The Word for today:
Here’s a tough one for ya:
Q. That’s my picture on the one-dollar bill. Who am I?
Congratulations! If you answered “George Washington,” then you are not brain-dead.
On the other hand, if the answer to that question somehow eluded you, then you are as brain-dead as the people who insist that Jesus never claimed to be God.
Jesus consistently and persistently said he was God, and in a variety of ways. He said it directly and indirectly, prosaically and poetically, plainly and metaphorically. Even more impressively, he repeatedly demonstrated that he is the Creator God -- who made something out of nothing -- when he fed the 15,000; that he is the Sovereign God of the natural realm (when he calmed the sea and walked on the water); that he is the Lord of the supernatural realm (when he expelled the demons); that he is the Redeemer God (when he died and rose again).
But if it’s words they want, then let’s consider a single verse from today’s reading. When Caiaphas, the high priest, asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus answered,
"I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." (Mark 14:61-62)
First, Jesus answered plainly, directly, and prosaically: “I am.”
Then he answered more powerfully. When he evoked famous images from the Old Testament, it was (for his listeners) the cultural equivalent (in our day) of being asked, “Are you the Father of our Country, the First President of the United States?” and replying—
“I am; that’s my picture on the one-dollar bill.”
***Jesus' answer was far more than just a “Yes” to Caiaphas’ question. It was also a terrible warning, alluding to three Old Testament messianic passages to tell them that he was their coming Judge!
“You will see…”
Isaiah 52:8 says, “When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.”
“…the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power…"
Psalm 110:1 adds, “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’”
“…and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Daniel 7:13 records, "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.”
***“You are judging me, but I will judge you,” Jesus was saying to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. He’d turned the tables once again, putting them on trial. They were the words of God Himself, passing sentence on the leadership of Israel. They are the only words he spoke to them.
A person today, just as Caiaphas then, can deny that Jesus is the Son of God. But they can't deny that Jesus made that claim. And they can't deny that the Bible teaches Jesus' divinity.