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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Saturday, May 4, 2024

 

5-4-2024    Let’s talk Jesus

                        

Jesus!  Is He just a myth?  The Son of God? Father (Himself) come into this world?

Mythicists variously argue that the accounts of Jesus are completely or mostly of a mythical nature, questioning the mainstream paradigm of a historical Jesus in the beginning of the 1st century who was subsequently deified. Most mythicists note that Christianity developed within Hellenistic Judaism, which was influenced by Hellenism, and that early Christianity and the accounts of Jesus are to be understood in this context. Yet, where contemporary New Testament scholarship has introduced several criteria to evaluate the historicity of New Testament passages and sayings, most Christ myth proponents have relied on comparisons of Christian mythemes with contemporary religious traditions, emphasizing the mythological nature of the Bible accounts.

The most radical mythicists hold, in terms given by Price, the "Jesus atheism" viewpoint, that is, there never was a historical Jesus, only a mythological character, and the mytheme of his incarnation, death, and exaltation. They hold that this character developed out of a syncretistic fusion of Jewish, Hellenistic and Middle Eastern religious thought; was put forward by Paul; and historicised in the gospels, which are also syncretistic. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory).  A lot of big word are used by those who think they are smart.  Syncretism is a combination of various beliefs or practices.  It also is the fusion of two or more ‘curved’ or changed forms (Webster’s).  

Mainstream scholarship asserts that there was a historical Jesus.  However scholars differ about the accuracy of the biblical accounts about Jesus, with only two events supported by nearly-universal scholarly consensus: Jesus' baptism, and his crucifixion.  The mainstream scholarly view is that the Pauline epistles and the gospels describe the "Christ of faith", presenting a religious narrative which replaced the historical Jesus who did live in 1st-century Roman Judea.  Martin Kähler made the famous distinction between the "Jesus of history" and the "Christ of faith", arguing that faith is more important than exact historical knowledge.  According to Ehrman, Jesus was a first-century Judean Jew, who was not like the Jesus preached and proclaimed today, and that the most widely held view by critical scholars is that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who was subsequently deified. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory).

So, in the world, there is argument whether Jesus existed or not or even if He were a real person or not.

We are people of faith.  It is impossible to please God without faith for we must believe that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).  So, if we don’t believe Jesus truly existed, do we truly believe that God even exists?  Those who believe God doesn’t exist will never accept Him because He needs to be accepted by faith.  When a heart is truly hardened against God, one might be considered to be a reprobate – one who considers God is unworthy of his attention.  A reprobate would be one who casts away, condemns, despises, refuses, rejects, etc., as in the Hebrew word maac (H3988) or unapproved, rejected or cast away as described in the Greek word adokimos (G96).  In short, a true reprobate has no relationship with God, nor does he want one. God will oblige him (Rom. 1:21-26).

  

 

When we don’t believe God is, how can we accept the reality of Jesus?  Likewise, when we don’t seek God, how can we then seek Jesus, if neither really exist?

 Recently, we’ve talked about what are some important things that are relative for us to accept God and His love.  We also talked about tools Father provides us to help us grow in that love.

Okay.  So now, let’s talk about the personification of Father’s love – Jesus!

In the King James bible, John chapter one, verse one says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”.  The New World translation cites John 1:1 the same way except for those last several words – “… the word was a god”.  The gospel of John goes on to explain that the word was a light to man and that light was made flesh and was the only ‘begotten’ son of the Father (John 1:1-16).  Father foretold of Jesus (Psalm 2:6-9).  Take note that the word begotten (yalad, H3205) does relate just to child bearing but also has the connotation of ‘bearing the lineage’, to carry the banner.  Speaking of Jesus, “At any time, to which of My angels did I (Father) say ‘you are My Son, this day I have begotten You.  I will be a Father to him and He a Son to Me’.  When He brings the first begotten into the world, let all the angels worship Him (Heb. 1:5-6).  Jesus is the first of all Christianity. Those who serve Father not just in what they do but in what they think and know in their heart.

Worship Him?  Didn’t Father say “You shall have no other Gods before Me?  No graven images?  Do not bow down to nor serve them (Exod. 20:4-5)?  Father emphasizes this to Israel when He tells them ‘You shall worship no other gods before Me for the Lord is a jealous God’ (Exod 34:14.  Yet, Father says His angels shall bow down before Jesus.  Didn’t Mary (Martha’s sister) anoint Jesus’ feet and wipe them with the hairs of her head (John 12:1-3)?  Isn’t this worship?  What about the men on the boat when Jesus walked on the sea and invited Peter to join Hm.  The men on the boat did what?  They worshipped Jesus (Matt:14:25-33)!  Even the wise men came to Jesus and worshipped Him, when He was yet a child (Matt. 2:1-11).   Are we drawing a connection here?  Worship – God, worship - Jesus!

Prophecy & reality of Jesus’ birth  

A child is born, the government shall be upon his shoulder.  His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace … (Isaiah 9:6).  Genesis speaks of the dominion of Jesus when  Eve was tricked by the serpent, God would put enmity between his seed (the devil) and her seed (Gen. 3:15).  That is to say those who follow Satan and those who follow God would definitely be at odds.  Isaiah says that the Lord shall give a sign as a virgin shall bear a son and His name shall be called Emmanuel (Isa. 7:14-16).  Micah says a ruler shall come out of Bethlehem … (Mic. 5:2) referencing the ‘Chosen One’ (Jesus). 

