Christian Home Bible Course
DISCOVER THE BIBLE
LONG AGO IN ETERNITY PAST . . .
Before there was space,
Before there was matter,
Before there was a universe,
THERE WAS GOD! . . . "In
the beginning God...." GENESIS 1:1
ÄGod has always existed. He is
eternal: "...from everlasting to everlasting, thou
art God." PSALM 90:2
ÄHe is dependent on nothing other than
Himself: "And God said...I AM THAT I AM:"
ÄHe is perfect, never changing: "For I am the LORD, I change not..." MALACHI 3:6
ÄHe is forever existing as a triune (3
in 1) God. He is a Trinity - one God manifested in three Persons:
"For there are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."
I JOHN 5:7
The three in perfect unity...
"...created the heaven and the earth."
Upon the earth, God placed various creatures (Genesis 1:1-31)
including one with the ability to have a personal relationship
with Him. This unique creature was man, the crowning act
of creation, conceived in the mind of a TRIUNE God. For
on the sixth day the TRINITY said:
"...Let us make man in
our image, after our
likeness...." GENESIS 1:26
With that command, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
. . .
"...formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life;
and man became a living soul." GENESIS 2:7
Therefore man, made in the image and likeness of his Creator,
became a living SOUL with the ability to think, feel and choose.
However, a soul by itself cannot interact with the world.
That is why God gave him a BODY with five senses that act as "windows" to the soul, enabling him to know the world around
him. But even a soul inside a body cannot have a complete personal
relationship with God because . . .
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth." JOHN
Thus, man was also given a SPIRIT to enable him to
know God: to perceive the spiritual realm in much the same way that his
body enabled him to perceive the physical world. Man was a complete
being, consisting of body, soul, and spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23).
Now everything was in place for a perfect relationship between a triune
God and His creation . . . man.
*BUT THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED!*
The first man Adam and his wife Eve rebelled against God
and "died" spiritually, therefore losing their
"spiritual connection" with God (Genesis 3:1-24). This
spiritual death has been passed down to every generation (Genesis 5:3;
Romans 5:12), causing mankind to "grope around"
in spiritual blindness searching for God. Men have started many
religions attempting to find their way back to God. Men have worshipped
statues, idols, ceremonies, and even human intellect (Humanism and Rationalism).
Despite all these "religious efforts", man is
still a soul trapped in the physical realm in need of a "spiritual
reconnection" with his Creator.
MAN IS LOST, INCAPABLE OF SAVING HIMSELF AND NEEDS A
Fortunately God, wishing to restore His relationship with
man (II Peter 3:9; I Timothy 2:3-6), promised Adam and Eve He would provide
a Saviour (Genesis 3:15). Consequently, He had a plan that involved
the second member of the Trinity - THE WORD:
"...and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God. The same was in the beginning with
God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any
thing made..." JOHN 1:1-3
The plan required THE WORD to leave His heavenly throne and embark
upon a mission to . . .
"...seek and to save that which was lost."
Therefore, the "...the Word was made flesh, and
dwelt among us...." JOHN 1:14
Thus begins the story of the greatest life ever lived by
the greatest person ever to walk upon the Earth: a man who became the
central figure of all history, the most significant individual of all
time. He was a man greatly loved yet greatly hated, powerful yet
meek, great yet humble. Never has there been a man for whom so
many have lived, and for whom so many have died. Never has there
been a man that has changed the face of the earth like this man . . .
A man who was literally born to die.
This is the story of The Word - Jesus Christ.
SO LET'S LOOK AT THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD AS WE
JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE
THE SETTING: A missionary is in a
small obscure European town where most of the inhabitants practice
a certain non-mainstream religion. He has just knocked on
somebody's door when . . .
Hello sir. We've started a new church in town and I'd
like to invite you to one of our . . .
Before you continue I must tell you I already have
my own religion. I am not interested. Good Day!
Well, may I at least leave you a BIBLE?
Listen my fine man, keep your literature, my family
has practiced the same religion for generations.
In fact, I'll have you know that my great, great, great-
grandfather personally knew the religion's
Hmm, that's interesting. I personally know my religion's
You don't say? I have always said one could
tell a lot about a religion by its founder. Perhaps you
care to tell me about him.
