Have you ever heard a story so incredible, you could hardly believe it was true?Unbelievable stories can involve someone surviving a plane crash, feats of heroism, or silly things like how many people fit into a Volkswagen Beetle. (Watch Medaille College students attempt a record.)
When Jesus was thirty, He started a three year ministry traveling around areas of Galilee, Samaria and Judea. During that time Jesus preformed miracles and spoke about God with intimate knowledge. Though Jesus personifies truth, many locals simply could not believe what they saw and heard.
Walking approximately 3000 miles Jesus visited towns, hillsides and lakes explaining God to all who had ears to hear and eyes to see.
Matthew 13:16-17 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
But Jesus was not the only one talking about God. In Jesus’ time there were teachers of the Law. These men were highly respected. However, Jesus’ teachings were different than their teachings; Jesus’ teachings were extremely bold. He did not simply read scripture as others did – Jesus claimed identity to it!
Jesus’ action invited listeners to make a clear choice:
______to believe in who Jesus said He was, or
______to deny Him.
It was on a Sabbath day while in Nazareth, that Jesus went to the synagog (as was His custom) and read from where He selected on a scroll:
Luke 4:18-21 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus’ personal statement at the end tells us He claims to be the Messiah – The One who will save Israel! Jesus claims the essence of God.
The Jewish leaders addressed and taught others to esteem God’s name as holy, but Jesus took the practice much further. As we see in the Book of John, Jesus makes reference to His Father (John 5:16-30) as He preforms miracles on the Sabbath.
John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.”
Jesus claimed He and God were One in the same! Do you believe His statement, or deny it?
Jesus not only claims to be the Son of Man, but He also claims to be Judge.
Caiaphas was the high priest leader of a religious group called the Sadducees. Sadducees hated Jesus because His message as the Son of Man was a message they could not accept. When Jesus was brought before him to be questioned, here is how Jesus responded:
Mark 14:61-62 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Caiaphas understood from scripture (Psalm 110:1) that whoever sat at the right hand of the LORD had power. This meant Jesus’ confirmation of His deityship included Jesus would one day judge the high priest! Do you believe His statement, or deny it?
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each give personal accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. They list the hundreds of people who witnessed Jesus’s death in Matthew 27:27-56, Mark 15:16-41, Luke 23:26-49, and John 19:16-30:
- Governor’s soldiers
- Whole company of soldiers (200 men)
- Simon from Cyrene
- A large number of people
- Many Jews
- Chief Priests
- Teachers of the Law
- The centurion
- Those guarding Jesus
- Many women including: Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons
- Mary, mother of Jesus
- Jesus’ mother’s sister
- Mary the wife of Clopas
- The disciple whom Jesus loves
Soon after Jesus’ death on the cross, He was buried in a nearby empty tomb by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. The two men applied myrrh and aloes to Jesus’ body and wrapped Him in strips of linen. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph came and saw how Jesus was laid. Then Joseph rolled a stone against the entrance.
Jesus reveals His glory.
Jesus the person, who claimed identity from scripture, the essence of the God, the Son of Man and final Judge to all, was dead and lying in a tomb. But death could not contain this “man.”
Three days later Jesus rose from the grave. Before His ascension to heaven, He revealed His glory over a forty day period many times and to many different people:
- Mary Magdalene
- Eleven disciples
- Jesus’ brother James
- Women at the tomb
- Two travelers on the road
- A crowd of 500
- All the apostles
Jesus demonstrated He truly was alive!
These things are written in the Bible so that all may read and believe Jesus is truly the Son of God.
John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Do you believe or deny Jesus?
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To learn and share the importance of keeping God’s name holy, order copies of LIFT HIM UP DON’T PULL HIM DOWN @ LULU.COM or AMAZON.COM for your next Bible study.