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Posts tagged ‘Miracle’

By Whose authority did that Nazarene rebbe speak and did he such incredible things

“Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him.

“By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked.

“And who gave you this authority?”” (Mt 21:23 NIV)

In the previous chapters written by Matthew we came to see a Jesus who was in everything like other people around him, except for his goodness and certain miraculous things he could do. He was hungry and needed sleep like any other of us. He also wanted some quietness of some time for himself.

Many were amazed about the strange things that Jesus could do. Many wondered how it was possible that this man could do such special things. Some found it also strange that this man dared to pose certain questions  and speak against the people in charge of the temple, though he was not a priest.
He was making great changes in the affairs of the temple, and the priests claimed the right to know why this was done, contrary to their permission. He was not a priest; he had no civil or ecclesiastical authority as a Jew. It was sufficient authority indeed, that he came as a prophet, and worked miracles. But they professed not to be satisfied with that.

Never did Jesus claim to speak or act in his own name. He told the people around him that the doctrine he preached was not his doctrine, but the one of his heavenly Father, Who is the Only One True God. though at certain times this teacher dared to warn those around him that they had to listen to his words and should act on them because otherwise they would be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. (Matthew 7:26)

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” (Mt 7:26 NIV)

“But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”” (Lu 6:49 NIV)

Also today we can hear those words from Jesus, by the delivered stories of the gospel-writers. They clearly wrote down the words of Jesus so that people after them also could get to know them. By those writings we also can come to see what wonderful things Jesus not only said but also did.

The question the religious leaders asked was relevant both to the cleansing of the Temple (vv. 12-14;’are you doing’) and to his teaching in the Temple (’ while he was teaching’). The double form of the question is typically Jewish. {cf. Mr 12:14 13:4 Ac 4:7 } The two questions are certainly interrelated but not identical.

The first questions the quality of Jesus’ authority:

is it that of a scribe, or a prophet, or is it something else again?

The second question concerns the source of Jesus’ authority.

The authority to instruct on one’s own account could only be given to a rabbi by the laying on of hands (SB, II, 647-649). The deputation’s question was especially suitable as the starting-point for a lawsuit against him.

Any Jew was allowed to talk publicly about religious questions (as in our social meetings), but if he proposed to be a regular teacher (Rabbi), than he had to be authorized by a rebbe or an other high rabbi or by the Sanhedrin. Lots of people told about this man who was going from one place to an other, always teachings and as such it could be considered that he was making it not only his occupation to teach, but he was also working miracles, cleansing the temple as if a prophet, and apparently justifying his followers in greeting him as the Messiah.

Jesus had no intention to becoming a worldly ruler at that time, getting rid of the Romans, though many thought he was the promised one who would liberate them from those Roman occupiers. By this time Jesus had become very well aware of his task, being a speaker for God, even when that required to put himself aside.

The spiritual leaders of the land did not like this man who was telling so many things and doing so many things which got people away from their teachings and seemed to undermine their position. But many where convinced that he spoke with authority.

“The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.” (Mr 1:22 NIV)

“All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!”” (Lu 4:36 NIV)

Because Jesus came to see that many thought it would be from himself that he was saying and doing those things, he told them that he could do nothing without his heavenly Father.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (Joh 5:19 NIV)

According to Jesus the problem was that many did not know the God, like we can see also today.  At that time there was probably not one person who had taken Jesus as their god, though today many have done so and do not see how Jesus was the sent one from God, Who is much greater than Jesus. Therefore many of those persons do not see and are blind for the word because they prefer to keep to human doctrines instead of the words of God and the words of Christ.

“Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” (Joh 7:16 NIV)

“Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.” (Joh 8:42 NIV)

“”You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 NIV)

Jesus told everybody it was by him they could come to see and to understand, him being the way to God, (and not to himself) and therefore he was going to suffer.

“But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognise him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”” (Mt 17:12 NIV)

“5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.” (Joh 14:5-6 NIV)

It is by Jesus we can come to know the truth and find the way to the small gate.

“13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Mt 7:13-14 NIV)

“7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. {Or kept safe } He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” (Joh 10:7-9 NIV)

The spiritual leaders of that time where afraid this Nazarene would come to be favoured more by the people and would take their place as a reformer.

Jesus dispatched them with speed, as if he had been loath to have been taken with his task undone.

Jesus was not willing to have a high position prepared by men, nor to be crowned by the multitude, there being only too good reason, him being sent by his heavenly Father. Their ideas of royalty were entirely different from his. Had he allowed himself to be borne on the tide of popular favour to royal honours, His kingdom would have been thereby marked as “of this world,” it would have been stamped as something very different from the kingdom of “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” he had come to establish.

Had he been a mere enthusiast, he would have undoubtedly have yielded to such a tidal wave of public excitement; but his unerring wisdom taught him that he must reach the throne by another path than that of popular favour. Rather must it be through popular rejection — through the dark portals of despite and death; and for that, his hour had not then come.

So many years later we should see by Whose authority Jesus said and and all those things. Everything he did and said was done because God allowed him to do that and gave him power to do so. today still a lot of Christians too, like the Pharisees, do not believe Jesus acted as a sent one from God. Many christians have taken Jesus into their god and do not see how he should be their way to God.

