Jesus Exposed! ...for Who He Really Is -By Brother Chuck
By Brother Chuck
This article seeks to expose Jesus for who he really is. We've all heard. But just who is this Jesus? Let's expose the truth about him and therefore, expose him for who he really is.
Was he just an ordinary man? Did he work in a carpenter shop? Is he the God-man like some have claimed? Could a first-century Jewish man really be God and man at the same time? Did Jesus ever claim to be God? Did he allow his disciples to worship him? Did a man named Jesus even exist at all? Is this all just a fable, a fairy tale? First, let's investigate if an actual historical Jesus lived some 2000 years ago. Is there any evidence that a Jewish man named Jesus, a carpenter's son, actually walked on this earth in Israel during the first century? After we uncover the answer to that question, we'll be prepared to investigate who this Jesus is or was. Jesus exposed! Ready to find out? We're in discovery now. Let's go!
First, we must not discount the historicity of the Bible. Usually when people ask the question, is there any evidence that Jesus really did exist, they mean, other than in the Bible. They're suggesting the Bible can't be considered a reliable source of evidence for the existence of Jesus. However an expert in his field, Dr Clifford Wilson, archaeologist, author, psycholinguist, and formerly director of the Australian Institute of Archaeology said this: "I know of no finding in archaeology that's properly confirmed which is in opposition to the Scriptures. The Bible is the most accurate history textbook the world has ever seen." That's quite an endorsement from Dr. Wilson. And he's not alone, another expert, Dr. Norman Leo Geisler, author, professor, apologist, systematic theologian and philosopher said, "While many have doubted the accuracy of the Bible, time and continued research have consistently demonstrated that the Word of God is better informed than its critics. In fact, while thousands of finds from the ancient world support in broad outline and often in detail the biblical picture, not one incontrovertible find has ever contradicted the Bible." That's another striking endorsement. So we will consider both secular history and Biblical history as evidence in support of historical Jesus.
The New Testament contains hundreds of references to Jesus. This is ancient manuscript evidence, and it is undeniable proof of the existence of a man named Jesus, who lived in Israel in the early first century. I won't list all these references, for everyone agrees that the Bible contains hundreds of references to Jesus Christ. Now what about secular evidence? Does it exist? Yes it does and we'll get to some of that in a moment. But first, consider that in A.D. 70, the Romans invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and most of Israel. They massacred its citizens. Witnesses were slaughtered. All documentation and evidence was destroyed. Entire cities were burned to the ground. Also consider Jesus' ministry was mostly confined to a small unimportant area of the Roman Empire. Still, a surprising amount of information about Jesus from secular historical sources can be found. Consider these:
The first-century Roman Tacitus, who is considered one of the more accurate historians of the ancient world, mentioned superstitious "Christians" (from Christus, which is Latin for Christ), who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian, wrote that there was a man named Chrestus (or Christ) who lived during the first century (Annals 15.44).
Flavius Josephus is the most famous Jewish historian. In his Antiquities he refers to James, "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ." There is a controversial verse (18:3) that says, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats....He was [the] Christ...he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." One version reads, "At this time there was a wise man named Jesus. His conduct was good and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who became his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders."
Julius Africanus quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the darkness that followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18).
The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) confirms Jesus' crucifixion on the eve of Passover and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.
Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion, and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived according to Jesus' laws, believed themselves to be immortal, and were characterized by contempt for death, and renunciation of material goods.
Mara Bar-Serapion confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of His followers.
Then we have all the Gnostic writings (The Gospel of Truth, The Apocryphon of John, The Gospel of Thomas, The Treatise on Resurrection, etc.) that all mention Jesus.
We can practically rewrite the gospel
just from early secular non-Christian sources:
- Josephus: Jesus was called the Christ
- Babylonian Talmud: He did "magic," he led Israel into new teachings, and was hanged on Passover for them
- Eliezar: he claimed to be God and would return
- Pliny the Younger: his followers believed him to be God, by worshiping Him as God
The evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, both in secular and biblical history is overwhelming. So we can answer with a resounding yes, Jesus Christ did exist.
So was Jesus just an ordinary man? Was he a prophet, a teacher, a good moral man? Or is he God incarnate? Let's begin with who Jesus claimed to be. "The Father and I are one." (John 10:30 NLT) The Jews recognized that he had just claimed to be God in the flesh. Listen to their response. "They replied, "We're stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God." (John 10:33 NLT) The Jews understood that Jesus had just made the claim that he himself was God. And Jesus does not correct them. Here's another example of Jesus' claim of divinity. "The absolute truth is that I was in existence before Abraham was ever born!" (John 8:58 TLB) The Jews in response once again took up stones to stone him. But he hid himself and left the temple. The Jews again wanted to stone him because they felt he was blasphemous by claiming to be God.
