Saturday, March 29, 2014

Was Jesus "Just a Prophet?"

  In previous articles, we covered some of the Bible texts in which Jesus clearly says that He is God. In other articles, we dealt with Jesus' humanity and how YHWH had said that He would send mankind a Messiah Who would be both God and man, without violating the Complex Unity of His One Being. 

  Now let us focus on the question of whether Jesus the Messiah is, as some claim, "just a prophet."  


  Anyone who has spent enough time studying the Bible can tell you that none of the prophets of the Old Testament had any illusions on Whose behalf they were speaking. They knew they were speaking for God. They were fully aware they had no power to go and reinterpret anything that God had said. Let us look at a few examples (italics mine):


Moses and Aaron


  "And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness." Exodus 5:1

(KJV)

Joshua


  "And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods." Joshua 24:2 (KJV)


Elijah 


  "And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah..." 2 Chronicles 21:12 (KJV)



Isaiah

  "Thus saith the Lord God, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass." Isaiah 7:7 (KJV)


Jeremiah 


  "Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?" Jeremiah 2:5 (KJV)


Ezekiel 

  "Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations." Ezekiel 5:8 (KJV)

  But where in the New Testament does Jesus say, "Thus Says The Lord?"


  Never.


  The phrase "saith the Lord" is used more than 400 times in the King James Version of the Bible but not a single time does Jesus ever say, "Thus says the Lord."


  Instead, Jesus spoke with an authority no Jew had ever heard before, raising the Law to a standard they had never kept before:


  "Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:21-22 (KJV)  


  And here: 


  "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV) 


  And here:


  "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)


  And here:


  "Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:33-34 (KJV)


  And here:


  "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:38-39 (KJV)


  And here:


  "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you..." Matthew 5:43-44 (KJV)


  What was the difference? The Gospel writer tells us,


  "... He was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes. Matthew 7:29 (HCSB)


  And what kind of authority did Jesus wield?


  "The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?—even the winds and the sea obey Him!” Matthew 8:27


  "Summoning His 12 disciples, [Jesus] gave them authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness." Matthew 10:1 (HCSB) 

  Jesus had divine and supernatural power over all creation. The wind and the waves obeyed Him. The demons feared Him and did as He commanded them. 


  Death itself held no power over Him, as not only did He raise people from the dead, but He proved His deity by rising from the grave after three days, just as He had said He would.


  As some men who had been sent to seize Him attested:


  “... No one ever spoke the way this man speaks!” John 7:46 (CJB)

  No one ever spoke as Jesus spoke.

  No one ever lived as Jesus lived.

  No one ever loved as Jesus loved.

  Jesus was no mere prophet.  


  The miracles that accompanied His birth, life and ministry all affirmed this. 


  And His rising from the dead proved it beyond all doubt.


  After His resurrection, Jesus made an unmistakable declaration of Who He was yet again:


  “... All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (HCSB) 


  All authority over heaven and earth is held by Jesus...

  in the perfect unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit under the One divine Name.

  All must obey His commands...

  even as He promises us He will always be with us. 

  Omnipotence. 

  Omniscience. 

  Omnipresence.

  Jesus is God!

Thus saith the Lord Jesus...

and thus shall it be done!


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