Do you think Jesus is God, or do you accept Jesus as the sent one from God, who was authorised by God?

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Preceding

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 9:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Messiah Forgives Sins and Heals Paralytic

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 21:1-3 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Sent Ahead for a Donkey

Matthew 21:4-5 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Your King Is Coming upon a Donkey

Matthew 21:6-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blessed the One Coming in God’s Name!

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Temple Cleansed

Matthew 21:12-14 – From a den of thieves to a house of prayer

Matthew 21:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Out of the Mouth of Babes

Matthew 21:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Cursed Fig Tree a Lesson in Faith

Matthew 21:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Question of Authority

Matthew 21:10-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Who Is This?

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #1

Matthew 21:10-11 Who Is This? – a Question still posed today #2

More than just a man with authority of speaking

 

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Additional reading

  1. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #2 War on God’s Plan, Name and title
  4. The meek one riding on an ass
  5. Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
  6. The son of man given authority by God
  7. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  8. Blindness in the Christian world
  9. Memorizing wonderfully 52 Acts 7:56: the Son of man standing on the right hand of God
  10. Priest, scribes and others with authority

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Related

  1. the Authority of Jesus questioned
  2. Luke – Chapter 20
  3. Words of Life ~ Author(ity)
  4. His U
  5. A King & a Kingdom
  6. Authority of Jesus — It is Questioned

Matthew 16 Calvin’s view

And the Pharisees came.

Mark says that they began to dispute, from which we may conjecture that, when they had been vanquished in argument, this was their last resource; as obstinate men, whenever they are reduced to extremities, to avoid being compelled to yield to the truth, are accustomed to introduce something which is foreign to the subject. Though the nature of the dispute is not expressed, yet I think it probable that they debated about the calling of Christ, why he ventured to make any innovation, and why he made such lofty pretensions, as if by his coming he had fully restored the kingdom of God. Having nothing farther to object against his doctrine, they demand that he shall give them a sign from heaven. But it is certain that a hundred signs would have no greater effect than the testimonies of Scripture. Besides, many miracles already performed had placed before their eyes the power of Christ, and had almost enabled them to touch it with their hands. Signs, by which Christ made himself familiarly known, are despised by them; and how much less will they derive advantage from a distant and obscure sign? Thus the Papists of our own day, as if the doctrine of the Gospel had not yet been proved, demand that it be ascertained by means of new miracles.

The Pharisees, together with the Sadducees. It deserves our attention that, though the Sadducees and the Pharisees looked upon each other as enemies, and not only cherished bitter hatred, but were continually engaged in hostilities, yet they enter into a mutual league against Christ. In like manner, though ungodly men quarrel among themselves, their internal broils never prevent them from conspiring against God, and entering into a compact for joining their hands in persecuting the truth.

Tempting. By this word the Evangelists mean that it was not with honest intentions, nor from a desire of instruction, but by cunning and deceit, that they demanded what they thought that Christ would refuse, or at least what they imagined was not in his power. Regarding him as utterly mean and despicable, they had no other design than to expose his weakness, and to destroy all the applause which he had hitherto obtained among the people. In this manner unbelievers are said to tempt God, when they murmur at being denied what their fancy prompted them to ask, and charge God with want of power.

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3. Hypocrites, you can judge.

He calls them hypocrites, because they pretend to ask that which, if it were exhibited to them, they are resolved not to observe. The same reproof applies nearly to the whole world; for men direct their ingenuity, and apply their senses, to immediate advantage; and therefore there is scarcely any man who is not sufficiently well qualified in this respect, or at least who is not tolerably acquainted with the means of gaining his object. How comes it then that we feel no concern about the signs by which God invites us to himself? Is it not because every man gives himself up to willing indifference, and extinguishes the light which is offered to him? The calling of Christ, and the immediate exhibition of eternal salvation, were exhibited to the scribes both by the Law and the Prophets, and by his own doctrine, to which miracles were added.

There are many persons of the same description in the present day, who plead that on intricate subjects they have a good right to suspend their judgment, because they must wait till the matter is fully ascertained. They go farther, and believe that it is a mark of prudence purposely to avoid all inquiry into the truth; as if it were not an instance of shameful sloth that, while they are so eagerly solicitous about the objects of the flesh and of the earth, they neglect the eternal salvation of their souls, and at the same time contrive vain excuses for gross and stupid ignorance.

A very absurd inference is drawn by some ignorant persons from this passage, that we are not at liberty to predict from the aspect of the sky whether we shall have fair or stormy weather. It is rather an argument which Christ founds on the regular course of nature, that those men deserve to perish for their ingratitude, who, while they are sufficiently acute in matters of the present life, yet knowingly and willfully quench the heavenly light by their stupidity.

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Matthew 16:4: A wicked and adulterous nation.

This passage was explained {1 } under #Mt 12:38 The general meaning is, that the Jews are never satisfied with any signs, but are continually tickled by a wicked desire to tempt God. He does not call them an adulterous nation merely because they demand some kind of sign, (for the Lord sometimes permitted his people to do this,). but because they deliberately provoke God; and therefore he threatens that, after he has risen from the dead, he will be a prophet like Jonah. So Matthew at least says  —  for Mark does not mention Jonah  —  but the meaning is the same; for, strictly speaking, this was intended to serve as a sign to them, that Christ, when he had risen from the dead, would in every place cause the voice of his Gospel to be distinctly heard.

