinced, that is! Certainly, John the Baptist, Andrew, Philip and Nathanael were persuaded!

“The next day John [the Baptist] saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God,who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me…’ Then John gave this testimony… ‘I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.'”

“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ).”

“Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'”

“Then Nathanael declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel'” (John 1:29-30, 32a, 34, 41, 45, 49, NIV).

Our Bible reading for Thursday, April 30, is Joshua 17:1 – 18:28, John 1:29-51 and Proverbs 10:31 – 11:8.

Jesus, I am convinced that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, and that you have taken away all my sins. Please re-convince me of this every day. Then give me your Holy Spirit so that I may walk and live with this truth as the core of my being and my purpose every day, bringing glory to you as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Header image based on "crown" by Jason Train, CC By 2.0

Rejected, and Selected

Stone was one of the most common building products of Jesus’ day. So the Jews were quite familiar with building projects made out of stone.

The picture of a rejected stone becoming the cornerstone went straight to their hearts. They got it. They understood that Jesus was pointing the accusing finger at them. They were the “builders” that were rejecting the wrong “stone.”

Sometimes in today’s world people mistakenly think that they can make Jesus real by believing, or unreal by not believing. That philosophy is an unfortunate product of our age.

But as Solomon says, “There’s nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV).

Jesus wanted the religious leaders to know that their lack of faith in him could in no way unmake him as the Son of God, or undo his approaching victory as the long-promised Savior.

In fact, all their words and actions were accomplishing the exact opposite. They were simply fulfilling everything that had been foretold for hundreds and hundreds of years about the Messiah.

They were proving that Jesus truly is the Chosen One.

So believe him, or don’t. He is who he says he is.

The Son of God. And your Savior.

Haven’t you read this passage of Scripture: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Mark 12:10-11, NIV).

Lord, thank you for coming to save me from my sins. Though my sinful heart is always inclined to reject you, and rebel against you, thank you for not rejecting me. Send me your Spirit so that I trust in you with a simple faith, like a child’s.

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, March 3, is Leviticus 9:1 – 10:20, Mark 11:27 – 12:12 and Psalm 29:1-11.

Header image based on "Crumbling dome" by Carey, CC By-SA 2.0