Author: Ron Graham
When someone expects our trust, we look for credentials. What entitles that person to our trust? What testimony is there that this person should be believed? This applies to our faith in Jesus. He has credentials. He is not without testimony that he is truly whom he claims to be. In this lesson we look at more of the seven testimonies that are among the credentials of Jesus.
The birth of Jesus was unique among humankind, in that his mother was a virgin who conceived him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was a human being begotten not by a human father, but by God. Jesus was the only begotten of God among human beings. He was born of woman and truly human, but begotten of God and truly God. "The Word was God... The Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." (John 1:1,14, 1John 5:20).
This made him like us, yet unique among us. Joseph, accepted these facts because he was told them by an angel who said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins". So Joseph did not proceed with divorcing Mary (Matthew 1:18-25).
This uniqueness of Jesus and the angel’s testimony, is one of his convincing credentials.
Jesus did not appoint himself a preacher, or announce himself to the world. He was announced by no less a personage than John the Baptizer "a prophet of the Most High" (Luke 1:76).
John was the last of the Old Testament prophets. John came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 16:16, Matthew 17:11-13, Malachi 4:5-6), and was the "voice crying in the wilderness" (Mark 1:2-4, Isaiah 40:3-5).
John’s prophethood was fully attested. His testimony about Jesus was clear and specific. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who is preferred above me because he existed before me'" (Luke 3:15-18, John 1:6-8,19-36).
So, to the credentials of Jesus is added the fact that the prophet of God in Jesus's own time bore witness of him.
When Jesus was baptized, God's own personal testimony was heard from heaven: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22). This was repeated at his transfiguration (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:34-35 2Peter 1:17-18).
This testimony from the Father means that we do not have to examine public opinion about Jesus. Public opinion can be manipulated by vested interest, ignorance, superstition, and prejudice, producing a variety of viewpoints. However we have the witness of God himself confirming the claims Jesus made. Add this testimony to the credentials of Jesus.