I'd be glad to. To begin with, He was born of peasants
- in an animal shelter.
An animal shelter? Surely, sir you jest!
What sort of religion could possibly come from a man with
such meager beginnings? Unless of course, he
obtained his wealth later in life. Was he self-made?
Actually, He never owned a thing, except the clothes on His back.
Only his clothes? Surely, he owned more than
that! Did he possess a formal education?
He never attended school.
My fine man, I find this ridiculously amusing.
Tell me, was he well traveled?
He never traveled more than 200 miles from home.
Was he greatly loved and admired?
Not really. Only a few people loved Him, and even they
abandoned Him in His hour of need.
Pity. Did he raise a large family?
No, He never even married.
How large was his church? What was the duration
of his ministry?
Oniy twelve members in three years.
Incredible! How long did he live?
He died young, at age thirty-three.
Sir, really! I find your claims to be quite
fascinating. But I'm afraid that it sounds like your religion
does not have much to offer. Not when it was
founded by, shall we say, such a "unique and
Sir, can I ask you a question?
Yes, by all means.
What was your religion's founder like?
He was a great nobleman: well educated and well
traveled. Quite the intellectual, I might add.
He authored many books and was considered one of the
greatest minds of his time. His
accomplishments are quite numerous . . . !
Did he die for your sins?
Why no, he taught that each man was to be personally
responsible for his own offences committed
against the creator.
You mean your founder was not willing to take your guilt and
punishment and die in your place?
Why, of course not. Who would do such a thing?
My founder did. He said, "Greater love
hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
I must admit, that is somewhat impressive.
One more thing . . . where is your founder now?
Why, he has long been dead. We pay honor
to his place of burial. Why do you ask?
Because, my founder rose again from the grave. His tomb
in Jerusalem has long been empty. He conquered death for
all who would come to Him. Did the founder of your religion
GOD'S PROMISE that He would provide a Saviour,
was originally given to Adam and Eve shortly after they had sinned (Genesis
3:15). Throughout Jewish history "the promise"
was passed down from generation to generation. Prophet after prophet
reminded the Jews of the coming Saviour, the Messiah.
He would be the One who would save them from their sins and set up an
earthly kingdom, a kingdom ruled by God Himself. Isaiah was one
of those prophets who predicted the BIRTH of the Messiah:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall
Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince
of Peace." ISAIAH 9:6
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]." ISAIAH 7:14
The prophecies continued for thousands of years, until one day there
were no more prophets, and . . .
HEAVEN BECAME SILENT FOR 400 YEARS.
During those 400 years, the world saw one empire after another.
Alexander the Great conquered the world and gave it his contribution;
a one world language called Koine Greek.
After drinking himself to death at the age of 33, Alexander's empire divided,
preparing the way for Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian king. To
the Jews, Antiochus was the Devil himself.
Like those before him, he too made his "contribution":
persecution. Antiochus Epiphanes persecuted the Jews to no end,
going as far as to defile God's Temple by sacrificing swine upon its Holy
Altar. These were hard, silent years for the Jews with no hope
of Messiah in sight. Eventually, the mighty Roman empire displaced
Antiochus, only to place the Jews under Rome's occupation. By now
Rome owned the world. Their contributions were the famous "Roman
roads," and an infamous method of execution called crucifixion.
|SIDE NOTE: While there were no new revelations from
God during these 400
years, the events which took place were actually predicted years
before by the
prophet Daniel (Daniel 11).
400 years had set the stage for the Messiah's arrival, when finally
. . .
T H E S I L E N C E
W A S B R O K E N
"...the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a
dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David,
fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Ghost.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name
for he shall save his people from their sins."
GOD had chosen the vessel through which He
would come into the world, and nine months later the Messiah arrived!
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went
out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the
world should be taxed. ... And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out
of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of
the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished
that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling
and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them
in the inn." LUKE 2:1-7
(all sixty-six books), is tied into the birth and life of this one Man.
How ironic it is, that so much attention has been given to a birth
that took place in a manger, in the little town of Bethlehem.
| It is not every day that God takes on flesh
and is born into the very world that He created. You would
expect His birth to be a very special event, and it certainly was.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin.
His birth was announced and anticipated thousands of years before
it took place. Angels proclaimed the actual birth to shepherds.
