2004-02-07 - Jesus' Claims to be God
Hello my dear friends,
I would like to take a break from our search together for the address of Jesus the Carpenter known as the Christ, to talk to you about Jesus' claim be God.
Jesus never says what would translate to the English phrase "I am God." This is evidenced by the fact that you can't find that in our English translation(s) of the Bible. However, it is said that He claims to be God. Some people might say, "Jesus is a good man; however, I don't see where he claims to be God.Can you show me?"
The reason we can't find what we are looking for, is because we were not the audience that Jesus was speaking to in the New Testament.
For one thing Jesus didn't speak in English. The languages which were prevalent in His lifetime were Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
His audience was usually a crowd of people following Him, His Disciples, the Pharisees, and the Saducees (The Religious Leaders).
If Jesus were to tell any of them "I am God," they would probably have just chuckled at Him and thought he was either "a madman, a liar, or a lunatic." They certainly would not have believed that His claim was true.
However Jesus, knowing these people and their beliefs, used what they knew and could relate to them to say "I am God" to them in a way in which they understand. Jesus had to tell them in their language and cultural context, according to the beliefs and norms of their day. When he did tell them that He was God, they would undserstand clearly what he was saying, and they would be bewildered and frightened.
In the Gospel of Mark Chapter 2, Jesus spoke clearly to them in a way in which they understood. To properly interpret and understand what they understood, we must enter into the historical and cultural contexts and know who his audience was, and what they believed.
Read with me:
Mark (2:1) A few days later when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people had heard that he had come. (2:2) So many gathered that there was not enough room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. (2:3) Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. (2:4) Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it, and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. (2:5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (2:6) Now some of the teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, (2:7) "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! who can forgive sins but God alone?"
We will present Part 2 next week.
God bless you, my friends.
Rob - I want my life just to be for the glory of God.