Is Jesus Just a . . .?

History Question

Does History prove that Jesus actually lived?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • I don't know.
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Is Jesus Just a Teacher?

Mark 6:1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. 2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them]. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

1. Teacher vs Prophet: Will you trust His Demands on you? John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

The people of Galilee were willing to listen to Jesus the Commentator. They had no problem listening to Jesus the Teacher. They did not stop him from teaching. But when he preached to them, they could not handle that. That is why Jesus said that He had no honor as a prophet. See, they could handle the teacher, just not the preacher.

In general terms, a prophet is a preacher. Preaching is different from teaching because teaching is giving information. The world has less of a problem with someone teaching about God’s Word than they do the preaching of the Word of God. See, preaching is when you start telling people what they should do because of what the Word says. Preaching is demanding action from people. People do not mind knowing about God until it means that it changes what they can or cannot do. This is one of the biggest reasons why people want to be atheists, because they do not like the fact that God makes demands on us.

Let’s look at one of the religious people of Jesus day that did not mind Jesus teaching, but had problems with change: Nicodemus.

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God

     a. Come by Night

Nicodemus, like all of us, come to Jesus by night. He came literally in the night. Perhaps this was because he did not want people to know that he was consulting with Jesus. Perhaps it was because he was embarrassed by what the other religionists would have to say. After all, Nicodemus had a reputation to protect. He was a respected member of the Jewish community. Perhaps, he was one of the most influential of the Pharisees. Jesus called him a “ruler of the Jews.”

So, we also do not mind finding out what the preacher today has to say until he starts telling us, even based on God’s Word, what we should and should not be doing. Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to change, to be “born again.” Jesus still says that you us today. We not only need to be born again (to be saved). But we, even after trusting Christ for salvation need to be challenged to change. We do not like preaching because we do not like change.

      b. Confident in Knowledge

Nicodemus, like the men of Galilee, felt confident in who they were and what they knew. They did not need some young teacher coming along and telling them that things needed to be different. The People of Galilee did not want to be challenged by this man that they had seen grow up from a child. And as a matter of fact, it did not really matter who it was that was saying these things to the Galileans or to Nicodemus. It was God’s Word. Now, of course, we know that it was God’s Word given by the Word of God. But the same thing happens today when people hear God and His Spirit demanding we do something, through a preacher. We are confident that we know all we need to. And how dare that young preacher try to tell us to change anyway?

     c. Condemned by Necessities

The fact is that even though the Galileans and Nicodemus were both confident in what they thought they knew, they needed something more. They needed faith in the very Person that they were mocking. Now, we have some confidence that Nicodemus did come to faith in Jesus. But too many people are rejecting Christ because they do not like what He demands. But really, what they are rejecting is the salvation that they need. They feel condemned by their own conscience and they run instead of getting right with God and receiving the free gift of salvation. So, they condemn themselves to damnation, even though salvation is only a simple prayer away.

Theology Question

Is there a Hell?

  • Yes, but it is allegorical.
  • Yes, it is literal.
  • I don't know.
  • No, there is not. We all go to a good place.
  • No, there is nothing after death.
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Was Jesus Just a Carpenter?

1. Carpenter vs Creator: Will you trust His Design for you?

The people of Galilee were comfortable with Jesus as a carpenter. They had no problem with that. They had no problem bringing their wagons to Him to fix, or their furniture for Him to mend. But they were not willing to trust Jesus for the big things.

     a. For the Bitty Plans

We do the same things. We have no problem looking to Jesus for the simple things. Oh, Jesus loves us. We have no problem there. We should go to church every so often. . . Christmas and Easter? No problem. We are okay with the little demands. Sure we believe in Jesus. . . Yup, right up to and until the moment that Jesus starts interjecting Himself into OUR plans for OUR lives.

     b. For the Big Plans Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world [men] have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, [what] he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. I Corinthians 2:9

See, if Jesus is really the God that the Bible says that He is, He has a plan for us. I had a friend back when I was seventeen, and we were talking about college. She was wondering what she should do and where should she go. And I was trying to encourage her to find out what God wanted her to do for college. “What does God want you do after college. You really should ask yourself that if you want to know what you should study.” These were the kinds of things that I was saying.