A special star led the wise men to Him. To this day
His birthday is acknowledged every time someone dates a check.
What other birth can claim to be "the event"
which the world's calendar system revolves around (B.C.=before Christ).
In fact, the central message of the whole BIBLE
| Q. WHO WERE THE WISE MEN WHO FOLLOWED
THE STAR FROM THE EAST?
There is a two-fold error surrounding the story of the three
wise men visiting the baby Jesus at the manger in the stable.
It is normally assumed there were three men because the
BIBLE refers to three gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh).
But it was more likely a large caravan of men that came
into town, because all Jerusalem was "buzzing" over their arrival (Matthew 2:1-3). They
had journeyed a long way (most likely from Persia or the Orient)
following a star. Christ was no longer a babe, but a
young child, and the wise men came to the house of Mary and
Joseph in Bethlehem, not the stable (Matthew 2:11). It
is assumed from the BIBLE that Jesus was a toddler of
one to two years of age, since Herod sought to kill those age
two and younger in an attempt to destroy the child Jesus.
Perhaps he settled on eliminating that age group after consulting
with the wise men on when the star had appeared (Matthew 2:7,16).
(Bethlehem was approximately the size of a football field in the days of
Christ). Only God could produce such irony. The world finally
had its Saviour, and those who knew of His arrival wanted to see Him.
THE WISE MEN "Now
when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king,
behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where
is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star
in the east, and are come to worship him." MATTHEW 2:1-2
THE SHEPHERDS "...the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known
unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph,
and the babe lying in a manger." LUKE 2:15-16
KING HEROD also wanted to see Him, but
unfortunately for a different reason:
"When Herod the king had heard these things, he
was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And
when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people
together, he demanded of them
where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem
of Judaea: for thus it is
written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem...art not the least among
the princes of Juda:
for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people
Israel." MATTHEW 2:3-6
Like any evil king, King Herod was not about to give up
his throne to anyone: not even to the Messiah. So, he commanded
the wise men to come back with the child's identity. However, God,
in a dream, told the wise men not to return to Herod (Matthew 2:7-15).
This did not sit well with the king:
"Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the
wise men, was exceeding wroth [angry],
sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem,
and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under,
according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men."
Herod thought that by killing all the male children in Bethlehem,
he would eliminate the Messiah.
But God was already one step ahead of him because . . .
"...the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in
a dream, saying,
Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into
and be thou there until I bring thee word:
for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."
The child Jesus had escaped Herod's sword. Now all his parents
had to do was wait in Egypt and. . .
"...when Herod was dead, behold, an angel
of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go
into the land of Israel: for
they are dead which sought the young child's life. ... And he came
and dwelt in a city called
Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets,
He shall be called a Nazarene." MATTHEW 2:19-20,23
While living in Nazareth, "...the
child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the
grace of God was upon him." LUKE 2:40
| Q. DID JESUS HAVE OTHER BROTHERS AND SISTERS?
Jesus Christ was clearly virgin born of the young Jewish woman named
Mary. Did Mary remain a virgin for the rest of her life after
the birth of Christ? Definitely not, according to Matthew 1:18,
25. The BIBLE always refers to Jesus as Mary's "firstborn
son". She had other sons whose names were James, Joses,
Jude, and Simon, as well as daughters (Matthew 12:47; 13:55; 27:56;
Mark 6:3; I Corinthians 9:5). James and Jude even wrote two
epistles of the New Testament. Some would try to argue that
the brothers mentioned in the BIBLE are actually cousins.
In the above verses, the Greek word for brother is "adelphos",
and according to Young's Greek Concordance it means "brother
or of the same womb." The fact that Mary had a normal
marriage with children after the birth of Jesus, in no way minimizes
the virgin birth of Christ.
SEVERAL YEARS LATER . . .
When Jesus was twelve years old, His parents went to Jerusalem
to participate in the feast of the PASSOVER. On the way home, His
parents lost track of Him and went back to Jerusalem to try find Him.
