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Who Is This Jesus? B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 4, 2024 4:00 am

Who Is This Jesus? B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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June 4, 2024 4:00 am

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If God became a man, we would expect that His words would be the truest, most authoritative ever spoken, and they were. If God became a man, we would expect Him to manifest supernatural power and He did. If God became a man, we would expect Him to have a universal and permanent influence on the world and He does. So He's God. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.

I'm your host, Phil Johnson. There are lots of opinions out there, a lot of people trying to tell you who Jesus is, from television documentaries to university studies to feature stories in magazines. Jesus still gets a lot of attention, but what do the pundits and scholars base their conclusions on?

And more important, how do you decide what to make of it all? Well, what you need to do is turn to the ultimate source about Jesus, and that's the Bible itself. That's what you'll hear today as John MacArthur continues his compelling study called, Who is Jesus Anyway? John will help you see what Scripture says about who Jesus is and help you see why you can trust what Scripture says about Jesus.

And now with a lesson, here's John. Well, the question is, who is this Jesus Christ? He is, history will record, the most captivating, the most influential person who ever lived, the most studied, the most examined, the most written about, sung about, discussed person ever. And even after two thousand years of interest in Jesus Christ, there is no waning in the curiosity of people about Him. There is, however, confusion and a lot of deception and doubt.

Where you spend forever is at issue here and you will live somewhere forever either in heaven or hell. He said, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to God but by Me. That is either the illusion of a madman, the powerful deception of a clever liar, or the truth and no other options exist. But the truth of the matter is, He is who He claimed to be and He proved it. If He was God, He would demonstrate power over the things that only God has power over.

Let's think about some of those for a minute. Look at the second chapter of Mark's gospel. Mark, another of the gospel writers, tells a really amazing story in the second chapter.

This is history. Let me read you the first four verses. When Jesus had come back to Capernaum where He, of course, spent a lot of time ministering, little town at the north tip of the Sea of Galilee, it was heard that He was at home. That was sort of the base of His operations when He was in Galilee. And many were gathered together, typically, always drew a crowd and there was no longer room, even near the door. Place was jammed.

You couldn't even get in. And He was speaking the Word to them. And they came, bringing Him a paralytic, carried by four men, and being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him. And when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.

Houses were made out of mud, some combination of mud, sticks and things. And they had some kind of a roof on top of that. And so they took the roof out and dug through in order to drop their friend down in front of Jesus. That's a pretty good indication of their faith, wouldn't you say? You get the idea they believe Jesus could do something to help this man? You have to dig a pretty big hole in a roof to let a man through.

You have to get over the compunctions that restrain you. This isn't your house? And you don't even know who these people are?

Or worse yet, you do know who they are. You also know you're going to be no small disruption as you dismantle the ceiling above everyone? You have to calculate where Jesus is so that you can lower the man in front of Him. This is a strong faith.

This is insistent, persistent and this is inventive, creative stuff, folks. And they knew that He healed people and He healed people with little faith, He healed people with no faith. But here are some folks who had pretty strong faith. They just lowered the man.

They didn't have to say anything. Verse 5 says, Jesus seeing their faith. Of course, the demonstration of their faith is obvious. Can you imagine Jesus is teaching and all of a sudden it's like rats running around in the attic up there? And then the dirt starts crumbling and falling and Jesus does an amazing thing. Seeing their faith, He says to the paralytic, my son, your sins are forgiven, woe.

This is stepping over the line again. Who do you think you are? God? Well, verse 6 says, the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts.

What? Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God alone? I mean, Jesus just kept treading on their theological sensibilities. Nobody said anything about sin.

This was a man who was paralyzed. But everybody understood the curse in the world. Everybody understood that the world is the way it is and sickness is here because of sin. Oh it doesn't mean that everybody is sick because they commit a sin and it's a direct relationship to that, but sin exists because sin exists.

It's a fallen world. And I'm sure this man knew well his own sin. And like a lot of people who got into the presence of Jesus, I'm sure he was probably shaking. And Jesus just dismissed his sins, just forgave them.

Well on the basis of what? On the basis of the man's faith. How did he know he had faith?

Because he knows everything. And he knew he had faith in Him not just as a healer, but as a Savior. And he dismissed his sins. Your sins are forgiven. The Bible says when Jesus forgives your sin, it's removed as far as the east is from the west, that's infinity. It's buried in the depths of the deepest sea.