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Matthew 16:5. And when his disciples came. Here Christ takes occasion from the circumstance that had just occurred {1 } to exhort his disciples to beware of every abuse that makes an inroad on sincere piety. The Pharisees had come a little before; the Sadducees joined them; and apart from them stood Herod, a very wicked man, and an opponent and corrupter of sound doctrine. In the midst of these dangers it was very necessary to warn his disciples to be on their guard; for, since the human mind has a natural inclination towards vanity and errors, when we are surrounded by wicked inventions, spurious doctrines, and other plagues of the same sort, nothing is more easy than to depart from the true and simple purity of the word of God; and if we once become entangled in these things, it will never be possible for the true religion to hold an entire sway over us. But to make the matter more clear, let us examine closely the words of Christ.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Along with the Pharisees Matthew mentions the Sadducees. Instead of the latter, Mark speaks of Herod. Luke takes no notice of any but the Pharisees, (though it is not absolutely certain that it is the same discourse of Christ which Luke relates,) and explains the leaven to be hypocrisy. In short, he glances briefly at this sentence, as if there were no ambiguity in the words. Now the metaphor of leaven, which is here applied to false doctrine, might have been employed, at another time, to denote the hypocrisy of life and conduct, or the same words might even have been repeated a second time. But there is no absurdity in saying, that those circumstances which are more copiously detailed by the other two Evangelists, in the order in which they took place, are slightly noticed by Luke in a manner somewhat different, and out of their proper place or order, but without any real contradiction. If we choose to adopt this conjecture, hypocrisy will denote here something different from a pretended and false appearance of wisdom. It will denote the very source and occasion of empty display, which, though it holds out an imposing aspect to the eyes of men, is of no estimation in the sight of God. For, as Jeremiah (#Jer 5:3) tells us that the eyes of the Lord behold the truth, so they that believe in his word are instructed to maintain true godliness in such a manner as to cleave to righteousness with an honest and perfect heart; as in these words,

An now, O Israel, what doth the Lord require from thee, but that thou shouldst cleave to him with all thy heart, and with all thy soul? (#De 10:12).

On the other hand, the traditions of men, while they set aside spiritual worship, wear a temporary disguise, as if God could be imposed upon by such deceptions; for to whatever extent outward ceremonies may be carried, they are, in the sight of God, nothing more than childish trifles, unless so far as they assist us in the exercise of true piety.

We now perceive the reason why hypocrisy was viewed by Luke as equivalent to doctrines invented by men, and why he included under this name the leavens of men, which only puff up, and in the sight of God contain nothing solid, and which even draw aside the minds of men from the right study of piety to empty and insignificant ceremonies. But it will be better to abide by the narrative of Matthew, which is more copious. The disciples, after having been reproved by our Lord, came at length to understand that he had charged them to be on their guard against certain doctrine. It was plainly, therefore, the intention of Christ to fortify them against prevailing abuses, by which they were attacked on all sides. The Pharisees and Sadducees were expressly named, because those two sects maintained at that time a tyrannical sway in the Church, and held opinions so utterly subversive of the doctrine of the Law and the Prophets, that almost nothing remained pure and entire.

But Herod did not in any way profess to teach; and a question arises, why does Mark class him with false teachers? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and Of The Leaven Of Herod. I reply: he was half a Jew, was mean and treacherous, and availed himself of every contrivance that was within his reach to draw the people to his side; for it is customary with all apostates to contrive some mixture, for the purpose of establishing a new religion by which the former may be abolished. It was because he was laboring craftily to subvert the principles of true and ancient piety, and thus to give currency to a religion that would be exceedingly adapted to his tyranny, or rather because he was endeavoring to introduce some new form of Judaism, that our Lord most properly charged them to beware of his leaven. From the temple of God the scribes disseminated their errors, and the court of Herod was another workshop of Satan, in which errors of a different kind were manufactured.

Thus in our own day we find that not only from Popish temples, and from the dens of sophists and monks, does Antichrist vomit out her impostures, but that there is a Theology of the Court, which lends its aid to prop up the throne of Antichrist, so that no stratagem is left untried. But as Christ opposed the evils which then prevailed, and as he aroused the minds of his followers to guard against those which were the most dangerous, let us learn from his example to make a prudent inquiry what are the abuses that may now do us injury. Sooner shall water mix with fire than any man shall succeed in reconciling the inventions of the Pope with the Gospel. Whoever desires to become honestly a disciple of Christ, must be careful to keep his mind pure from those leavens; and if he has already imbibed them, he must labor to purify himself till none of their polluting effects remain. There are restless men, on the other hand, who have endeavored in various ways to corrupt sound doctrine, and, in guarding also against such impostures, believers must maintain a strict watch, that they may keep a perpetual Passover

with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, (#1Co 5:8).

And as on every hand there now rages an impiety like that of Lucian, {2 } a most pernicious leaven, or rather a worse than deadly poison, let them exercise this very needful caution, and apply to it all their senses.