Searching diligently, they finally found Him in the Temple sitting among
the Jewish teachers, asking and answering questions about the Jewish religion:
"And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding
and answers" LUKE 2:47. His parents then asked Jesus
why He had strayed away, causing them to search for Him:
"And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought
me? wist [know] ye not that
I must be about my Father's business?" LUKE 2:49
At the age of twelve Jesus knew His Father's business was
to reach a lost world. Did Jesus realize that it required His death
on a cross? Perhaps the writer of the Psalms was prophetically
referring to Jesus when he said:
"I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth
up..." PSALM 88:15
| Q. WHY DID JESUS COME IN
THE TIME PERIOD IN WHICH
A. There has been no time period before
or since that Christ could have come and still have fulfilled the
prophesies foretold of Him. For example, the time of His Triumphant
Entry and crucifixion at Jerusalem was foretold 550 years earlier,
right down to the year (Daniel 9:24-26). The method of death
(crucifixion) used by the Romans at that time was foretold more than
one thousand years before (Psalm 22:14-18). Had Christ come
earlier, the then known world would not have had the famous "Roman roads" on which to spread the Gospel.
Jesus also came at a time when "Koine" Greek
was used throughout the known world as a common language and as a
precise language in which the New Testament could be written.
Jesus also came at a time when the Jews were looking for their long
awaited, promised Messiah, and at a time when His genealogy could
still be traced (Matthew 1; Luke 3) before the scattering of the Jews
throughout the world in 70 A.D.
The BIBLE gives no information about Jesus Christ
from age twelve (Luke 2:42) through age thirty (Luke 3:23). What
can we assume took place during this 18-year period?
We know that Mary and Joseph, being devout and faithful Jews
would have continued to make the 75-mile journey every year from Nazareth
to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover. There, the young Jesus
would have witnessed the blood shedding and sacrifice of the spotless
male lamb upon the altar in the Temple. The innocent lamb was sacrificed
for the sins of the guilty. What must have gone through the mind
of the young Saviour to be, knowing that the lamb was a picture of Him
("the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the
world" John 1:29)? One day He would shed His blood on
the cross as the innocent dying for the guilty.
During those eighteen years it is believed that Jesus' "stepfather" died. Though Mary is mentioned often later,
her husband never is. He was perhaps much older than Mary.
It was the tradition for the oldest son to learn the trade of his father,
and take over the family business. Joseph was a carpenter (Matthew
13:55) and so was Jesus (Mark 6:3).
Before the days of electricity and power tools, carpentry
was a rugged profession requiring much skill and strength. He who
had simply spoken the world into existence with His mouth, had now humbled
Himself to work with His hands to fashion wooden objects. Jesus
would no doubt have had to support His family, and was known in the community
as the carpenter (Luke 4:16-24). Though He was instructed in the
Scriptures and would have learned the religious law from the local synagogue,
the BIBLE says that He never had the opportunity to attend school
and be formally educated (John 7:15).
AT THE AGE OF 30. . .
Jesus put aside His handsaw, set His wood plane on the shelf,
laid down His carpenter's apron, wiped off the saw dust, and left behind
His earthly trade, never to return to it again. His real ministry,
which would last three years, had now begun. The world would never
be the same. He left Nazareth of Galilee and went on a 60-mile
journey, which took Him to a place near the Jordan river. There
He was baptized by John the Baptist. John had been "the
voice of one crying in the wilderness". His message was
that of the coming Messiah. Upon seeing the Messiah face to face,
John cried out:
"...Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away
the sin of the world." JOHN 1:29
He who came to the river as "the carpenter"
ascended the bank as Messiah, and the voice of God from Heaven proclaimed
Him as His beloved Son. He was the Lamb of God, the Word, the Son
And He came to Earth to do His Father's business:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent
not his Son into the world
to condemn the world; but that the world through him might
be saved." (John 3:16-17)
God the Son had taken on flesh and become a physical representation
of God the Father. Jesus said:
"...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father..."
| Q. WHY DID JESUS GET BAPTIZED?
Jesus walked more than 60 miles to be immersed by the one whom
God had authorized to begin baptism (John 1:6; Mark 11:27-33).
