C. S. Lewis said, “God became man to turn creatures into sons; not simply to produce better men of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man.” If God never came down on the earth, then no one would have the right to become sons of God (John 1:12). Furthermore, if Christ never died and rose again, then mankind could not be forgiven of their sins and have the possibility of future glory. Continue reading » Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?
Jan Hus said, “Rejoice that the immortal God is born that mortal men may live in eternity.” It is so ironic that all the synoptic gospels record how the demons believe in Jesus, but we have to persuade men (Matthew 8:29; Mark 3:11; Luke 4:41; 8:28). Continue reading » Did Jesus Prove He Was The Son Of God?
An anonymous statement says, “All the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of mankind on this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.” Continue reading » Did Jesus Exist?
On one occasion, when Jesus was with His disciples in the region of Caesarea Philippi, “He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ (Matthew 16:13-15).
Just as in the days of Christ, it seems that everyone today has an opinion about Jesus. Some wish Him away by claiming that He never existed. However, the historical evidence proves that He did exist. Some claim that He was a prophet of God and a good man, while others claim that He was a liar and a troublemaker. Christians believe that He is the Son of God, and claim Him as their Lord and Savior. Continue reading » Is Jesus Really the Son of God?
At the end of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4, the woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus’ response was His most direct self-affirmation to date in His early ministry, as He said, “I who speak to you am He.”
Other words and phrases had earlier been used, by Jesus and others, that intimated His position. The first example, of course, was the angel’s words to the virgin Mary, “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).
Continue reading » “I who speak to you am He”
Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well was astounding in both circumstance and content.
The Jews hated the Samaritans, and the feeling was mutual. The conflict had its origin in the divided kingdom, and the animosity only grew through the centuries until the time of our Lord. It is important to note that the Samaritans were the remnants of the northern Jews who had been taken into Assyrian captivity, and had intermarried with other races upon their return to Samaria. The mingling of races, combined with the Samaritans acceptance of pagan gods led to a mongrel race and religion.
The Samaritans had built a temple upon Mount Gerizim, adjacent to Jacob’s well. It is this mountain to which the woman referred, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship” (vs. 20); and is the setting and context for the conversation recorded in John 4.
Continue reading » True Worship
After Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus (John 3), He left Judea, and traveled through Samaria on His way back to Galilee. Many took a circuitous route between the two regions to avoid the Samaritans, who were despised by the Jews. However, Jesus determined to cross through Samaria, and immediately struck up a conversation with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in the city of Sychar.
Jesus’ disciples had departed into the city to buy food, and upon their return (vs. 27) marveled that he had talked with the woman. Jesus’ actions, and the content of the conversation itself, made clear that His purpose in coming to earth was to save all men, not just the Jews.
Continue reading » Living Water
While it is true that almost everyone in America knows of Jesus Christ, far fewer actually know him.
The lingering images of Jesus Christ tend to be revived only twice a year and more by custom than faith, of course. In the early winter, people shower each other with gifts while being reminded that the babe in the manger is the reason for the season. Then in the spring, many of them take a few moments one Sunday morning to contemplate the crucified and risen savior.
Continue reading » Away From the Manger
Paul tells us that Jesus “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8, emphasis mine, HR). We understand that Jesus came to this world to die for our sins because no one else could accomplish this task. He was our only hope. However, someone might ask, “Why did Jesus have to die on a cross?”
Death by crucifixion was the most painful manner in which a person could be put to death. Suspended from the ground, the weight of the victim’s entire body pulled against metal spikes which were driven through the hands (wrists) and the feet. The victim would writhe in pain as he slowly died of asphyxiation. Continue reading » Why the Cross?
The Apostle John once wrote, "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith." (1 John 5:4)
It is faith that saves our souls. Jesus said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16).
Just about everyone accepts that faith saves, but an important question often remains unasked. What, or who is it I must believe in? Now the simple answer is, you must believe in Jesus. John stated in his gospel, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (3:16).
Continue reading » Video Script: What Must We Believe? (8)
In a court of law, one of the types of evidence that receives the greatest weight is eyewitness testimony. A lawyer, in an attempt to mitigate the impact of such testimony, will try to “impeach” the witness, claiming that because of prejudice or character deficiency his testimony is unreliable, and should be ignored.
In parallel, one of the strongest evidences pointing to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the eyewitness testimony. The apostle Paul wrote about the eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ in 1 Corinthians 15. He listed in order the apostle Peter, then the rest of the 12 apostles, then a group of over 500 Christians, then the apostle James, then the 12 again. Over 500 people who saw Jesus alive after he had died on the cross, and had been in a tomb for three days. This is powerful testimony.
Continue reading » Video Script: The Unimpeachable Witness (4)
In Genesis 12, the Bible records two promises made by God to a man named Abram (later God renamed him Abraham). “Now the LORD had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'”
The first promise was kept when God established the nation of Israel. The Israelites left Egypt, gained their sovereignty and dwelt in the land of Canaan, a land that had also been promised by God.
Continue reading » Video Script: Is Jesus the Messiah? (3)
This article consists of an analysis of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, recorded in John 3. As the conversation is lengthy, and I desired to include the entire context in this one article, it too is rather long.
Born Again (John 3:1-5)
Jesus, in John 3, had a conversation with a ruler of the Jews named Nicodemus. While it is obvious by Nicodemus’ words he was impressed with Jesus, it must be noted that he was ignorant of who Jesus truly was, and was a bit cautious in his approach.
Nicodemus referred to the Lord as a “rabbi” (teacher), and acknowledged that the miracles Jesus performed marked Him as a man from God. However, the fact that John revealed the ruler’s approach to be “by night” indicates that Nicodemus may have desired not to be seen talking with such a controversial man.
Continue reading » "You Must Be Born Again"
In John 2:1-11, the apostle records Jesus’ miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. There are many important things to note regarding this event, where our Lord first “manifested His glory” (cf. vs. 11), but we are here most interested in the words spoken on this occasion. Specifically, we wish to examine Jesus’ words to His mother, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come” (vs. 4).
The remainder of Jesus’ spoken words in the text consist of His instructions to the servants, which led to the miracle itself (cf. vs. 7,8). The words are straightforward, and need no further explanation, so we will focus our comments on His words in verse four.
Continue reading » “My Hour Has Not Yet Come”
The gospel of John records several short conversations Jesus had as He began to attract disciples at the beginning His ministry. These conversations are contained in verse 35-51 of John 1.
One of John the Baptist’s disciples was Andrew. Two things led him to begin following Jesus. First, John proclaimed Jesus as “the Lamb of God.” Then, as Andrew heard Jesus speak, he became convinced that he had found “the Messiah.”
We do not have the words Jesus used that convinced Andrew that He was the anointed One. However, we do have words of Jesus available to us, that clearly show the truthfulness of Andrew’s conclusion.
Continue reading » The First Disciples of Jesus
The three synoptic gospels (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-13) record the temptation of Jesus following His baptism in the Jordan River. Mark records only that He was in the wilderness for forty days, and there tempted by Satan. Matthew and Luke record three specific temptations, and agree exactly in both the nature of the temptations and Jesus’ response to them. We will use Matthew’s account here.
The temptation of our Lord was a necessary part of his experience on earth. The Hebrews writer said that “in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God” (2:17). As such, in that He “has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (2:18).
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, and after fasting for forty days, “the tempter came to Him.” Both Matthew and Luke record the words of Jesus in response to those temptations of Satan.
Continue reading » The Temptation of Jesus