Author: Ron Graham
Ten Great Claims
—of Jesus Christ
The claims which Jesus made for himself are truly remarkable. In view of the miracles, wonders, and signs which Jesus performed, notably his resurrection from the dead, his claims by no means appear unfounded. Nevertheless, his claims are such as to pull us up with a jolt.
In this lesson we consider ten claims which are representative of the many that Jesus made. When considered carefully, the claims he makes have important implications...
A Fraud, a Fool, or a Freak?
There are only three explanations of the extraordinary claims Jesus made —only three, that is, besides the explanation that he was exactly who he said he was: the eternal Son of God. Those who reject his claims are forced to one of only three conclusions. Let's put them in the plainest of terms: if Jesus was not God, as he claimed to be, then he was either a fraud, a fool, or a freak.
FRAUD? If Jesus held himself out to be someone or something he knew he was not, then he was a fraud, no less.
FOOL? If Jesus imagined he was someone or something he was not, then he was simply deluded. He was a fool.
FREAK? If Jesus was neither fraud nor fool, nor yet what he claimed, then he must have been a freak with some absurd, paranormal, anomalous, and inexplicable gift which puts him in much the same category as UFO's and ghosts.
1 Jesus is Authorised to Forgive Sins
"The Son of man has authority to forgive sins"
Jesus did not disguise his claim to be God. He forgave sins. Only God can do that. One can forgive sins against oneself, but Jesus claims to forgive sins committed against God.
2 Jesus is Lord of God’s Law
"The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath"
Jesus acts as God: he claims to be Lord of the law of God. He calls himself Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was included in the ten commandments which Moses received from God. Yet Jesus claims to have authority over the Sabbath law.
3 Jesus is the ‘I AM’
"Before Abraham was, I am"
Jesus claims to have lived before Abraham his ancestor. He uses the verb 'to be' in the form "I AM" as it is used uniquely as one of God s special names (Exodus 3:14, Isaiah 42:8). After Jesus made this claim, stones were thrown at him by some who heard it. In their judgment Jesus claimed to be eternal like God. By their code, Jesus spoke a blasphemy.
4 Jesus Has Power Over Satan
"I beheld Satan fall like lightning from heaven"
Jesus claims to have beheld Satan fall when seventy of his disciples had been away curing the demon possessed. This meant that Satan was overcome and felled by the power that Jesus gave to the seventy.
5 Jesus came from Heaven
"I am not of this world"
Jesus claims that he is not of this world, but from heaven. Ordinary mortals are from this world. Our origin is from a fleshly act. But Jesus says that his origin is from above (meaning heaven) and not from beneath.
6 Jesus is One With the Father
"I and my Father are one"
Jesus says that he is one with the Father, uniquely connected to him. Being both man and God, he is humankind’s only access to God.
7 Jesus is the Only Way to God
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me"
Peter echoed this claim. He said that there's no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
8 Jesus Will Abolish Death
John 8:51, 11:25
"If a man keeps my sayings he shall never see death"
The same Jesus who claims Lordship over God's law, authority to forgive sin, and other bold claims, is no less 'reckless' 1n making a promise to his followers: they will become immortal; they will never see eternal death.
9 Jesus would rise from the Dead
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up"
Whilst the miracles of Jesus are proofs of his claims, there is one miracle that is greater than all. Jesus points us to his resurrection. This was the ultimate proof that he was neither fraud, fool, nor freak. He was killed, but rose again the third day.
10 Jesus Fulfilled the Messianic Prophecies
"All things which are written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled"
Do we seek more proof? Jesus points us to the scripture. The things written about him were fulfilled.
If these claims are untrue, then Jesus has let humanity down badly. To give all that hope, to demand all of one's life, and in the end fail to deliver well that would make Jesus not much of a god, not much of a man, not even much of a rat. The claims of Jesus make everything black and white. You fully accept him, or else you totally reject him. He leaves no room for middle ground