It's blotted out. It's forgotten by the memory of God. And they had good theology. They said, whoa, only God can forgive sin. That's what Jesus did because that's who He was.

They knew exactly what He was claiming. And either He is God or He is a blasphemer. Again, they had the right theology about God but made the wrong decision about Jesus. When He said He was the I AM, they had the right theology about I AM but they made the wrong choice about Jesus. Here they had the right theology about who can forgive sin but the wrong choice about Jesus. He was sovereign over sin.

Let me take you to another passage, Luke 4. If Jesus is God, He not only has power over sin, He not only is eternally existent, the ever-present help and sovereign supernatural deliverer of His people, but if indeed He is God, He has power over demons. The Bible tells us that demons exist and, of course, we know they do. They manifest themselves occasionally in very visible and manifest ways in human life.

Most of the time they operate in a clandestine fashion. But the world has been exposed to Satan and his demons. And if in fact Jesus is God and not just a man, He will exercise power over them, Luke 4, He came to Capernaum, verse 31. Again He came back to where He was located as kind of a central point in His Galilean ministry and was teaching them. And as always, they were amazed at His teaching, amazed at what He said because no one could speak as God could speak and no one had the knowledge that God has, the wisdom that God has, the ability to express truth.

It was always astonishing and with authority. There was a man in the synagogue possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon and the demon screams out of the man. And listen to what the demon says, most amazing.

Now this is fascinating. This is a demon in this man. Demon, verse 34, says, Ha! What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth?

Have You come to destroy us? Listen to this, I know who You are, the Holy One of God. The Mormons might not know, the Jehovah's Witnesses might not know, a lot of people might not know, they knew. Your Aunt Alice may not know and your Uncle Fred may not know, but demons know.

They knew who is the sovereign over them. And the question the demon...the demon can't...he blows his cover. I think up to now this is a synagogue guy, right? He goes to the synagogue. Nobody believes...this is not a demon-possessed guy, he's not out in the, you know, in the caves and the tombs cutting himself like the demoniac that you meet in other places in the Bible.

This is a guy in a gray flannel suit. This is a synagogue guy. He sits there and demonic activity in his life is clandestine, it's covered up. But when the demon is confronted by Jesus in Jesus' amazing authoritative teaching, the demon goes into a panic, blows his cover and screams through the voice of the man. And he says, is this the time you're going to destroy us? Here is a demon who knows that Jesus has ultimate power over them and that they are headed for destruction and he's afraid that that is to happen then. I know who you are, the Holy One of God.

No question on his mind. He knew this is the Holy One, equal to God, the very Son of God. And Jesus rebuked him saying, be quiet, come out of him.

The demon threw him down and came out of him without doing any harm. You know, there are probably people sitting in the synagogue listening to Jesus and he would be reading the Scripture and then speaking with authority. And some of them would be sitting there saying, I don't know if I agree with his interpretation.

I don't know if I agree with the way he's explaining that. So he just took the opportunity to display his supernatural authority. Now that would reduce anybody's credibility in questioning his interpretation, wouldn't it? The demons knew who he was, the Holy One of God.

Turn to the eleventh chapter of John. Here is another indication of Jesus' great power, his power over death...his power over death. He said, you remember, destroy this body and in three days I'll raise it up. And they were just absolutely stunned and thought he must have been talking about the temple and he was going to destroy it. He was talking of the temple of his body. But he said, if you destroy my life, I'll take it back.

This claim also was over the top. He said, I lay my life down that I may take it again. No man takes my life from me, he said in John 10. I lay it down on my own initiative.

I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it up again. And then in John 11 it all summed up in verse 25, I am the resurrection and the life. I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. I'll give you eternal life, oh you'll pass through physical death into eternal life. And to prove it, verse 38, he went over to the tomb of his friend Lazarus. Verse 39 he said, roll the stone away. Lazarus had been dead for days now, four days, and his sister was really worried. She said, Lord, by this time there will be a stench. The old English version said, He stinketh. Four days dead, no embalming.

Jews never did any embalming. Jesus said, Didn't I say to you, if you believe you'll see the glory of God? They removed the stone. Jesus raised His voice. He said, looking to heaven, I thank you, Father, that You heard me.

I know that You hear me always because of the people standing around. I said it that they may believe that You sent me. And He, having said these things, cried out with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out. He who had died came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings.