She said to me, “Andy, you know what your problem is?” What? “Your problem is that you think God has a will for every part of your life.”

She said this like it was a big revelation of failure in my personal mentality and logic. I, on the other hand, could not figure out why she thought that was wrong. I said, “Right! That is exactly what I am trying to tell you.” She was okay with God saying that she should go to church sometimes. But when God starts telling her what college to go to and what career she should pursue . . . Come on, God. Now, You are going too far!

We trust Him for the itty-bitty plans of our lives, but not the big ones. No, those are too important for us to give to God. (Can you hear my sarcasm?)

     c. For your Body’s Plan Psalms 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, [and] curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all [my members] were written, [which] in continuance were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them.

One of the biggest psychological plagues in our country is that we do not accept God’s plan for our bodies. We look at our face, and say, “Oh, my nose is too big.” “Oh, my skin ages too quickly.” “Oh, this should have been bigger, and then I would really be happy. If only that was not crooked, then my life would be perfect!” What you are really saying is that God made you the wrong way. He should have made you this way. And oh, if you only looked like her, then you would be happy.

Guess what, my friend. That other person that you envy so much is not happy either.

When you say that God made you wrong, you are really saying that you know better than God. You are making yourself bitter at God by doing this, whether you realize it or not.

We need to trust what Jesus has made in us. He is not just the Carpenter of Galilee. He is the divine Carpenter who made you. You need to change what you can change that is within your control. Brush your teeth. Use some deodorant, please. But the things that are under God’s control, you need to leave them to Him. We cut our bodies and hack up the Temple of Christ for vanity. My friends, this ought not to be. We need to accept what wonderful creations He has made in us.

Personal Perception Question

Are you at peace and completely accept the way that God made your Physical Body?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • I don't belive in God.
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Was Jesus Just the Son of Mary?

3. Son of Mary vs. Son of God: Will you trust in His Deity over you?

The Galileans were willing to look at Jesus as the illegitimate son of Joseph, the son of Mary. But to accept Him as the Son of God was beyond what they would tolerate. How could they believe that He was the Son of God. They had watched Him grow up. They saw Him when He was a clumsy baby. They heard His voice crack in adolescence. They helped to teach Him His carpentry trade. Now, He is calling Himself the Son of God. How crazy is that?!

      a. Admit He is the Creator Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

The Galileans had watched Jesus grow up. But they did not know that Jesus saw them before time even began. Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things. Now, some people say that Jesus was created by the Father, and then Jesus created everything else. The problem with that is that Colossians 1:16 says that Jesus created all things. Well, He could not create all things if He were created. The Bible would be wrong if that was what happened.

No, the Bible is not wrong. Jesus was not created. He created everything that was created. He is the Creator. If you serve a Jesus that is not the Creator of the universe, my friend, you got a different “Jesus” than the Jesus of the Bible.

      b. Adore Him for His Character Revelation 16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

The Galileans were unwilling to see Jesus as deity and worship Him as God. You also may be wrapped up in a cult that distorts the clear teaching of the Bible and remakes Jesus into a mere mortal. Or maybe your cult makes Jesus just an angel. Some cults make Jesus the brother of Satan. Well, you need to be careful, because if you do not worship Jesus for who He truly is, you will be punished by God.

I know that the passage in Revelation 16 is a prophecy about what will happen during the tribulation, but there is a principle here that echoes to all times and dispensations. God holds you and me accountable to find out what the truth is, and Who the Truth is, by the way. If we will not worship Him and give Him the glory, we will receive the condemnation, just like the people in Rev. 16.