Was He baptized in order to have His sins washed away,
and to become a child of God? Obviously not, since He
was already the sinless Son of God, not to mention that nowhere
does the BIBLE teach that baptism washes away sin or makes a
person a child of God. Jesus Christ was immersed by John
the Baptist in order to "fulfil all righteousness"
(Matthew 3:15, i.e. in obedience to the perfect and predetermined
will of God), as well as to endorse both baptism and its administrator,
John the Baptist. Jesus was to set an example for Christians
to follow for centuries to come.
| All that was in God the Father: His love
of righteousness, His hatred of sin, His compassion, His justice,
His mercy and every other aspect of His character, could be seen by
simply looking at God the Son - Jesus Christ.
HIS MESSAGE was forgiveness of sins
for all those who in repentance wanted to be forgiven (Mark 1:15).
Man had rebelled against God and died spiritually.
God in His love was taking the initiative by offering forgiveness
of sins and reconnecting man spiritually to Himself. The
restoration of the broken fellowship between God and man would have
a price - the death of His Son. That was Jesus' message,
and He went about gathering twelve messengers beginning with two
"One of the two which heard John speak, and followed
him [Jesus], was Andrew,
Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon,
and saith unto him,
We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
And he brought him to Jesus." JOHN 1:40-42
SIDE NOTE: Christ means Messiah. Jesus means
Saviour. Jesus Christ means Saviour Messiah.
JESUS CONTINUED to gather His disciples and
eventually He had twelve that He would personally train for the next three
years. These were the twelve apostles that would initially take
Jesus' message, the Gospel, and preach it throughout the world (Matthew
"Now the names of the twelve apostles are these;
The first, Simon, who is called Peter,
and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and
John his brother; Philip,
and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican;
James the son of Alphaeus,
and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite,
and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him."
AS TIME WENT ON, Jesus taught His apostles.
They were amazed at His knowledge and wisdom. . .
"For he taught them as one having authority,
and not as the scribes." MATTHEW 7:29
Jesus Christ, their teacher, was God. Yet He was also a man, feeling
and experiencing everything His apostles did. The BIBLE
says He . . .
"...was in all points tempted like as we are,
yet without sin." HEBREWS 4:15
THIS MEANS JESUS CHRIST:
Grew physically: "the child grew, and...increased
in...stature..." LUKE 2:40,52
Hungered for food: "...as he returned into the city,
he hungered." MATTHEW 21:18
Thirsted for water: "...Jesus...saith, I thirst."
Became weary: "...Jesus...being wearied with his
journey, sat..." JOHN 4:6
Needed sleep: "...but he was asleep."
Became troubled: "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping...he...was
troubled," JOHN 11:33
Needed to pray: "...he...continued all night in
prayer to God." LUKE 6:12
Became grieved: "he...being grieved for the hardness
of their hearts" MARK 3:5
Suffered pain: "And being in an agony, he..."
Became sorrowful: "And he...began to be sorrowful..."
Experienced joy: "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in
spirit..." LUKE 10:21
Wept many times: "Jesus wept."
| Q. WHAT DID JESUS ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE?
The average person pictures Jesus as thin, with long, straight light
colored hair, a beard, and even blue eyes. They confuse Christ
with being a Nazarite (one whose vow included long hair) when actually
Christ was a Nazarene (from the town of Nazareth). The BIBLE
says "if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him" (I Corinthians
11:14). The Jewish Talmud prescribed haircuts every thirty
days. Earliest sketches of Christ (as found in the catacombs)
all picture Him with short hair.
It was custom for men's hair at the time of Christ to be the same
length as the Emperor of the Roman Empire. Jesus looked so
much like any other man that Judas had to identify Him to the soldiers
with a kiss of betrayal. Also, Christ would have had olive
skin, dark hair, dark eyes and looked like any Jewish man of His
day (John 4:9). He would have been a very rugged and strong
individual, being a carpenter in those days. He would have
possessed great stamina to be able to fast for forty days, and walk
everywhere He went, up and down the mountainous terrain of Israel.
TO MOST people, compassion is "skin deep", affecting only the emotions. With Jesus,
compassion resulted in action. Compassion toward a lost world
caused Him to leave His heavenly throne and take on the form of a lowly
man. That same compassion had been motivating Him throughout
His earthly life, including the day it moved Him to touch, of all things
- A LEPER!:
"And there came a leper to him, beseeching
him, and kneeling down to him,
and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean."
