Read Clint Decker’s March HOPE FOR TODAY Blog. Read it here, go to the blog or listen to it as a podcast.
The Quran says about Jesus, “Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, and His Word” (The Quran 4:171). The Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation says He was “a god” (John 1:1). Notice the small “g”. Rabbi Shraga Simmons says that, according to Judaism, “Jews to not accept Jesus as the messiah”.
The existence of God is denied by millions. However, world religions, historians and most people agree in the existence of Jesus. Agreement gathers around what He did calling Him a good man, miracle-worker or powerful teacher. Interestingly though, when we move from “what Jesus did” to “who He was” division begins.
The main point of tension is this statement – Jesus is the one true God in human flesh. Despite centuries of heated disagreement such a statement reveals who He really is. It all started with Jesus who once said about Himself, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9), or in other words, “When you see me, you see God.”
Again, most people also agree Jesus died, but why did He? Those who actually conspired to put Him to death tell us it was because He claimed to be God. They once accused Him saying “you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 11:33). His fierce opponents did not realize how they were helping the world to know who He truly was. Jesus ultimately died because He claimed to be God, which He did openly for all to see and hear. Then three days later He rose from the dead validating everything He spoke of.
Why does this point of Jesus being God matter, because it changes everything. What if an atheist who agreed in the existence of the historical Jesus also believed He was God? It would change everything. What if a Muslim who accepted that Jesus was a great prophet also believed He was God? It would change everything. What if a Jew who agreed that Jesus was a great teacher also believed He was true Messiah? It would change everything. Most importantly though, what do you believe? A good man cannot forgive your sin. Only Jesus can. A miracle-worker cannot remove your guilt and shame. Only Jesus can. A powerful teacher cannot redeem your life from the pits of despair. Only Jesus can. Believe in Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. May Jesus be your hope for today.