What do you think about the Christ?

Matthew 22:42-46 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "[The Son] of David." He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

The question is one of great importance. What we think of Christ, and what we do with Christ, will determine our eternal destination.
"Christ" in the Greek, and "Messiah" in the Hebrew, both mean "anointed," and refer to God's special, anointed one, Jesus. What the Jews thought of their awaited "Messiah" affected their ability to recognize Him, when He came. Similarly, what we think of the Christ influences us to either accept or reject Him.
The Jews needed help with their analysis of the Christ. Their view of Him being the son of David was incomplete. They had overlooked the inspired evidence that He also was called David's Lord. We should examine all of the evidence concerning the Christ, and then form our opinion of Him. It seems to me, that we must think of Christ in one of three ways: He was a liar, or a lunatic, or He is indeed the Lord of Heaven. Look at these three possibilities.

Was He a liar? *

Some reject Him, while thinking they accept Him. They say he was a prophet, but just a prophet. Some say that He was a good man. Some claim to respect Him, even revere Him as a true prophet from God. They say it is mandatory to do so in their religion. But, as good as these things may seem on the surface, they in fact reject the Christ. How? They reject part of what He claimed to be.

Jesus did not claim to be just a prophet, nor just a good man. He claimed to have come from Heaven.

Matthew 19:16-17 Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one [is] good but One, [that is,] God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

John 6:32-38 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

He claimed to be eternal.

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

John 17:1-5 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 "as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (NKJV)

He claimed that He was the Son of God.

Mark 14:61-62 But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" 62 Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." (NKJV)

He claimed that He was returning to His God, and His Father.

John 16:28 "I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father." (NKJV)

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and [to] My God and your God.' " (NKJV)

If any of these is not true, then none are true. He was a liar, not a good man, nor a prophet from God, but a liar. This would make Him the greatest "con-man" of all time. It would mean that He pulled off the biggest "scam" ever. There is no middle ground here. Either He was what He claimed to be, or He was lying. He was not a good person, unless we consider Him innocent by reason of insanity.

Was He a lunatic?

The religious leaders of the Jews, when they failed to catch Him in a lie, tried to find Him "insane."
They blasphemed the Holy Spirit.

Mark 3:30 because they said, "He has an unclean spirit." (NKJV)

Matthew 12:22-32 (Note v.23: "Could this be the Son of David?")

They Claimed He had a demon.

John 7:20 The people answered and said, "You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?" (NKJV)

John 8:48-52 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 49 Jesus answered, "I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 "And I do not seek My [own] glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 "Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death." 52 Then the Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.' (NKJV)

They claimed He had a demon AND was "mad."

John 10:20 And many of them said, "He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?" (NKJV)

"Mad" - 3105 mainomai {mah'-ee-nom-ahee} middle voice from a primary mao (to long for, through the idea of insensate craving); TDNT - 4:360,548; v; AV - be mad 4, be beside (one's) self 1; 5 times total; 1) to be mad, to rave; 1a) of one who so speaks that he seems not to be in his right mind.
It is the same Greek word used in:

1 Corinthians 14:23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? (NKJV)

If He was not lying, nor crazy, then He truly is "Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

External evidence (non-biblical)
The universe, as a whole, or dissected to the point of splitting an atom, which scientist have called "discovering another universe," perfection, order, precision are found. This demands a Maker who consists of perfection, order, and precision.
Archaeological finds, defend the Bible accounts of history, city locations, long extinct, other writings, too much to examine at one sitting.
The Flood: Continents inhabited by people unknown by the inhabitants of other continents have had handed down the story of the Great flood. (Peter said some people are willingly ignorant of the flood. It can not be denied)
Man's makeup and character: Man alone seeks to worship a higher power.
Man was made in God's image, a moral being.
He has a spirit, which came from God, and will return to God. This spirit longs to worship God. All cultures and societies known to exist or to have existed, have had some form of worship.
Jesus, actually lived, actually preached, actually was crucified. His influence on the world is unequaled. Many "would be prophets" have a great number of followers, however, none have done for mankind what people influenced by Jesus have done.
  • Where are the hospitals all over the world, that have been built by the atheists, agnostics, Muslims, non-Christian Jews, etc.?
  • Where are the universities throughout the world that are built to honor these other "great men"?
  • Where are the non-profit, worldwide, relief and disaster organizations that serve mankind because of the influence that these other "great men" have had on them?
  • Where are the countries that mark their calendars as "before some other great man," giving recognition to one of these other "great men"?
NOTE: Even though some use "BCE" (before common era), trying to avoid admitting the influence that Jesus, the Christ has had on the world, why did this "common era" start at the year (as best they could calculate it at the time) of the birth of Jesus?

Internal evidence
The many Old Testament prophecies, written hundreds of years before Jesus was born, prophesied of the coming Messiah. Jesus fulfilled every one of them.

Deuteronomy 18:15-19 The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 "according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.' 17 "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good. 18 'I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 'And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. (NKJV)

Acts 3:22-23 "For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 23 'And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.' (NKJV)

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; (NKJV)

Hebrews 2:1-4 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (NKJV)

The Father testified to His deity.

At His baptism:

Matthew 3:16-17 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (NKJV)

At the transfiguration:

Mark 9:5-7 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah" -- 6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. 7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!" (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit was His witness.

Acts 5:30-32 "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 "Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 "And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him." (NKJV)

His miracles prove His deity.

(Water to wine, healed all manner of diseases and birth defects, walked on water, fed over 5,000 people with a boy's lunch, raised the dead, read people's mind, told people everything about their past, cast out demons, etc....)

His teaching.

His authority

Matthew 7:28-29 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (NKJV)

The wisdom of the parables.

Matthew 13:11-15 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.' (NKJV)

Mark 4:11-12 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, 12 "so that 'Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.' " (NKJV)

His Sermon on the mount is considered a masterpiece of teaching.

His prophesies:

(Peter's denial, Peter's manner of death, His own death, burial, and resurrection, suffering of the saints, destruction of Jerusalem, the coming of false prophets, teachers and christs.)

His impeccable character: Sinlessness, without guile.

The change He made on His disciples.

Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. (NKJV)

The following words of a song demonstrate this idea: **
"Please don't tell my daddy, that Jesus isn't real,
Please don't make him like he was before.
Since Jesus changed my daddy, he good to me and Bill,
And he don't hit my mommy anymore."

The change He has made in my own life!

As I learn to lean on Him and prove Him over and over. As He lifts me out of the depths of depression. As He teaches me to trust Him and His grace and providence.

Atheist talk of "black holes and vacuums," for their explanation of making "something from nothing." Tell me where the black hole came from and who painted it black! They stand in the darkness of their "black hole theories" and the vacuum is between their ears!
The Christian has been translated from the power of darkness.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 4:1-6 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

* The idea for the basic three main points in this study came from a lesson I heard William L. St. John give. I know that Josh McDowell has the same principle in his book, "Evidence that demands a verdict." Any other similarity to these or other works is simply coincidental.
** I do not know who wrote this song. The Inspirations sang it on a cassette tape that I had.

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