IN SEARCH OF THE REAL JESUS

Supposing you never heard of Jesus and you found a New Testament. 
Suppose you read the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for the first time. 

  • What would you think of Jesus?
  • What kind of person do you think you discover?

He spent three years preaching in Israel. Everywhere he went, his words had a dramatic impact, winning love and trust from some and provoking murderous hatred from religious leaders.

He spoke words of wisdom which are admired by people of all faiths.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 

  • For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV) 

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you… Matthew 7:12 (NIV)  

Jesus did not put great value on religious hierarchies, status or position. 

“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 

And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Mt 23:8-9 (NIV)

He Himself was the most powerful preacher in his generation but he never sought a position for himself.

Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him their king, 

so he went higher into the mountains alone. John 6:15 (TLB) 

Jesus taught and practised humility and modesty.

(Jesus) called a little child and had him stand among them.

  • And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 
  • Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)

The life of Jesus also demonstrated humility.

  • He was born in a stable surrounded by farm animals. 
  • He worked as a village carpenter until he was 30.
  • He preached in public places and on hillsides and he was never ordained by the religious authorities.
  • He provoked persecution by religious leaders because he was openly friendly with social outcasts, corrupt tax collectors and women of bad reputation.

WHAT DID THIS HUMBLE PREACHER SAY ABOUT HIMSELF?

Now the story becomes really strange.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, 

  • for I am gentle and humble in heart, 
  • and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) 
  • Jesus is a humble man who says he is humble. This is strange.
  • Jesus is also a humble man who claims to be able to give peace to everyone who trusts him. This is really a bold claim.

What else did Jesus say?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NIV) 

  • He claims to be divine. He claims that no one can come to God except through him.

How can a man be humble and say he is humble? How can a man be humble and say he is divine?

Then he goes further.

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. John 5:21 (NIV) 

  • He claims to be the Son of God who has unlimited power to give life to human beings. 

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, John 5:22 (NIV) 

  • He says he is the divine judge of all mankind.

Later he said something which made the Jews want to kill him because he was claiming to be the eternal God.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58 (NIV)

  • Either Jesus was a madman, a fraud or else he was who he said he was, GOD.
  • He cannot be just a great teacher.

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