When I was in high school I started wondering if what I had been taught in church was true. Mom and dad had always taken me to church but I wondered if what was taught there was real or not. I began wrestling with this idea trying to come to some sort of peace in my mind.
One of my Sunday School teachers introduced me to a book called “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell. He was a lawyer who tried to prove the message of the Bible untrue but ended up becoming convinced of the exact opposite. The evidence and arguments he put forth convinced me that my faith was founded on truth and was logical. That was a turning point for me. I became wholeheartedly convinced of the truths in the Bible and decided to enter the ministry, in part, because of what I had discovered.
I believe that every Christian should be convinced of the accuracy and logical nature of what we believe. We should have no doubt that what we believe is true and we should be able to defend that truth according to I Peter 3:15.
This theme is very important because our children and grandchildren are going to sit in classes both in high school and college with teachers who do not necessarily share our faith. Some do, others don’t and they teach from a secular viewpoint that does not recognize the universal truth of the Bible. Some are openly hostile to our faith and teach that Christianity is just another religion and is actually harmful to society. We need to give our kids the knowledge they need to defend their faith and to be convinced it’s true.
There are three questions about Jesus, each foundational to our faith, that we need to be able to answer with confidence. They are: Did Jesus claim to be God’s Son? Is Jesus more than just a man? Is Jesus alive today?
Did Jesus really claim to be God’s Son? Some claim He did not. Some say that Jesus never meant to be worshipped but was just a prophet or a gifted teacher.
Jesus did, in fact, claim to be God’s Son. The most compelling proof Jesus claimed His divinity is found in His use of the term “Son of Man” to refer to Himself. Jesus used this term to identify Himself far more than any other. It refers to a prophecy from Daniel 7:13-14 in which Daniel sees a vision of heaven including Jesus who looked like a “Son of Man.” In referring to Himself with this title Jesus was clearly claiming to be God’s Son.
Jesus truly believed He was the Son of God. We have only three options, according to Josh McDowell, regarding this claim. Jesus was either: lying, a lunatic, or truly our Lord. Only one of those three options can be true.
Jesus was either lying or a lunatic to claim to be God. If one of us claimed to be God our loved ones would take us to the doctor who would prescribe serious medication for us; either that or we would be written off as narcissistic frauds. Jesus, however, did not display ANY characteristics of one who was lying or who was mentally ill. His teachings were clear and concise. His behavior was not erratic but focused on His mission. He did not seek power or wealth for Himself but used His power to heal and teach. He was not influenced by the great crowds of people who followed Him but sought to influence them for the Kingdom of God.
We can be confident that Jesus was, and is, God’s Son because His teachings and behavior are consistent with someone whose claim to divinity was real. It is a stretch to say that one who taught with such authority and love is anyone other than who He claimed to be. It takes more faith to write Jesus off as a liar or lunatic than it does to really believe He is God’s Son.
The question is, what will you decide to do about it?