His face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, One time, let them go. He had to tell them that because they were frozen. When this wrapped corpse walked out, Lazarus, come forth. Somebody said, it's a good thing he said Lazarus. If he had just said come forth, every grave on the planet would have yielded up its possession. That's how much power he had. So he qualified it. Only Lazarus, just you. You see that?

That's a stretch, no? John 5 says, One day He'll raise every person from the dead, some to the resurrection of life and some to the resurrection of damnation, but He will raise all who have ever lived and died. He is the I AM. He is the source of life. He is life itself.

I AM the life. If Jesus were God, we would expect Him to have power over sin. We would expect Him to have power over demons. We would expect Him to have power over Satan. We would expect Him to have power over death.

And He does. He also exhibited power in His words. And if you study the words of Jesus as I have for many, many years, studying them intimately, intensely down to the finest points, you just find yourself constantly amazed at what He said. And the record is accurate. And I'm like the people in the Bible who are continually amazed at His teaching.

I'm no different than they are. I can say with the people in John 7, 46, never did anybody speak like this man. It was Jesus who said, Believe Me for My words.

I mean, what He taught is absolutely staggering. The gospels are the greatest literature ever written, read by more people, quoted by more authors, translated into more languages than anything, set to more music than any other thing that's ever been said or written. The words of Jesus are the most pervasive words on the planet and have been since He uttered them.

And their greatness lies in the pure lucid reality. He deals clearly, definitively, authoritatively, insightfully with the greatest wisdom with problems that are riddles to us. His words are always profound and accurate. His sermons, His parables, His commandments are an inexhaustible mine of knowledge and truth. Nicodemus had it right, you know, the Jewish man who said, He's a teacher from God. He taught about God. He taught about angels. He taught about men. He taught about earth. He taught about heaven. He taught about hell. He taught about the past, the present, the future. And no one ever posed the question that he couldn't answer an answer in a confounding and profound and yet imminently practical way.

He never faced a problem he couldn't resolve. He astounded everybody. He confounded everybody.

No teacher even close. And you could look at His power exhibited in His miracles. That would be another way to see who He is. He said, believe me if you don't believe me for the words, for my works. And the biblical record is really astonishing. He controlled nature with no fanfare, with nothing said. He turned H2O into wine.

He stopped a storm dead in its tracks. He controlled fish in the Sea of Galilee, sent them where He wanted them to go. He multiplied food to feed twenty to twenty-five thousand people and He did it a couple of times. He walked on water.

When it came time to pay His temple tax, He took a fish out of the sea and took the tax money out of its mouth, cursed a fig tree and it dried up on the spot. He spoke to disease and it disappeared. He healed a leper. He healed a paralytic. He healed a woman with a fever. He healed a nobleman's son with a critical illness. He healed a withered hand. He gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb. He healed ten lepers at once. He gave an ear back to Malchus when Peter had whacked it off. He healed a woman with severe bleeding.

His works are just staggering. For all intents and purposes, He banished illness from Israel during the time of His ministry. He healed Jairus' daughter. He healed the widow's son. He raised them from the dead.

And He raised Lazarus who had been dead for four days. All these miracles had many witnesses and the Jews never denied any of them, never. They never denied any of His miracles. They were undeniable.

Let the record stand. There never has been anybody like Him, no one, no one even close. He is the master of everything. He's the master of hungry crowds. He's the master of the sick. He's the master of the sinful. He's the master of demons and Satan. He's the master of nature. He's the master of angry Pharisees. He's the master of clever theologians whom He confounds. He's the master of a Roman governor. He's the master of a puppet king. He's the master of Himself, struggles in the midnight of His passion in the Mount of Olives, fighting sweat, blood and tears and comes forth triumphant and victorious in dedication to His Father's will. In the terrible agony of the cross, He is the master of everything. All around Him there is fury. All around Him there is chaos.

He is calm. He has the mastery of His own heart and mind and tongue and will. Even there at the cross, He pauses to forgive a penitent thief and opens the doors of paradise for Him that day.

No one ever lived like Him. And what He said lays claims on every life. I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me. The Son of Man, He said, has power on earth to forgive sins. Whoever shall confess Me before men, Him will I confess before My Father who is in heaven. He said, Whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it. He said, I am the light of the world. I am the bread of life. I am the resurrection and the life. These are the claims that Jesus made. And as I said, they are not ambiguous.

