Friday, June 13, 2014

Three proofs of Jesus being the Messiah

As I was studying Matthew 26:57-6, the trial before Caiaphas the High Priest, I was faced with a verse that has always left me unsatisfied.  Yet after thinking about it, I was tremendously blessed.  Here is that verse:

'Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”'

As all good translations do, the first sentence is shown to be only 2 words, You say or you said, as the other words are in italics, and therefore supplied by the translators to make the meaning clearer.  Sometimes this works, but sometimes it is really not necessary, as I think in this case.
But here is what has troubled me.  Christ has an ideal opportunity to answer the High Priest with a direct and irrefutable answer, given the particularity of the question, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God?"  Why does Christ squander such an obvious opportunity? 

Because it was no opportunity!  Over and over throughout the 3 years of His ministry they had already been shown the truth and rejected it.  Consider the following 3 proofs...

Proof #1  Christ's Healing ministry

John the Baptist, in a moment of weakness while in prison, sent his disciples to ask, Are you the One, or should we look for another?  Christ told them go and tell John what you see and hear, the blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Matt. 11:4-5) Luke records in chapter 4, when Christ read Isaiah 61:1-2a while he was in his home synagogue in Nazareth, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" He stated, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (4:21). They could not accept this and wanted to cast Him off a cliff. 

Proof #2  He is the great "I AM"

In John chapter 4, the witness of Christ to the woman of Samaria is bold and teaches us.  In verse 25 the woman brings up a suggestion that the Messiah would answer all their questions. Christ answers her, "I who speak to you am he" with the last word He, being again a supplied word in italics.  Christ is effectively claiming the divine phrase, I AM (Ex 3:13-15), for His own.  In fact this was not the only time he did so.  In John 8:48-59 the Jews were accusing Him of possession by a demon and He responds in verse 58, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” For that they tried to stone Him.

The point of this is that over and over Christ does plainly say who He is and what He came for.  So His answer in Matthew 26:64, "You say" is clear enough.

Proof #3  Even the dead being raised will not persuade the unbeliever.

They will not believe Him, even if one is raised from the dead as we learn from the parable of the Rich man & Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31, as well as from Mary & Martha's brother Lazarus who was dead for 4 whole days and then raised up.  Christ even tells us plainly through His prayer to the Father before He raised Lazarus, that it was for our belief that He is the Christ. “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” (John 11:41b-42)

Amazingly Christ, having broken His silence thus far, now gives them another true statement, but this one enough to convict on(vs. 64) - and the High priest stops the proceedings.  They had their testimony, and it would stick.

Lord - It is amazing to think of how much you put up with to save some of this wicked bunch.  Thank you for your great love!

Amen.

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