Sunday, April 11, 2010
when Jesus swore
The Word for today:
Mark this: Matthew 26:64 --
Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
Did Jesus ever say that he is God?
Let me count the ways.
One of the silliest questions posed by those who want to pull Jesus down (thereby, of course, pulling themselves "up") is the question of whether he ever claimed to be God.
Jesus is never recorded in the Bible as saying the precise words, “I am God.” That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that he is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” Upon hearing this, the Jews attempted to stone him, because, "You, a mere man, claim to be God.” (1)
In John 8:58, Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” This elicited the same reaction; the Jews taking up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded them to do (2).
John (1:1, 14) directly reiterates Jesus’ deity: "The Word was God," and “the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us.”
Thomas the disciple declared Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (3). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, “But about the Son He says, ’Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’”
Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11, 14:33, 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38), while never rebuking people for worshiping Him.
Today we hear the high priest demanding a clear declaration of his identity:
"I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!"
Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:63-64)
Jesus could have just said, "Yes." But Jesus answered in the way he was asked. The high priest wanted a sworn oath, so Jesus gave him exactly that, invoking the very Word of God to declare his deity. It was like placing his hand on the Bible and saying, "Yes, I am God." There was no more forceful way to say it.
Note the reaction. The high priest tore his robes, a traditional response to blasphemy. The high priest knew exactly what Jesus had declared--and that he'd emphasized his declaration with images taken from two of the most most pointedly messianic verses in the Old Testament:
The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." (Psalms 110:1)
"I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him." (Daniel 7:13)
Jesus not only declared he is God. He swore to it, on the Bible!
(1) John 10:33; (2) Leviticus 24:15; (3) John 20:28