Leprosy is a highly contagious disease that eats away
at the flesh. Its poor victim would be forced to live alone outside
the city, and cry out "Unclean, unclean[!]" whenever
approaching others (Numbers 5:1-4). No other person was more
despised, rejected or feared than the leper. The bravest man
would cower like a frightened child upon seeing one. So wretched
was the life of a leper that many dreaded the loneliness and rejection
more than the disease itself.
Christ looked past the rotting flesh, ignoring the danger
to Himself. He only knew that trapped within that disease-ridden
body was a soul crying out for help. A soul who had resolved
that Jesus was his last and only hope:
"And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth
his hand, and touched him,
and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he
immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed."
Jesus had healed a leper, but His compassion did not stop there.
Everyday, multitudes came to see the one-time wood worker now work miracles.
"...when he saw the multitudes, he was moved
with compassion on them,
because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no
shepherd." MATTHEW 9:36
And with the same care that He once fashioned wood, He
now put lives back together. The flow of people toward Jesus
never ended. Everywhere He and His apostles went, there were
"...thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation,
Everywhere, people in physical and emotional pain were yearning for
a miracle: desiring to be made whole. Many had their desires
fulfilled as they were touched by the human hand of God. Yes,
Jesus was moved with compassion and was sympathetic toward His fellow
human beings. He was "flesh and blood"
and understood the human condition first hand. He was God who
had taken on the form of a man. The BIBLE says that Christ:
and took upon him the form of a servant," PHILIPPIANS
Jesus Christ, the Word, temporarily emptied Himself of
qualities which He possessed in Heaven in eternity past, before becoming
a man. He laid aside the royal, regal robe which He wore in Heaven,
and came down to this Earth to live as a man, temporarily putting aside
the use of some divine qualities.
"in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
That is why, while on this Earth, Jesus admitted to being inferior in
some ways to God the Father (Mark 13:32; John 14:28), while still being
God Himself. He was still GOD THE SON, the visible representative
of the Trinity!
Because He was God, He would not have had to subject Himself
to hunger, thirst, pain and fatigue.
Yet He labored, sweat, and grew weary under the heat of the very sun
which He had created. The BIBLE says:
"For in that he [Jesus] himself hath suffered being tempted,
he is able to succour [help] them
that are tempted." HEBREWS 2:18
God voluntarily subjected Himself to everything that humans must
go through in order to be able to say. . . "I know
how it feels".
THERE was no doubt that Jesus was human.
His humanity was obvious. His claim to be God, however,
was a different matter. It was often met with skepticism and
outright hostilities. Such was the case the day He healed one
sick of the palsy. Four others had carried their paralyzed friend
upon his bed to Jesus (Mark 2:1-4). The bed-ridden man had come
for a miracle: to walk again. What he got instead, surprised
"...he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son,
thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of
the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth
this man thus speak blasphemies?
who can forgive sins but God only?" MARK 2:5-7
It was one thing to heal a body, and make it whole.
It was quite another thing to make a soul "right with
God". Forgiveness of sins was something reserved only
for God. What Jesus had done was "blasphemous",
and the scribes were not about to tolerate it. Their problem
was that any open opposition to Jesus might bring upon them a riot from
His faithful followers. So they carefully hid their hateful accusation
of blasphemy within the sanctuary of their hearts, not realizing that
nothing is hid from God:
"...he said unto them, Why reason ye these things
in your hearts? ... But that ye may know
that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he
saith to the sick of the palsy,)
I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine
house. And immediately he
arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that
they were all amazed,
and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."
Only God had the right to forgive sins and the ability
to read minds. Yet here was a carpenter from Nazareth claiming
these attributes as His own. To the self-righteous religious
leaders He was blasphemous, worthy of stoning. To those whose
lives had been changed He was their Saviour: the Messiah, the Son of
God who had come down from Heaven. These were titles that Jesus
Himself was not denying:
"For I came down from heaven, not to do
mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
... And this is the will of him that sent me,
that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have
and I will raise him up at the last day." JOHN 6:38,40
THIS was not the only time Jesus had made
a claim that caused those around Him to take notice. On one other
occasion, He boldly claimed to have power over His own life and death!
"...I lay down my life, that I might take it
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.
I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."
Statements like these were soon too much for some Jews.