Thomas the Apostle understood who Jesus was when he exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28) And just as Jesus didn't correct the Jews, Jesus doesn't correct Thomas either. The apostle Peter called Jesus "our God and Savior" (2 Peter 1:1). Prophecies in the Old Testament also proclaim Christ' deity, "For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NLT) Jesus claimed to be God and he never denied it. If Jesus is not God, then he is a liar, and thus not a prophet, not a good teacher, and not a good moral man.
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [that is, Christ]: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. 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 a 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 up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
Jesus not only claimed to be God, but He backed up His claim by performing many recorded miracles. Non-Christian secular first-century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus recorded these miracles as "magic" and "surprising feats" and "ten thousand other wonderful things". Jesus healed large numbers of people who came to Him. Jesus did miracles to show that He was the promised Savior sent from God. The greatest miracle of them all, was Jesus' resurrection from the dead. It was the ultimate proof of His divinity. "...he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 1:4 NLT) In Mark 2:5 NLT Jesus heals an invalid, paralyzed from palsy, and he forgave his sins showing everyone that he had the authority to not only heal the sick but to forgive sins as well.
"So I cast my lot with Him-not the one who claimed wisdom, Confucius; or the one who claimed enlightenment, Buddha; or the one who claimed to be a prophet, Muhammad, but with the one who claimed to be God in human flesh. The one who declared, 'Before Abraham was born, I am'-and proved it."
Here are a few of Jesus' recorded miracles:
John 2:1-11: Jesus changed water into wine (His very first miracle)
Mark 1:40-45: Jesus healed a leper
Luke 7:11-18: Jesus raised the widow's son from the dead
Matthew 8:23-27: Jesus stilled the storm
Matthew 9:1-8: Jesus cured the paralytic
Matthew 9:18-26: Jesus raised the ruler's daughter from the dead
(Matthew 9:27-31: Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men
John 5:1-9: Jesus healed an invalid man at the pool called Bethesda
Matthew 14:15-21: Jesus fed at least five thousand people
Mark 7:31-37: Jesus cured a deaf and mute man
Mark 8:22-26: Jesus opened the eyes of a blind man
John 11:1-46: Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead
Luke 22:50-51: Jesus restored the ear of the high priest's servant
Luke 24:5-6: Jesus rose from the dead
Hundreds if not thousands of miracles have been recorded in the Bible and even some in secular history. Jesus Forgave sins. Jesus died and rose again three days later. There is no doubt! Jesus is God incarnate. He is God who came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. If Jesus was not God, His death on the cross would not have been enough to pay the price for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Only God could pay such an infinite price (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to be God so that He could pay our debt. Jesus had to be man so He could die. Jesus has been exposed... for who He really is:
1. Almighty One - Revelation 1:8
2. Alpha and Omega - Revelation 22:13
3. Advocate - 1 John 2:1
4. Author and Finisher of Our Faith - Hebrews 12:2
5. Authority - Matthew 28:18
6. Bread of Life - John 6:35
7. Beloved Son of God - Matthew 3:17
8. Bridegroom - Matthew 9:15
9. Chief Cornerstone - Psalms 118:22
10. Deliverer - 1 Thessalonians 1:10
11. Faithful and True - Revelation 19:11
12. Good Shepherd - John 10:11
13. Great High Priest - Hebrews 4:14
14. Head of the Church - Ephesians 1:22
15. Holy Servant - Acts 4:29-30
16. I Am - John 8:58
17. Immanuel - Isaiah 7:14
18. Indescribable Gift - 2 Cor. 9:15
19. Judge - Acts 10:42
20. King of Kings - Revelation 17:14
21. Lamb of God - John 1:29
22. Light of the World - John 8:12
23. Lion of the Tribe of Judah - Revelation 5:5
24. Lord of All - Philippians 2:9-11
25. Mediator - 1 Timothy 2:5
26. Messiah - John 1:41
27. Mighty One - Isaiah 60:16
28. One Who Sets Free - John 8:36
29. Our Hope - 1 Timothy 1:1
30. Peace - Ephesians 2:14
31. Prophet - Mark 6:4
32. Redeemer - Job 19:25
33. Risen Lord - 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
34. Rock - 1 Corinthians 10:4
35. Sacrifice for Our Sins - 1 John 4:10
36. Savior - Luke 2:11
37. Son of Man - Luke 19:10
38. Son of the Most High - Luke 1:32
39. Supreme Creator Over All - Colossians 1:16-17
40. Resurrection and the Life - John 11:25
41. The Door - John 10:9
42. The Way - John 14:6
43. The Word - John 1:1
44. True Vine - John 15:1
45. Truth - John 8:32
46. Victorious One - Revelation 3:21
47. - 50. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace - Isaiah 9:6
Be Sure to Watch This Very Powerful Billy Graham Video, "Who is Jesus" - Produced By: Centro Vida
Who is Jesus -Billy Graham
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