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THE TRINITY - JESUS OUR SAVIOR Luke 2:40-49; Revelation 22:20

JESUS OUR SAVIOR

Luke   2:40-49; Revelation 22:20

Usually messages about the teachings of Jesus begin with what He taught about God. I feel that Jesus Himself should have the first place in such a study. Any consideration of the Christian faith must begin with an examination of the person of Christ. A true Christian experience is essentially a relationship with Him.

There can be no dispute about the fact that Jesus is the one character in human history of whom more has been written and spoken than any other person. If all the books and booklets and tracts printed in the last 1500 years dealing with the preexistence, incarnation, life, character, virtues, teaching, miracles, death, resurrection, ascension, and the present and future ministry of Jesus were to be gathered in one place, where is the library that could contain them all? What about the countless millions of sermons that have been preached on His uniqueness, grace, and power? And what of the unnumbered host of pastors and Christian workers who magnify Him as Savior and Lord wherever they witness on the face of the earth?

During His short lifetime, His ministry caused division, with widely differing opinions about Him. Some held that He was a deceiver, impostor, mad, possessed with a devil. Others declared Him a great prophet of righteousness, a good man, the wisest of teachers, a beautiful character, and God manifest in flesh. The truth about Jesus comes from the Bible.

Because He was Eternal God, we can say truthfully that Jesus lived before He was born! Genesis gives this information:

  • Chapter 1 verse 1 says, In the beginning God.
  • Verse 26 continues, Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.
  • John tells us in John 1:1, In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God.

His beginning as the Word was long before His beginning as man.

Throughout the Old Testament is "the heaven-drawn picture" of Messiah who was to come. In the Gospels, He steps out of the picture frame in the person of Christ, a name meaning "the Anointed One" or Messiah used in Daniel 9:25-26. Jesus urged his disciples to search the Old Testament books, saying in John 5:39, They. . . testify of me.

  • Isaiah 9:6 says Messiah would come as Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • Isaiah 57:15 adds that He is . . . the high and lofty One--he who lives forever, whose name is holy.

The opinion of Jesus that matters most is the one He held concerning Himself. We can have no higher authority of who He is than what He taught regarding Himself. Jesus had no doubt whatever as to Who He was, from where He came, why He entered our world, and what the future held for Him. His first words about Himself appear in Luke 2:40. His last words were to the apostle John in Revelation 22:20. He continued to affirm His claims with authority even though they aroused the fierce antagonism of men and resulted in His crucifixion. What were these claims from the person who could not lie?

  • In John 8:58 Jesus claimed, Before Abraham was, I am.
  • Quite openly in John 16:28, Jesus spoke of the glory He had with God the Father before the creation of the world and also of His coming forth from the Father.
  • In His conversation with Nicodemus in John 3:13, Jesus asserted that He came down from Heaven.
  • In John 1:3, John declared without hesitating that Jesus was the Creator.
  • In John 4:25-26, during a spiritual conversation with the stranger she met at the well, a Samaritan woman confessed her faith in the long-promised Messiah. I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am he.’ Leaving her water pot, the woman hurried back and confessed to her fellow Samaritans, [the woman's own description of the authoritative Messiah] Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?
  • When Andrew was called by Jesus as a disciple, he went immediately to find his own brother, in John 1:41 telling Simon the good news. We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).

Jesus constantly related Himself to the past and identified Himself as the promised Messiah of Israel. The term “the Son of Man” was used twice in the Psalms, 90 times by Ezekiel, and twice by Daniel. Jesus used this Messianic title 84 times to describe the human side of His person. It appears another 4 times in Acts, Hebrews, and the Revelation. As Son of Man, Jesus lived on earth for over thirty-three years, a human but sinless. He took all the attributes belonging to human nature except sin. Evidences of His humanity were His human birth, human relationships, and human emotions. He shared in human experiences so that He could take away the sins of the world on the cross.

In Matthew 1:21, God gave the name His Son would be called when He came to Earth. “Jesus” in Hebrew means “Jehovah our Salvation” or “the LORD saves.” The name recurs about 240 times in the Gospels. In Philippians 2:9-10, Paul reminds is it is a highly exalted name. Probably the most striking use of this name was in Acts 9:3-5 as Saul of Tarsus approached Damascus. Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.

Jesus’ life gives proofs of His humanity.

  • In Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4, Jesus told Satan that He was a Man.
  • In Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34, He refers to His human habits of eating and drinking.
  • He made frequent references to his body and its parts.
  • In Matthew 26:38 and Mark 14:34, He spoke of His soul.
  • At the death of His friend Lazarus, He wept.

But remember, Jesus was also “the Son of God,” a title found 30 times in the gospels and 20 times elsewhere in the New Testament.

  • God the Father announced this from Heaven in Mark 1:9-11 at Jesus’ baptism.
  • In John chapter 5, Jesus claimed to be the Son and equal to God, which angered the religious leaders.
  • He used the Old Testament words I AM referring to Himself, words reserved for God.
  • In the tenth chapter of John’s gospel, among other proofs of His divinity was His claim of being the sole mediator between God and man.

