Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Did Jesus say that he was the Son of God?

One of the arguments that many people insist on promoting is that Jesus never said he was the Son of God.  For believers in Christ, we can tell of a number of places that Jesus inferred that he was the Son of God and that he did so deliberately so that there was no mistake for what he meant. All you have to do read the reaction to whom he declared it to.  When he said it to those who believed that he was the Son of God, they acknowledged him and worshiped him.  When he said it to those who did not believe that he was the Son of God, they thought it was their legal right to have him killed for blasphemy. Here are a few examples:

A. Examples when he told those who was willing to believe that he was the Christ, the Son of God.
1. John 9:35-38: Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshiped him. 

2. Matthew 14:22-33: And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshiped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. 

3. John 4:20-26: Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

4. John 1:44-49: Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. 

5. Mark 8:27-29: And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.                                                                                                                                                                   

6. Matthew 16:14-18: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 

The point is, whether he told them directly or indirectly, in private or in front of others, Jesus told those who were willing to believe him that he was the Son of God.  Jesus did not refuse the worship  of his adherents for he also said,

 John 5:23: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

B. Examples of when he said it to those who did not believe that he was the Son of God.
1. John 8:47-59: He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?  Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. 

2. John 10:27-36: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.  Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 

Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 

3. Matthew 26:62-65: And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 

4. John 19:4-7: Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. 

5. Matthew 27:37-40: And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.                                                                                                                                         

6. Matthew 27:41-43: Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 

The point is, that whether or not he told them directly or indirectly, they heard Jesus declare that he was the Son of God and by his own testimony accused him of the crime of blasphemy, which according to the Law of Moses is punishable by death.

Leviticus 24:16: And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.

By Jesus proclaiming himself to be the Son of God, the people believed that he was committing blasphemy.  Yet there was a belief among the people that God would send the Christ, the Messiah and he would be his son.  When Jesus gave them the evidence to believe that he was the Christ, the messiah, the Son of the living God, some believed and some refused to believe the evidence. They regarded Jesus as man born out of wedlock, whose real father was a Samaritan and was possessed by the devil. So when Jesus declared that their God was in fact his father, they believed that Jesus was committing blasphemy and they had legal recourse to kill him.  The problem was that they could not execute capital punishment upon Jesus for the crime of blasphemy because their Roman rulers would not allow it without first hearing the offender's plea.  When Pilate heard that the charge against Jesus was that he proclaimed himself to be the Son of God, he knew he had  a real problem. For Romans the only God for them was Caesar, their emperor and for anyone that proclaimed himself a God, a son of God and a king was considered as an threat to Caesar and had to be executed. Jesus told Pilate that he was a king, a king of the kingdom of truth.  Pilate reasoned that this proclamation of Jesus was not worthy of the capital punishment of execution so he sought to let him go free.   The Jews were given the authority to kill Jesus by Pilate, the method of punishment for the crime against the state of Rome was crucifixion.  The Jews did not care how Jesus died, they just wanted him to die, in accordance with what they perceived was the directive in their law.  They had no reason to suspect that Jesus was who he said he was.  The Jewish religious leadership commanded the Roman guards which they were given authority again by Pilate to guard the sealed tomb so that Jesus' disciples could not secretly steal the body and proclaim that Jesus rose from the dead.  After Jesus rose from the dead, the Jewish religious leaders paid the Guards to spread the story that the disciples stole the body of Jesus.  The only problem with that is that Jesus kept appearing everywhere after his burial  and resurrection to those who was willing to believe.  Just like he is doing in parts of the world today.  

Did Jesus say that he was the Son of God? Yes he did, to those who are willing to believe in him and to those who are not willing to believe in him.  The question is are you willing to believe in him now that you have the evidence that Jesus did say that he was the Son of God?

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