Read: Mark 2-3
Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My child, your sins are forgiven.” But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there thought to themselves, “What is he saying? This is blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!” (Mark 2:5-7, NLT)
“Who is Jesus, really?” That’s a great question. In fact, it is the question of questions—a question that every human being will have to answer in this life, or in the next.
Here is what I believe about Jesus: I believe in his deity, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his miracles, in his vicarious and atoning death through the blood he shed on the cross, in his bodily resurrection from the dead, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal return in power and glory some day—hope very soon.
Now where did I come up with all those outlandish assertions about Jesus? Well, from Jesus himself. Throughout the Gospels, he made some pretty outrageous claims about himself—including the one quoted above from Mark 2:5-7 when he told the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven.
Jesus was clearly claiming Divine status, since only God has the standing to forgive sin. That’s what the teachers of the law were miffed about: “Only God can forgive sins!”, they said.
So how did Jesus respond to their challenge? He said, “Yeah, and your point is?” Then he healed the crippled man just to make his point:
“So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. (Mark 2:10-12, NLT)
Now I would say that was a pretty convincing attribute of deity, wouldn’t you!
When you consider the claims Jesus made about himself, you’ve got to eliminate most of the nice-sounding, politically-correct things people say they believe about him. In other words, Jesus can’t be just a good teacher, just a great moral leader, just a respected prophet, just a great figure of history.
With Jesus, you’ve got to eliminate “just” from your vocabulary. The real, Biblical Jesus pulled those options off the table. Nope—he was who he, himself, said he was: God the Son, Second Person of the Holy Trinity. When you examine the evidence, you cannot honestly accept any other possibility.
The most important piece of evidence to me, however, is that of untold millions, if not billions of people, who have experienced dramatic life-changes over the past 2,000 years because of this man who proved himself to be God. And I was one of them. Like the paralyzed man, I, too, was healed and forgiven. I have been forever changed by Jesus—and I will be eternally grateful!
Yep—no doubt about it: Jesus is God!
“The discrepancy between the depth and sanity of his moral teaching and the rampant megalomania which must lie behind his theological teaching unless he is indeed God has never been satisfactorily got over.” ~C.S. Lewis
What If God Took Over?
You will have a chance this weekend to join with other believers in your place of fellowship to worship Jesus. I hope you will be extra aware when you are in church raising your voice in praise just who it is you are worshiping when you sing out his name.