Monday, December 6, 2010

What Did Jesus Say About Himself?

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Jesus, but what did Jesus say about Himself? Here are a few claims Jesus made about Himself.
  1. Jesus said He is eternal. Jesus once said to His enemies, "Before Abraham was, I am!" Their reaction? "At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds" (John 8:58-59). By calling Himself "I am," Jesus was claiming to be the same God who revealed Himself by the name "I am" some fourteen hundred years earlier when He spoke to Moses through the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).
  2. Jesus said He is sinless. The old saying goes, "Nobody is perfect." But Jesus claimed to be perfect. He once asked, "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?" (John 8:46a). "In him is no sin" (1 John 3:5).
  3. Jesus said He can forgive sin. "When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?'" (Mark 2:5-7).
  4. Jesus said He has power over death. "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple [body], and I will raise it again in three days'" (John 2:19, cf. vv. 21-22).
  5. Jesus said He is the Son of Man. In the Gospels, Jesus refers to Himself as "the Son of Man" over eighty times. This title was taken from the book of Daniel. "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13-14). "The high priest said to him, 'I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied. 'But I say unto you. In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.' Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'He has spoken blasphemy!'" (Matthew 26:63b-65a).
  6. Jesus said He is equal with God the Father. "'I and the Father are one.' Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?' 'We are not stoning you for any of these,' replied the Jews, 'but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God'" (John 10:30-33). So why did Jesus say, "The Father is greater than I" (John 14:28)? He is equal to the Father, but when He came to earth, He came as a servant to do the Father’s will (Philippians 2:6-7).
  7. Jesus said He is the only way to heaven. Jesus declared, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).