His claims were adding up to one thing:
JESUS WAS CLAIMING TO BE GOD HIMSELF! This was a definite violation
of Jewish law. Unlike the nations around them, the Jews were
monotheistic. They worshipped one God. The law had clearly
stated . . . "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Anyone claiming to be God was to be put to death - IMMEDIATELY!
Needless to say, Jesus was becoming more and more controversial as
NEVER has there been a man to whom there
has been such an extreme difference of opinion.
Jesus was either an outright lunatic with delusions of grandeur or He
was Almighty God. He was either worthy of stoning or worthy of
worship. Was He who He said He was, or was He a total imposter?
To this day the name Jesus Christ divides the masses into
two groups. There are those who accept Him as Saviour and those
who reject Him. Even the ever popular state of "neutrality," where a person says "I neither
accept Him nor reject Him," places the person in the group that
rejects Him . . .
Because to not accept Him IS to reject Him,
there is no "middle ground" with Jesus.
Sometimes people will say: "Well, I believe Jesus
Christ was a good, moral man who taught love and truthfulness, but I
do not believe He was God or the Son of God."
Yet Jesus could not have been a good, moral man who taught
love and truthfulness while going around lying, claiming to be God.
A person simply cannot be both. He was either a liar with
poor morals, or He was telling the truth and was genuinely God.
Again, there is no "middle ground" when it comes
to Jesus, especially since the BIBLE reveals much that proves
Jesus Christ was God.
Note the following claims Jesus made during His ministry:
"...behold, I send unto you prophets..."
Only God could send prophets, yet Jesus was claiming that He could send
"...all men should honour the Son, even as they
honour the Father." JOHN 5:23
Jesus was saying that He deserved as much honour as was due God the
Father, making Himself as honourable as God.
"My kingdom is not of this world..."
Jesus was claiming to be ruler over a heavenly kingdom - God's kingdom.
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall
be saved..." JOHN 10:9
Only God can save a hell bound soul, yet Jesus was claiming to be the
entrance by which a person gets into Heaven.
"...I am the light of the world..." JOHN
Jesus was claiming to be the light, one of many descriptions of God.
"God is light" (I John 1:5).
"...without me ye can do nothing."
Jesus was claiming to be the source of all power, wisdom, and purpose
in a person's life.
"I and my Father are one." JOHN
Jesus was claiming that He and God the Father were one and the same,
making Himself equal with God.
"ye believe in God, believe also in me."
Jesus was saying, all men should believe in Him as they do in God.
"...I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." JOHN
THE BIBLE shows a parallel between God and
Jesus Christ. There are many verses that refer to God as well
as Christ. When these verses are placed side by side, a person
can see that God and Jesus Christ are one and the same. (Refer
also to opposite [below] page)
R E F E R E N C E S
T O G O D compared
1) "For the LORD most
high is...King over all the earth." PSALM
2) "Thy throne is established of old: thou
art from everlasting [eternity past]."
3) "In the beginning God created the heaven
and the earth." GENESIS 1:1-27
4) "...I am the first, and I am the last;
and beside me there is no God." ISAIAH 44:6
5) "...I appeared unto Abraham...by the name
of God Almighty," EXODUS 6:3
6) "...unto me every knee shall bow, every
tongue shall swear." ISAIAH 45:23
7) "For I know that my redeemer liveth..."
8) "Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of
Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour
beside me." HOSEA 13:4
"I, even I, am the LORD; and beside
me there is no saviour." ISAIAH 43:11
9) "The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory."
10) "...the LORD...cometh to judge the earth:
he shall judge the world with righteousness..." PSALM
11) "For I am the LORD, I change not..."
12) "For as the Father raiseth up the dead,
and quickeneth them..." JOHN 5:21
13) "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I
AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel,
I AM hath sent me unto you." EXODUS 3:14
14) "...ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
He is the Rock..." DEUTERONOMY 32:3-4
15) "...far be it from God, that he should
do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity."
16) "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the LORD [God],
make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
R E F E R E N C E S T O J
E S U S
1) "...Lord of lords,
and King of kings..." REVELATION 17:14
2) "...whose goings forth have been from of old,
from everlasting." MICAH 5:2
3) "For by him [Jesus] were all things created..." COLOSSIANS 1:16
4) "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the
end, the first and the last." REVELATION
5) "...which is, and which was, and which is
to come, the Almighty." REVELATION 1:8
6) "...at the name of Jesus every knee should
bow...every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..."