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Preceding

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 1 Charity and neighbour love

Matthew 6:1-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Leviticus 19:18 Continued 3 Forgiveness and neighbour love

Matthew 13:33 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Fermented Whole

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Zizania in the Field Explained

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

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Additional reading

  1. What Jesus did: First things first
  2. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  3. Pretense — Is it practiced by people in their approach to God?
  4. Not Really Acknowledging God
  5. Serving yourself, not the Lord
  6. We Must Be Real With God

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Related

  1. A Sign From Heaven In The Toy Aisle
  2. God’s True Feelings About False Religion.
  3. Speak Sound Doctrine
  4. Dogma v Doctrine
  5. Papal Vanity

Matthew 16 Asking for signs from heaven

Already in the previous chapters we could see how the Pharisees where interested in bringing Jesus into a bad light. We find that they again want to trick him. For the second time they wanted to test him by asking to show them a miracle [sign] from God [heaven; possibly a sign in the sky, but more likely a Jewish way of saying “from God”] (see also Mt 12:38-45 + Mt 22:23 + Mr 12:18 & Lu 20:27).

Human beings for ages made use of signs in heavens to know what weather would arise the next day. Therefore Jesus having come at Magadan, somewhere on the western side of the lake, answered them:

“·At sunset [In the evening] you say we will have good weather, because the sky is red. And in the morning you say that it will be ·a rainy day [stormy; bad weather], because the sky is red and ·dark [threatening; overcast]. You see ·these signs in [the appearance of] the sky and know ·what they mean [how to interpret them]. ·In the same way [or However; On the other hand], you ·see the things that I am doing now, but you don’t know their meaning [cannot interpret the signs of the times]. ·Evil and sinful people [An evil/wicked and adulterous generation] ·ask for [seek; demand] a miracle as a sign, but they will not be given any sign, except the sign of Jonah [see 12:40; Jon. 1:17].”

Then Jesus left them and went away and warned his apostles to be careful for the dangerous permeating power of the influence of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

Only a few weeks before, and not more than a few miles away, Jesus had severely censured the Pharisees as hypocrites and violators of God’s word {#Mt 15:6,7} and had spoken of them as blind guides of the people, unworthy of notice. Yet the dissembled hostility here indicated was not first awakened by that censure, for they had already accused him of being in league with Beelzebub. {#Mt 12:24}

Pharisees and Sadducees were groups in Jewish religious and political life absolutely opposed to each other, but they are frequently mentioned together in the Gospel, {# Mt 3:7 16:1,6,11,12 22:34 } united in their opposition to Jesus. {cf. # Joh 7:32 }

The Scribes and Pharisees had asked a sign from him in #Mt 12:38, and were refused. Now the Pharisees and Sadducees make a similar demand specifically for a ‘sign from heaven’ (so also #Mr 8:11), and get {#Mt 16:4 } exactly the same refusal as before. {#Mt 12:39 } They might be thinking of such signs as when Moses gave bread from heaven, {#Ps 78:23 ff.; #Joh 6:30 f. } Joshua made the sun and moon stand still, Samuel brought thunder and rain in time of harvest, Elijah repeatedly called down fire from heaven, and at Isaiah’ s word the shadow went back on the dial; comp. #Joe 2:30 ff. Origen conjectures that they regarded signs on earth as wrought in Beelzebul. {#Mt 12:24 } Probably some Jews really expected celestial signs of Messiah’s approach; but the present request was made from bad motives. Jesus promised “great signs from heaven” in connection with his second coming, {#Mt 24:29 f.; #Lu 21:11,25; comp. #Re 15:1 } and predicted that the false Christs would show great signs. {#Mt 24:24 }

Jesus later also would warn for those who

shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces.

and for those who

tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. {Matthew 23:13-36}

Also today there are people who have false images of the Kingdom of God or who present false images of the Kingdom or how people would or would not be able to reach heaven. Also to day there are ‘preachers‘ or ‘clergy‘ who claim to be speakers of God, but talk about a totally different god than Jesus had and also have their teachings full of heathen and philosophical thoughts.

For those who believe the sayings of those priests and pastors Jesus in this chapter let an answer come to us, which we should take at heart. When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi [25 miles north of Lake of Galilee near Mount Hermon], he asked his followers [disciples],

“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

First of all in his question we hear Jesus already giving an indication he is a son of man. At the time of Jesus many had heard about him and some had seen him at work, but where not quite sure who he really was. Some said Jeshua (Jesus) was John the Baptist whilst others said he was the returned Elijah, who they expected in the end times [Mal. 4:5], and still others said he was Jeremiah or one of the prophets [Deut. 18:15]. {Matthew 16:13-14}

We find Simon Peter giving the reply which should also be on our lips, namely that Jesus is

the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God. {Matthew 16:16}

Jesus called Simon son of Jonah blessed, because no person had taught him that. Flesh and blood did not reveal this to him but we learn that it was the heavenly Father Who showed him or revealed who Jesus is. Once again in the Word of God it is made clear that Jesus is not God. But the time seemed not yet ready to have many to know that he is also the Christ or anointed from God [Messiah].

