JESUS IS | Who He Says He Is

Main Text:  Matthew 16:13-18

PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS TALKING

People are always talking about Jesus.  For two thousand years they have never stopped.  It is extraordinary that people today, some 2000 years removed from the days when Jesus actually lived, are still talking about the penniless preacher from Nazareth.  It seems that everyone has an opinion about Jesus.  The religions and cults of the world all speak of Him. Musicians as diverse as Pink Floyd, Kanye West, and Carrie Underwood sing songs about Him.  Actors and Actresses like Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, and Pamela Anderson wear shirts that bare his image.  However, many people can’t seem to agree about their opinions of Jesus.  Some say He is merely a good, moral teacher.  Others claim that He is somehow a prophet, while still others subscribe to the idea that He is divine.  What can we know about Jesus with so many opinions about Him floating around?

FROM HIS OWN MOUTH

When there are competing testimonies about Jesus lingering through the last 2000 years, it is best to go straight to the source itself.  What did Jesus say about Himself?  You may be surprised, but Jesus said some pretty outrageous things about Himself.  While many spiritual people have claimed to have visited heaven in a trance, vision, or near death experience; Jesus claimed to have come down from heaven to this earth (John 6:38).  Many have claimed to hear messages from God; Jesus claimed to be God (John 10:30-33).  Many have claimed to have remedies for sin; Jesus forgave sin (Luke 5:20-21).  Many have claimed there is power in prayer; Jesus commanded us to pray in His name (John 14:13-14).  Many have claimed to know the path to the divine; Jesus claimed to be the only divine path (John 14:6).

WHO DO YOU SAY JESUS IS?

We all have to answer this question for ourselves.  There can be no indifference… For to ignore Jesus is a choice to not believe in Him.  What will you believe about Jesus?  Will you believe what He says about Himself?  Or will you believe what someone else says about Him?  C. S. Lewis said this, “a man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic – on level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the devil of Hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.”  So… Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?  Who do you say Jesus is?

Study Questions
Read Romans 10:9.  Why is it important for people to make a decision about Jesus?

What will you say to the person who says that all religions are basically the same and should “coexist” together nicely?

Think about the things that Jesus said (this week) and pair His statements to the known reality that He is the centerpiece of all human history (last week).  How does the fruit of the life of Jesus prove or disprove His outrageous claims?

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