This is the sixth post in a series based on John Maisel’s lecture and book “Is Jesus God?” Click here to receive your free download of this resource.
Last week we addressed the question “Who does the world say that Jesus Christ is?” Today let’s consider our second question, “Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?”
Before you can answer that question, you need some evidence and facts that will help you make an intelligent decision. We have to ask ourselves if there is sufficient evidence to warrant an intelligent belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.
You see, my heart cannot do something that my mind rejects. So before we are through, you will have to answer the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” with your heart. Many times in my own experience I have encountered some mental obstacles that had to be worked through before my faith could have the intelligent foundation that God desires.
If God is there and not silent— if Jesus Christ is the answer to the needs of the human heart—God wants me to understand with my mind His plan to bring man into a relationship with Himself. Christianity is built upon the solid foundation of knowing and being able to substantiate the claims of Jesus Christ.
Some of Jesus Christ’s Unique Claims
Allow me to review some of the statements of Jesus as we set the stage to look at the implications of one specific claim. This is no ordinary man we are considering.
We see this in the scriptures when Jesus made a blind man see, He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). When He fed 5,000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread, He said, “I am the bread of Life” (John 6:35). When He was appearing before the man who would have executed Him and was asked if He was the Christ, the Son of God, Jesus said, “Yes, it is as you say” (Matthew 26:63-64).
Thomas, the disciple who had doubted that Jesus really had risen from the dead, responded, “My Lord and my God” when he saw Jesus and felt the wounds in His hands and side. (John 20:28) Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). And after He had raised a man from the dead, He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies” (John 11:25). So Jesus’ claims of being the Savior of the world and the uniqueness of His ministry and work are very clear.
Probably one of the most important aspects of His claims is His right to forgive sins on earth, a claim that was reserved for God alone. Listen to one of the accounts that addresses this claim.
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this” (Mark 2:1-12)!
Now let’s focus on one of the most profound statements that Jesus ever made and, if true, is truly astounding. If this statement is true, you are confronted with the decision about how you choose to live life—either with Him or apart from Him. He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).
We’ll go into this in greater detail next week.