Matthew 16: 13-17 – Three important questions: Who do men (others) say Jesus is? Who do you say that He is? Who does God say that He is?
God’s highest purpose for our life and our highest eternal good is to be conformed to the image of Jesus.
Romans 8:29 "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brothers."
The more we behold Jesus through God’s Word and by His Spirit, the more we become like Him.
2 Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
Thus we must not let what others wrongly say about Jesus and/or wrongly model about Jesus influence our view of Christ. (For example, the best seller The Davinci Code portrays a false Christ. Ken Boa has skillfully exposed the error of Brown’s book and recorded a DVD presentation that will be available in a few weeks. Order through our Web site at reflectionsministries.org)
Who do men (others) say Jesus is? All world religions deny the deity of Christ. They may honor Him as a prophet but none of them confess Him as God. The exclusivity of Jesus’ claim, "I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Me" are claims that led Him to the cross and claims that no one but born-again believers confess as true: 1 Corinthians 12:3 – " and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit."
Jesus not only claims to be the only way to God but also says He is the only One who can reveal God: Matthew 11:27 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
He claims deity: John 10:30 "I and the Father are one." John 14:9 "Jesus answered: "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."
Scripture claims His deity: Colossians 1:15 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." Hebrews 1:3 "The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being."
And His resurrection is the ultimate argument to validate all the claims He made — of being God: Romans 1:4 "and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." His resurrection was more than resuscitation — being brought back to life; Jesus was resurrected and became a whole new order of creation as a human being — who could appear and disappear, walk through walls, rise in ascension and yet eat and walk and talk and appear as a normal human being.
Many people are willing to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher but not as God. But as C.S. Lewis says: "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic or else the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come away with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to."
Over the next months we will study the life of Christ as seen in the gospels and build and deepen our belief in and response to the Jesus that Peter confessed: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)
Enjoy Dr. Lockridge’s description of Who Jesus is:
THAT’S MY KING
The Bible says my King is a seven- way King: He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King. He’s the King of Israel – that’s a national King. He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of heaven. He’s the King of glory. He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of Lords. That’s my King. Well ——– I wonder do you know Him?
David said: "The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork." My King is a sovereign King. No means of measure can define His limitless love. No far-seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of his shoreless supplies. No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. Do you know Him?
He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinners Savior. He’s the centerpiece of civilization. He stands in the solitude of Himself. He is august and He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He is the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He is the supreme problem in higher criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology. He is the cardinal necessity for spiritual religion. He’s the miracle of the age. He’s, yes He is, He is the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. He’s the only One qualified to be an all-sufficient Savior. I wonder if you know Him today?
He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He strengthens and sustains. He guards and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleanses the leper. He forgives sinners. He discharges debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. I wonder if you know Him?
Well, my King, He is the key, He’s the key to knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. Do you know Him?
Well, His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His life is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous and His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I wish I could describe Him to you. But He’s inde- Yeah! Yeahhhh! Yeahh!
He’s indescribable. Yes He is – good God. He’s, He’s indescribable. Yes, He’s indescribable. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. Well you can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t, you can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. Yeah!!! That’s my King! That’s my King!
And Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever and ever and ever — how long is that? And ever and ever. And when you get through with all the forevers, then Amen. Good God Almighty. Amen. Amen. Dr. S.M. Lockridge