Soon it was all going to change, because from that time on Jesus began telling [showing; making it clear to] his followers [disciples] that he had to go to Jerusalem, where the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law [scribes] would make him suffer many things [greatly]. He then also told them he must be killed and then be raised from the dead on the third day. But Jeshua (Jesus the Christ) also gives some hope, because he tells them

The Son of Man will come again with his Father’s glory and with his angels. At that time, he will ·reward [repay; give back; judge] them for what they have done [Ps. 62:12; Prov. 24:12]. {Matthew 16:27}

Jesus promises that he tells them the truth, and warns

some people standing here will not die [L taste death] before they see the Son of Man [Dan. 7:13–14] coming with his kingdom.” [This may refer to the Transfiguration which follows (17:1–8), Jesus’ resurrection, or the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70.] {Matthew 16:28}

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Preceding

Matthew 15 An argument with the Scribes – Teachers and traditions

Matthew 15 Calvin’s view

Matthew 15 Spurgeon’s view

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

Matthew 13:24-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Field and the Harvest

Matthew 15:1-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Tradition and the Heart

Matthew 15:32-39 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: 4000 Fed

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Additional reading

  1. Was Jesus Religious
  2. Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

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Related

  1. Jesus warns some pharisees
  2. Live and let live – how could hat work?
  3. “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the religious elites, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Jesus
  4. God’s True Feelings About False Religion.

A fact of History or just a fancy Story

A man killed for an other

The previous weeks we looked at the suffering of Jesus and how he came to an end. When he was killed, our story did not end. We got to read that he in a strange way disappeared from the grave in which he was put in.

Christian views on Hell

Certain Christian views on Hell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three days after the crucifixion, the tomb of Jesus was found empty by his closest friends, who did not know what could have happened. normally his body would be part of the world of the dead, going to become victim of decay. But to the unbelief and surprise Jesus appeared to his followers, who where very much afraid for what went on and for the reprisals of the Romans and locals.

They all had witnessed how Jesus died and knew he was buried. Today there are people who take Jesus to be God, but than they forget that God can not die. Jesus really did. He had given his body, of flesh and blood to his Holy Father, the Only One God, Jehovah. In common with all other men his life came to an end, but unlike other men he returned from Hades (Sheol = hell) were he had stayed for three days. He was not tortured over there, because the hell is just the burial place or grave, where people are place in when they die. there would also not be one reason to put Jesus into a torture place for the sins he might  have done, because Jesus was the only man who could stay without any sin.

Jesus offered himself to his Father who resurrected him out of the dead and made him higher than angels, to which he was lower before. God is and always has been the most High, but now He allowed Jesus to come sit next to Him, to be a mediator between Him (God) and men.

A great miracle and reason for Christianity

For Christians this taking out of death is one of the greatest of all miracles since the creation itself, and could have been accomplished only if Jesus got the full blessing of his Father,  God, the Creator of the universe. The death and resurrection of Jesus marks the central point of God’s master plan for the world.

The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the crowning proof of the promises made by God and the reason of existence of Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection. If the resurrection did not take place then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then we got the proof of the Old Testament sayings and have proof of the Messiah ship of the Nazarene Jew Jeshua, Jesus Christ, the son of man and son of God.

In case Jesus would have been God, than God just faked a death and presented a show of His body going out of a grave. As an eternal spirit God has always existed and shall always exist, but is also everywhere at once, and not bounded to any place. But Jesus Christ was bounded to the environment where he preached. He also was tempted, while God can not be tempted. After he died, Jesus was taken out of the boundary where his body was put in the clothes. The guards in front of his grave could take care his body was not been stolen, nor that a living person would be able to roll away the very heave stone on his own.

Charlatan or madman

If all of this is somehow a delusion and if Jesus of Nazareth did not really rise from the dead, then he is either a god who fooled everybody, and let the people suffer for many years before intervening, or he was no different from other great men who are also dead. He is worse than they, in fact, because he is thereby branded as either a charlatan or a madman, since he staked all his claims to be the son of God and being the Way to his Father, and who would come back to the earth after his death.

On the other hand, if the resurrection is really a demonstrable fact of history, then not only are his claims vindicated, but so are God His promises and the promises of Jesus. In case Jesus really died and was taken out of death, we have the proof of the love of God, who is willing to bring an end to the curse brought forward by the first men. In Jesus we can find then the new Adam, or the first one of  the New Creation, the 2° Adam. With Christ Jesus we than can find a new beginning of which all followers of Christ may be part of.

Then we may believe that death is not, after all, the great victor, but is a defeated foe.

“3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5 KJ21)

Provider of a New Covenant

Jesus had brought his followers hope to life using the true Word, showing them how they could follow in his footsteps and go through the small gate to enter the Kingdom of God. By the work Jesus had done, his death made them free. By his offering they became partakers of the New Covenant with God  by which they received new life which is not like their old life. Also for us, who want to follow Christ Jesus and believe in his resurrection we are not bounded any more to our old birth coming from mortal sperm. In case we face the reality of the Nazarene man having died and being resurrected by the Force of God, we can receive that new birth which comes from God’s living Word, which lives and stays for ever. (James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23) We can get a new and better life, because Jesus was willing to give himself as a ransom for us all.