You still protest that Jesus is not God. Well, you cannot fight with John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I know some of the perverted versions of the Bible say “the Word was a god.” But the word “a” is not in the Greek. It is not supported by the Greek grammar. No. Jesus is the Word, and He is God!

      c. Adhere to his Commands II Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

Just as God holds us responsible to find out the truth, He holds us responsible to obey His commands. Now, if we know the truth and we walk away from it, we will be judged. God will take “flaming fire” vengeance “on them that know not God and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

You say, “That is not fair! What about the poor tribal person that has never heard the Gospel? God is going to send them to Hell?” Listen, my friend, God is not going to send anyone to hell that did not reject Him. He is just. The Bible does make provision for all men who are willing to be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. There is a witness even in Creation.

But who I am concerned about right now is you, my friend. You say, “What about that person in deepest, darkest jungle that has not heard.” What about you that have heard. You run away from God, calling Him unfair. But let me ask you a question.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

God loves you. He paid the way for you to be saved. All you have to do is ask for the gift of salvation, because God knows you cannot earn it by your righteousness. He loves you so much that He has brought this truth to you. And all you have to do is agree with Him that you’re a sinner and ask Him to save you.

Now, here is the question. If that is what God has done for you, and you walk away from Him knowing these things, who is the one that is unfair. It is not God.

The Galileans in Mark refused to just believe and so Jesus could not give them the blessings He wanted to. Will you believe and let Him save or bless you today?

January 2, 2010sm

Why don't you ask God to save you today?

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I know that I am a sinner and have disobeyed your laws. But I know that you love me and that Jesus died for me. Now, I ask you to come into my life and save me. Please, forgive me of all my sin. Please be the Lord of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

If you just prayed that prayer, drop me a note and let me know. I would like to pray for you.

Comments 6 comments

The Rising Glory profile image

The Rising Glory 6 years ago from California

I would disagree with your premise that Nicodemus came at night because he was embarrassed. You point out that he was a "ruler." You also mention that he was a Pharisee. A Pharisee by definition is a "separatist." They were an elite group within the Jewish community. What do rulers do? They rule. Stop and think for a moment, what was the complaint of the Pharisees about Jesus? The fact that He was drawing all the crowds. When Nicodemus came to Christ he said, "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God..."

What is a very key word in this verse? "We know that..." Notice he said "we" not "I." What does that tell us? He was speaking on behalf of the Pharisees. Hmmm, I wonder what the Pharisees wanted to know?

In verse three it says, "Jesus answered him..." but there was no question. Nicodemus had only acknowledge that He was a teacher come from God because no one could do the miracles that he did. So what did Jesus answer? The question of his hear. How are you doing the miracles that you are doing.

This is an awesome portion of scripture that goes much then most deal with.


PastorAndrew profile image

PastorAndrew 6 years ago from Detroit Author

Thank you for your input. My primary purpose in using the example of Nicodemus was not to delve into all of what is happening there. That is its own study. And it is an awesome study too. I love that passage. But at one level Nicodemus was there because he saw Jesus as Rabbi, teacher. Jesus was calling him to change though.

And Yes, Jesus spoke to what Nicodemus needed, not what he wanted. Nicodemus needed salvation by rebirth, but that takes change.

Nicodemus may have come to Jesus by night because he was embarrassed or maybe not. If he was not embarrassed, then I will appologize to him when we get to Heaven.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

Anything of Jesus to hear brings sensation to mind. Thanks.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Very interesting hub with some great points made such as: "Just as God holds us responsible to find out the truth, He holds us responsible to obey His commands." Too often may of us who claim the name Christian fail in our obedience.

There is a clear disconnect in today's world between what we claim to believe and how we actually live our lives.

I also appreciated the video, "My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter." and the three reasons He is your (and my) Boss. It was wonderful how you creatively illustrated the Carpenter, beyond the limits of human vocation.

Thank you for sharing this insightful hub.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Good exegesis. Very well put together & presented. Pray that God uses it for his honor & glory. Peace & blessings to you.


"Quill" 6 years ago

Well done and worth deeper study, one of the gems in the Word we often overlook.

Blessings

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