Let me sum it up this way. If God became a man, we would expect Him to have a miraculous entrance into this world, wouldn't we? And He did, born of a virgin. If God became a man, we would expect Him to be sinless and live a holy life, and He did.

Pilate couldn't find a fault in Him. Satan couldn't find a fault in Him because He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. He was without sin. If God became a man, we would expect that His words would be the clearest, truest, purest, most authoritative ever spoken, and they were. If God became a man, we would expect Him to manifest supernatural power, and He did. If God became a man, we would expect Him to have a universal and permanent influence on the world, and He does.

If God became a man, we would expect Him to accomplish His purpose and He has. So He's God. And the only other alternative, as I've said, is that He is a blasphemer and should be stoned. That's the sad decision that was made and is still being made by many people who continue to put Him to an open shame, as the writer of Hebrew says. So you can do one of the two, you can stone Him as a blasphemer, or you can embrace Him as God. And they all said to Him at the end of His life, "'Are you the Son of God then?' He said, "'Yes, I am.'" And they said, "'What further need do we have of testimony? We heard it ourselves from His own mouth.'" And they set out to execute Him.

Why? Because He said He was the Son of God, making Himself equal with God because He said He is the I AM. Instead of knowing and believing it was true, when they heard it again at His trial, they led Him immediately to Pilate to be executed by the Romans. And every man and every woman stands at that crossroad. Who is Jesus Christ? Blasphemer or God? Only two options. Make the wrong one, eternal hell waits.

Make the right one, eternal heaven waits. Forgiveness of sin available through His death on the cross. Eternal life available through His resurrection. The choice you make about Jesus Christ is the only choice, the only choice that matters forever.

That's John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Master's University and Seminary. John's been showing you why you can't afford to be confused about Jesus Christ and what He came into the world to accomplish. John calls his study here on grace to you, Who is Jesus Anyway?

John, you've said this study came out of a desire to see unbelievers repent and come to know Jesus. And of course, when that happens, when someone becomes a Christian, that spiritual newborn is suddenly in a fairly vulnerable position. Well, sure, there's a brand new opportunity to enjoy the life that Christ has given you, of course. But at the same time, you have just entered into conflict at a level never previously experienced. Because now, having been snatched out of the kingdom of darkness, placed into the kingdom of God's dear Son, you have a new and formidable enemy. Your former master, Satan, is now your enemy.

And you're going to be assaulted. There are experiences that the believer has that the non-believer never has, experiences of conflict between sin and righteousness, between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. It's critical in the beginning of your Christian experience to become strong as fast as you can.

That's why the New Testament tells us to grow in grace, to feed on the Word of God, that we might become strong, to grow up and be no longer children, but become spiritual young men who are strong in the Word. We have a tool that really will help you kind of establish that foundation. It's a book called Welcome to the Family, and it's just that. It's a welcome book to new believers. If you've just come to Christ, or perhaps you came to Christ some time back, but you just really haven't grown much, this is a perfect tool for you.

It shows you where to go, how to get started, how to begin the maturing process. It's called Welcome to the Family. If you're a new believer, we want to give you a free copy. Contact us, phone, email, regular mail. If you've been a Christian for a while and would still like the book, it's available for a reasonable price.

Yes, thanks, John. Friend, this book lays out the most important truths that new believers need to know, and how they can avoid common traps that new Christians can fall into. To get your copy of Welcome to the Family, free if you're a new believer, contact us today. You can call at 800-55-GRACE or visit gty.org. Or ask for your free copy of Welcome to the Family when you send an email to letters at gty.org. And as John said, if you've been a believer for a while, you'd still like a copy for yourself, or perhaps to give to a friend or to use to disciple a new believer, Welcome to the Family costs $8.75 and shipping is free.

To order, call 800-55-GRACE or visit gty.org. And keep in mind that we want to hear from you whether you're a new Christian or a long-time believer. When you get in touch, ask to start receiving John MacArthur's monthly letter. That's John's opportunity to interact with you more directly and to offer you free books and booklets and other resources every month from Grace to You. Ask to receive John's monthly letter when you call us at 800-55-GRACE or write to us at letters at gty.org. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson. Be back tomorrow to get the facts on who Christ is and to be equipped to share that truth with others. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace to You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-04 05:26:03 / 2024-06-04 05:35:58 / 10

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