He possessed divine attributes. He was:

  • Omnipotent, or all-powerful. (Matthew 28:18) 
  • Omniscient or knowing everything. Scripture gives examples of this perfect knowledge summarized in John 2:24-25.
  • Omnipresent, or being everywhere at the same time. In Matthew 28:20, He assured His followers that He would be with them always.

He performed miracles as Peter reminded the crowd at Pentecost in Acts 2:22.
He forgave sins summarized in Matthew 9:6 and Mark 2:7-10.

In the four gospels, Jesus asserted His unique relationship to accomplish a unique task with the authority to make unique demands or claims upon others.

  • In John 10: 27-28, He claimed His authority to give eternal life.
  • In Matthew 11:27, He calls himself not a Son but the Son. Because of this unique relation to the Father, He has the right to demand faith and obedience from other children of God.
  • Jesus is in the Father's confidence, and according to Luke 10:22, from Him the other children obtain their knowledge of the Father.
  • John 8:29 says that Jesus fully possessed the privileges and fulfilled the obligations of Sonship.
  • Jesus named Himself in the same breath with the Father and the Holy Spirit as an object of worship.
  • By His death and resurrection, Jesus procured the highest blessings for his own family.
  • He claimed absolute authority and infallibility as Teacher.
  • He declared that He alone knew the mind of God the Father and that He alone could reveal Him.
  • He affirmed in Matthew 24:35 that Heaven and Earth would pass away but His words would never pass away.
  • In Matthew 5:17, He declared, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
  • He stated in John 14:6 that not only did He come to TEACH the truth but also that He WAS the Truth.

News Flash! Romans 3:23 is true: All have sinned. . . with one exception—Jesus. The sinlessness and deity of Jesus are implied in the announcement of Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:35. The Jewish leaders knew that Jesus’ miracles were not merely signs of His supernatural power but proofs of His divine commission. They understood that His miracles and His words supported His claim to be equal with God. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke report an incident when this claim became apparent. (Mark 2:7-11)

His apostles affirmed Him to be without sin, the Lamb without blemish, the perfect sacrifice. (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5)

Luke 4:16-21 describes another incident in which Jesus confirms His deity.

Jesus always knew His mission on earth was to die for the sins of the world.

  • Isaiah prophesied Messiah’s death in Isaiah 53:4-6.
  • Jesus said in Matthew 26:28, For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
  • His words in Matthew 20:28 are, The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
  • And in John 15:13, Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Although He knew His duty as a heavenly Son, He expressed human traits as He confronted His own death.

  • He referred to human dread and expressed His sense of desolation.
  • The gospel writers report that in His visit to Gethsemane after the Last Supper, He prayed, Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.
  • But He went voluntarily, declaring in John 10:15-18 that His life was not taken by others, but given. 

Although by faith we believe that whatever God wants us to know He has included in His Word, I think it is interesting that

  • Mark and John do not record Jesus’ birth.
  • Mark and John do not relate His Sermon on the Mount in full.    But
  • All four Gospels record with fullness of detail the fact of his death and resurrection. One-third of Matthew, one-third of Mark, one-fourth of Luke, and one-half of John are devoted to the last hours of Jesus. One-third of the material in the Gospels tells of the  events of the last week of Jesus’ life.

Jesus felt intensely about the end for which He was born. From the beginning of His ministry, He steadfastly set His face toward Jerusalem where He was to be crucified. In the three years of his public ministry, Jesus constantly predicted not only His death but also its manner and purpose, always linking it to His resurrec­tion. (Matthew 12:39-40; Matthew 17:22-23; John 2:19; John 3:14)

Jesus knew that His death would occur when His work was finished, and not before.

  • He spoke on several occasions that “His hour had not yet come.”
  • He was well aware of the time when it came. (John 13:1; John 17:1; John 19:30)

Because of His sinless life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection, believers will repeat forever the words of Revelation 5:12.

I’m sure you realize by now that there are only two responses to the claims Jesus made about Himself. Either you accept them or reject them. Either He was a liar or arrogant blasphemer or He was the Way, Truth. And Life, the unique Son of God. If we are honest in our belief that Jesus is God's revelation of Himself to man, then we should submit ourselves to His instructions and fashion our lives according to His teaching and become His faithful disciples. Your choice!

THE INVITATI ON

  • You can't depend on your own goodness to get to Heaven. We've all sinned  (Romans 3:23). Jesus paid the penalty for your sins with His death on the cross and His resurrection (John 3:16).
  • To be forgiven and be guaranteed a place in Heaven, you need to repent of sin, confess that you are a sinner, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart (Acts 2:21).
  • You can use the following prayer or your own words, but you must actually believe in your heart that your prayer is real:

         Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God. I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. Please forgive all my wrongdoing and let me live in relationship with You from now on. I receive You as my Savior and recognize that the work You accomplished once and for all on the cross was done on my behalf. Thank You for saving me. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You.

                     In Your name I pray, Amen.