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind; be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13 KJ21)

“By Him ye believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” (1 Peter 1:21 KJ21)

Seeing the son, lower than the Father

In case you have doubts about the death and resurrection of Christ, think what reasons the whole parade would have been useful for. If Jesus is God, why did God wait such a long time before taking steps to save the world. And why did He not say directly who He really was when He would have been here on earth as Jesus. Plus how could all those people see and touch Jesus when he would have been God, because God Himself told the world that they could not see Him and live.

“And He said, “Thou canst not see My face, for there shall no man see Me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 KJ21)

When we take Jesus to be God, we minimise his suffering, his death and his resurrection. Though as followers of Christ, being Christian, we should follow the teachings of our master and believe his words.  He never claimed to be God and always told others to recognise the Hand of his father in the works he did. Jesus also was fully aware that his Father, God was mightier than him.

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, “Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19 KJ21)

“Ye have heard how I said unto you, ‘I go away and come again unto you.’ If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice because I said, ‘I go unto the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 KJ21)

Worshipping the Right One

Jesus often spoke to his Father, whom he worshipped and told us also to pray to Him like he prayed to his Father, who is the Master or Head of Christ.

“But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:3 KJ21)

“And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son Himself also be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28 KJ21)

As Christians we should believe the words of Christ and be believers because we trust the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead.

Smoke and mirrors

We have to face it — if Jesus did not really died and there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything the apostles told us is smoke and mirrors, and everything we have staked our life on is smoke and mirrors.

But we also have to be aware that there is an even bigger problem and a very bad sign we do give to those who do not believe in God or who do believe in other gods than our only One God, Jehovah. We would namely give the impression that all the sayings of the Old Testament make no sense at all and that God bends His words. We would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits the apostles passed on to us verifying that God raised up Christ — sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

If corpses can’t be raised, then Christ wasn’t, because he was indeed dead. If Christ is God he could not die and was not dead, so could not have been standing up from death, but if he would have fallen asleep, He just would have woken up and walk out the grave, no matter if it was sealed or closed by one or more heavy stones, because He can go through everything.

And if Christ wasn’t raised, then all we are doing is making wise vesicles, fooling ourselves and wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It’s even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they’re already in their graves and there would be nothing any more.  It all shall be finished and without any prospects. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration, like we can enjoy the quotes from special humans or other religious figures, for a few short years, we’re a pretty sorry lot.

File:Brooklyn Museum - The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) - Benjamin West - overall.jpg

The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ) – 1805, Benjamin West (1738–1820)

“12  Now if Christ is preached, that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found to be false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up, if so it be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is Christ not raised; 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of those who slept. 21 For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; 23 but every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 KJ21)

With the ignominious death of their master, his disciples were utterly confused and afraid for their own lives. There is no possibility that they could have continued as teachers of the Nazarene’s doctrines, and even less that others could have been persuaded to follow them, in those circumstances. The people who had seen and hear about Jesus and his miracles would have joked about him and his followers which would have been fooled all the way long.

A physical body, not a ghost, returned to life

When Jesus appeared to his closest friends he proofed to them that he was not a ghost, while his Father is Ghost. They could see the marks of his wounds.

“5 And as they were afraid and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke unto you when He was yet in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”” (Luke 24:5-7 KJ21)

File:Köln - An Groß St Martin - Groß St Martin in 34 ies.jpg

Stigmata, visual signs of his torture. – Groß St. Martin, An Groß St. Martin in Cologne – Photo Frank Vincentz

“19 And He said unto them, “What things?” And they said unto Him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he who should have redeemed Israel. And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company, who were early at the sepulcher, made us astonished. 23 And when they found not his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the sepulcher and found it even so as the women had said, but him they saw not.” 25 Then He said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:19-27 KJ21)

“36  And as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” 37 But they were terrified and afraid, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said unto them, “Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me to have.” 40 And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, “Have ye here any meat?” 42 And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and of a honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate before them. 44 And He said unto them, “These are the words which I spoke unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, 46 and said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”” (Luke 24:36-49 KJ21)

John his doubts and fears immediately gave way to an amazed faith when he had entered the empty tomb. The collapsed grave clothes yielded no possible interpretation except that the physical body of the crucified Christ had returned to life, in such a remarkable form that it could simply pass through the linen wrappings and enter henceforth into the power of an endless life, like Jesus had foretold should happen! Spirit does not die and therefore cannot be “resurrected”, but they had met and spend many hours with the man from Nazareth.

Pilate was given assurance that Jesus died by the centurion (Mark 15:43-45). The savage spear thrust into his side by the soldier (John 19:34) made certain of his death, “and forthwith came there out blood and water,” evidencing complete collapse of the heart cavity.