Of course we have the angel telling Joseph that the child which Mary is carrying shall be called Jesus (Savior), as well as Emmanuel (God is with us) (Matt. 1:20-23).  Let’s pause here for a moment.  The Greek word for Jesus is Iesous (G2424) and is derived from the Hebrew word Yehowhua (H3091) which means ‘Jehovah saved’.  Wow!  Luke also gives us the prophecy and fulfillment of Jesus’ birth (Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-19).  And, of course, Jesus’ birth in the stable, there was no room at the inn (Matt. 1:25, 2:1-11, Luke 2:1-20).  

Prophecy and reality of Jesus’ death

Isaiah explains why Jesus had to travel the road to the cross (Isa. 53:1-12).  Psalm 22:11-18 and describes Jesus on the cross. Jesus did die on the cross (Matt. 27:48-50, Mark 15:33-37, Luke 23:32-46) and what happened at that moment (Matt. 27:51-53,)?  The veil to the Holy of Holies was torn in two and the dead were seen in Jerusalem.  Just what did that torn veil do?  It gave all believers direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The resurrection

But, praise God, Jesus did not stay ‘dead’!  After the Sabbath, the tomb was found empty and Jesus visited with His disciples for forty days before ascending back unto the Father (Matt. 28:1-17, Mark 16:9-14, Luke 24:1-49, John chptrs. 20 & 21, Acts 1:3).  And, of course the ascension (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:9-11).  The disciples watched as Jesus was taken up by a cloud (nephele – G3507)

The unity of Father & Son

Moses asked God “whom shall I say sent me?  Father says I Am that I Am, tell them I AM has sent you (Exod. 3:13-14).  The Lord, our redeemer, says I AM, the Lord who has made all things, controls the elements of the world, confirms the word of His servant, etc. (Isa. 44:24-27).  Father also declares that He is the First and the Last (Isa. 44:6).

The Jews commented that Jesus not yet 50 years old.  ‘Are you older than Abraham’?  Jesus replies before ‘Abraham was I AM’ (John 8:53-58) and  and Jesus declared ‘I AM Alpha and Omega’ (Rev. 1:11), the First and the Last (Rev. 22:13). Both Father and Son declare to be ‘IAM’.  David declares the lord Jehovah to strength and salvation (Isa. 12:2, Psalm 18:1-2).  Paul declares Jesus our Savior (Rom.3:23-25, Phil. 3:20). 

The Godhead

Three NT verses describe the ‘Godhead’.  The Godhead is not an idol made of precious stone (Acts 17:29).  We can understand things God does because of His eternal power and Godhead (Rom. 1:20).  The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus so we are complete in Him … (Col. 2:6-10).  So just what is the Godhead?  Like a bright flashing light (theion -G2303), godlike (therios -G2304), theiotese (G2305 – divinity) and/or godlike (theotes – G2320).  In other words, all powerful (bring your sunglasses)!

Jesus declares that He and the Father are one (John 10:30).  As Jesus prays for us, He declares that we be one with Him as He is with Father, abiding in Their love (John 17:1-26). 

Ministry

What can we say about the ministry of Jesus?  He turned water into wine (John 2:1), healed the leper (Mat. 8:1), healed various diseases (Matt. 4:23), the lame (Mark 2:1), the blind (Matt. 9:27), the deaf (Mark 7:31), He fed people (Mark 8:1), raised the dead (John 11:38), and cast out devils (Mark 5:1-13).  And that is just some of what He did .   

There is no greater love than a man lay down His life for his friends (John 15:13).  There is no is greater example of this than Jesus’ life death and resurrection.  Agree?

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but by Me (John 14:6). Peter, speaking to the Jews reminds them that there is no other name, under heaven, given to man through other there is salvation except Jesus (Acts 4:12).

The promise

So father gives us the promise of salvation when He tells Eve that her seed shall crush the enemy’s head (Gen. 3:15).  We have the ‘human’ lineage of Jesus, from Jesus through Adam and who does Luke claim Adam to be the son of (Luke 3:23-38)?  Jesus IS the Son of man AND the son of God ().  This is how He draws the first covenant (the Law) into the second covenant (grace).  “I have come not to destroy the Law nor the prophets, but to fulfill them (Matt.5:17). 

As Christians, we accept what we know about Father and Son by faith.  As we said, without faith it is impossible to please God.

In the opening of this entry, we mentioned some ‘human’ arguments against Jesus being who He is.  Yet, we have to remember that God’s foolishness is wiser than any man’s (wisdom) and His weakness is greater than any strong man’ strength. Father has chosen the foolish things of this world to confuse ’smart’ men and the ‘weak’ things of this world to amaze those who consider themselves strong.  The things that this world hates, God likes.  Just as God said that Eve’s seed would be at odds against Satan’s seed.  The kingdom’s of this world will not be in agreement with the kingdom of God. Things that seem impossible, God brings into being (Jesus walked on water – Matt. 14:25-32).  Jesus said that when we truly believe, we can move mountains – spiritual or physical (Mark 11:22-26).  The key here is to believe Father, don’t ask for the wrong reason, don’t doubt that God will provide and believe that we shall receive that Father has for us (Mark 11:23, James 4:3).  

From a personal point.  We can’t survive on just what ‘man’ says.  Father has shown me how many times He has blessed me, even when I didn’t realize it at the time.  He keeps showing me the truth of the written Word (the bible).  He shows me the reality of His Word through my practical experiences in life, the bible (itself) and my personal time with the Lord.  They all line up together.  That is the three come into agreement.  One has to ‘live it’ to truly understand this.  I find myself quoting Job a lot lately.  Job says that he has heard all about the Lord (from other men) but now he has seen Him with own eye (Job 42:4).  That is, Job came to know who God really is.

There’s so much more we can say about Jesus, but this should get the clockworks ticking in our brains.  What do you think?

Amen

 

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