Body not taken away

The disciples were hiding in fear of their lives and nothing could have been further from their thoughts than them trying to take away the body of Christ. Furthermore, the tomb had been sealed, a great stone rolled in front of it, and a watch of Roman soldiers set to guard it (Matthew 27:62-66). What is interesting about the witness of the disciples is that it is never presented as conclusive, or even as important. The reason for this is that there was no need for a human witness to the empty tomb at the time at which the gospels were written, because the witness of the whole population of Jerusalem – not to mention pilgrims from all over the known world – was that the tomb was empty. The inhabitants form Jerusalem could witness themselves what happened to the place where Jesus was been buried. In case the grave was not empty and it was not enough clear that the apostles had hidden the body they could not have made so many converts.

Several looked for Jesus, who was crucified, but could not find him in the grave. The angels had told the wives that he was risen and that they had  to go quickly and tell his disciples that Jesus was risen from the dead. They told them that they would see him. When they and the apostles were going, some of the guard came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of money to the soldiers to say that his disciples came by night and stole him away while they slept.  So they took the money and did as they were taught.

This story was current among Jews from the earliest times, and we have independent evidence of this. For example, Justin quotes a debate in which his opponent refers to Jesus as:

“One Galilean deceiver, whom we crucified, but his disciples stole him by night from the tomb… and now deceive them by asserting that he has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven” (Justin Martyr: Dialogue Against Trypho,108 [c.AD150]).

The story does, in fact, persist to the present day.

Judea in 30 AD was a province subject to revolt and terrorism. It was no place for soldiers to sleep in the open: any soldiers who were not alert were likely to be killed by Zealots. It is thus unlikely that my guard would go to sleep, and inconceivable that they would sleep so soundly that a group of men large enough to carry away a dead body could roll aside the stone over the grave mouth (this itself would be a noisy operation) without at least one of the guard waking up.

More significant still is the condition of the disciples. Before the resurrection they were broken men, afraid and in hiding. Afterwards they were bold preachers of the gospel, who were prepared to turn the world upside down in order to preach the risen Christ. Not only that, but they were almost all put to death for their faith (probably John was the only disciple to die a natural death, and even he was exiled). None of them ever denied their faith in the risen Christ. It would take a group of several men to remove a body from a grave; if the body of Jesus had been stolen all of the men in the group would have known that the resurrection never took place, and at least one of them would have been expected to break down and confess in the face of certain and unpleasant death. If one of the disciples had confessed to stealing the body, we would certainly have known it, because the Roman and Jewish authorities would have ensured that it was reported. That it was not reported shows that it never happened, and that the disciples did not steal the body.

The important point about this explanation is that it would be unnecessary if the body of Jesus was still safely in the tomb. There is only one conclusion that can be drawn: The tomb was empty.

“5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, “Fear ye not, for I know that ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee. There shall ye see Him. Lo, I have told you.” 8 And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “All hail.” And they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, “Be not afraid. Go tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.” 11  Now when they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city and reported unto the chief priests all the things that were done. 12 And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money unto the soldiers, 13 saying, “Say ye, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and secure you.” 15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught; and this account is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” (Matthew 28:5-15 KJ21)

Anyone who wished to find out for themselves could go down to see it; to do so would take only a very short time. Yet Jerusalem was the cradle of the infant church; thousands of people were converted there very soon after the crucifixion.

Believe in Christ Jesus

We may not forget that even in the family of Jesus there where who doubted about Jesus his task. The gospels tell us that James nor any of Jesus’ younger brothers believed in him during his lifetime. It would be very strange that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family and they would not have reacted against those stories. We must imagine the grieve the children of Joseph and Mary had with their parents and how they would react if uncertain events happened or unjust stories were told. Though with everything that happened James and his brothers did become active Christian believers following Jesus’ death. James was considered an apostle and eventually rose to the position of leadership of the Jerusalem church. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, James was martyred for his faith in Christ in the late 60s CE.

We only can conclude that the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.  There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.  But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming,” (1 Corinthians 15:12-23 )

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Please do read more about this matter in: The Resurrection of Jesus: A fact of History!

Preceding articles:

After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ

Hebraic Roots Bible Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2

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Please do find additional literature:

  1. The Seed Of The Woman Bruised
  2. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  3. The wrong hero
  4. A god between many gods
  5. History of the acceptance of a three-in-one God
  6. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  7. Altered to fit a Trinity
  8. Attributes to God
  9. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  10. A Jewish Theocracy
  11. Promise of Comforter
  12. Promises, God’s
  13. God does not change
  14. God’s salvation
  15. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  16. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  17. Written to recognise the Promised One
  18. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  19. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  20. About a man who changed history of humankind
  21. Who was Jesus?
  22. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  23. Yahushua, Yehoshua, Yeshua, Jehoshua of Jeshua > Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua + Jezus, Yeshua, Yahushua
  24. The Beginning of the life of Jesus Christ
  25. Jesus begotten Son of God #4 Promised Prophet and Saviour
  26. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  27. Jesus begotten Son of God #10 Coming down spirit or flesh seed of Eve
  28. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  29. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  30. Jesus begotten Son of God #16 Prophet to be heard
  31. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  32. Jesus begotten Son of God #18 Believing in inhuman or human person
  33. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  34. Jesus begotten Son of God #20 Before and After
  35. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  36. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  37. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  38. On the Nature of Christ
  39. Jesus spitting image of his father
  40. Yeshua a man with a special personality
  41. A man with an outstanding personality
  42. On the Nature of Christ
  43. Mission son of God perceived as failure
  44. 2 Corinthians 5:19 – God in Christ
  45. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  46. Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
  47. The meek one riding on an ass
  48. Jesus and His God
  49. Was Jesus Religious
  50. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  51. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  52. Slave for people and God
  53. Apple of Gods eye
  54. Servant of his Father
  55. What did Jesus sing?
  56. What Jesus sang
  57. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  58. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  59. A Messiah to die
  60. Dying or not
  61. Swedish theologian finds historical proof Jesus did not die on a cross
  62. Impaled until death overtook him
  63. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  64. Crucifixion for suffering
  65. Why 20 Nations Are Defending the Crucifix in Europe
  66. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  67. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  68. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  69. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  70. Jesus three days in hell
  71. Jesus and the fallen angels in hell
  72. Ressurection of Jesus Christ
  73. Jesus is risen
  74. Risen With Him
  75. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  76. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  77. One Mediator between God and man
  78. Christ having glory
  79. Christ’s coming
  80. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  81. God demonstrates his own love
  82. 1 Corinthians 15 Hope in action
  83. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  84. Secret or public return of Jesus
  85. Certainty in a troubled world
  86. Concerning gospelfaith
  87. Breathing to teach
  88. Why believing the Bible
  89. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything

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  • William Lane Craig’s case for the resurrection of Jesus (winteryknight.wordpress.com)
    Dr. Craig’s famous minimal facts case for the resurrection has been posted at the Christian Apologetics Alliance. He presents 4 facts admitted by the majority of New Testament historians, and then he supplies multiple pieces of evidence for each fact.
  • The Jesus of Faith a myth? (proudfootz.wordpress.com) +
    the term ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman will be using it is in contrast to the ‘Jesus of Faith’, that is that when Ehrman is describing an ‘historical Jesus’ he does not mean a Jesus as accepted by most christians: the Son of God, the Messiah, the Christ, capable of performing miracles, uttering true prophecies, or raising others or himself from the dead, or really appearing as a spirit or some such thing to real humans after a resurrection. The sort of Jesus Ehrman is proposing to establish the real existence of is a mortal man like any other who is born, lives his life, and eventually dies and stays dead.
    +
    most or (unlikely) all of them think Jesus was merely a mortal man like any other.
    +
    it may well be that virtually all the experts believe Jesus really existed, but that doesn’t mean they believe in an ‘historical Jesus’ as Ehrman defines it. This is I think a major difficulty for Ehrman’s thesis because on the one hand he wants to stack the deck in favor of the historical existence of Jesus by citing the united front of ‘all New testament scholars’, but to do so he has to include the many, many people – scholars and laymen alike – who are convinced on the evidence that Jesus was a real miracle-worker who could raise the dead, raise himself from the dead, and was if not a god in his own right the son of a god. For most people Jesus was not a failed prophet, a street-corner rabble-rouser, or a social reformer: Jesus was Lord and Savior, the long-promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, Son of God reigning even now in Heaven, coming soon to judge the living and the dead.
    +
    It’s safe to say that a great number of teachers in theological seminaries and divinity schools (and I think many in ‘secular’ colleges and universities) believe that Jesus not only existed, but worked miracles, rose from the dead, and was the son of a god, and communes with believers from his seat in Heaven. Up until now Ehrman has downplayed this fact.
  • Understanding the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (christianity.answers.com)
    The Bible teaches that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual historical event. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record the resurrection as true. These same accounts also record many other miracles performed by Jesus during his life. Although many have offered alternative explanations for the resurrection, few are plausible and all contradict the earliest accounts of Jesus’ life.
    +
    Some have suggested that perhaps Jesus wasn’t really dead and was able to walk out of his tomb after a few days of rest. The greatest difficulty with this opinion is that it fails to account for the thorough nature of Roman crucifixion. Roman soldiers performed thousands of crucifixions every year. They were experts at using crucifixion to kill people. It is simply not plausible that a man could have lived through a Roman crucifixion and had the energy and ability to break out of a sealed tomb a few days later.
  • Jesus Freaks (live-your-best-life.me)
    What about being called a Jesus Freak though? Would it embarrass you or make you feel politically incorrect? What actions would it take to make you a Jesus Freak? Would you be considered for one if you are just a nice person or maybe someone who doesn’t hang out with the partiers of the crowd? Do you have to go to church for someone to think you are a Jesus Freak? What if, are you ready for this, you read your Bible in public? Certainly that qualifies you for that title. Is this a label you would wear in secret or would you wear it proudly?
  • The Meaning and Purpose of Our Existence. (revivehope.wordpress.com)
    The New Testament is the fulfillment of the events, characters, laws, sacrificial system (the forgiveness of sin), and promises of the Old Testament. The New Testament also prophesies our future and warns us to be spiritually prepared, warning others, and spreading the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
    +
    God sent His sinless Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth to show His tremendous love for us, teaching us and demonstrating God’s power and might over all through various miracles, healings, and even raising people from the dead. He sent His only begotten (to cause) Son to die on our behalf (the penalty/consequence for sin is the shedding of blood) and rose from the dead to demonstrate His love for us and His power over sin and death.

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