7) "Being justified freely by his grace through
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" ROMANS
8) "Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved." ACTS 4:12
"And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save
his people from their sins." MATTHEW 1:21
9) "Which none of the princes of this world knew:
for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord
of glory." I CORINTHIANS 2:8
10) "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath
committed all judgment unto the Son:" JOHN 5:22
"...shall judge the quick
[living] and the dead at his appearing..."
II Timothy 4:1
11) "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and
to day, and for ever." HEBREWS 13:8
12) "...even so the Son quickeneth
[makes alive] whom he will."
13) "...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before
Abraham was, I am." JOHN 8:55-58
14) "...they drank of that spiritual Rock that
followed them: and that Rock was Christ."
I CORINTHIANS 10:4
15) "Who did no sin, neither was guile
found in his mouth:" I PETER 2:22
16) "The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
Prepare ye the way of the Lord [Jesus],
make his paths straight." MATTHEW 3:3
THE SCRIPTURES further reveal that Jesus
has abilities that fall under the categories of omni-presence (everywhere
at all times), omnipotence (all powerful), and omniscience (all knowing).
These three "omni's" are strictly attributes
of God (Lesson 2), yet we see Jesus possessing them.
ØChrist was in Heaven while He was
bodily present on the Earth. John 3:13
Ø Christ is on the Earth while He is
presently in Heaven. Matthew 18:20
Ø Christ fills all. Ephesians
Christ declared He was "the Almighty." Revelation 1:8
He had the power to do the things of God. John 5:19
He upholds the created universe with His power. Hebrews
Ø He has "All
power[.]" Matthew 28:18
Ø He had power over:
devils and evil spirits - Mark 5:11-15
disease - Luke 4:38-41
death - Matthew 9:25; Luke 7:14-15; John 11:43-44
the elements - Matthew 8:26-27
nature - Matthew 21:19; John 2:11
|Q. HAS JESUS
CHRIST ALWAYS EXISTED?|
A. Was the manger in
the stable at Bethlehem the beginning of the existence of Jesus
Christ? No, it was simply when Jesus took on flesh as a human
Jesus once made reference to ascending back to Heaven, where He
was before (John 6:62). Christ even made brief appearances
in the Old Testament, before His birth in Bethlehem (Daniel 3:19-25).
Jesus claimed He existed before Abraham (the first Jew) who
lived 2000 years earlier (John 8:58). Jesus also claimed
that God the Father loved Him before the world was created (John
17:24). He said in John 17:5; "...O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which
I had with thee before the world was."
Ø Christ knew all things. John
Ø He knew what was in man. John
Ø He saw Nathanael under the fig tree.
Ø He knew the history of the Samaritan
woman. John 4:29
Ø He knew the thoughts of men.
Matthew 9:4; 27:18; Mark 2:6-8; Luke 6:8
Ø He knew the time and the manner of
His departure from this world. Matthew 16:21; John 12:33; 13:1
Ø He knew who would betray Him.
Ø He knew the course of this present
age. Matthew 24:25
"For in him dwelleth all the fulness
of the Godhead bodily." COLOSSIANS 2:9
"In whom are hid all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge." COLOSSIANS 2:3
MANY incidents in the BIBLE prove
Christ's deity and power, among them the following three:
(1) He accepted worship, which was reserved only for God
V His disciples worshipped Him:
"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 worshipped him."
V Angels worshipped Him:
"And again, when he [God] bringeth in the firstbegotten [Jesus Christ] into the world,
he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him."
V A leper worshipped Him:
"And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped
saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean."
V A ruler worshipped Him:
"While he spake these things unto them, behold,
there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him,"
V A blind man worshipped Him:
"And he [the blind man] said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."
V His apostles worshipped Him:
"Then they [the apostles] that were in the ship came and worshipped him..."
(2) He had power over the weather
"And he [Jesus] arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace,
And the wind ceased...And they [apostles] feared exceedingly, and said one to another,
What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey
him?" MARK 4:39-41
(3) He raised people from the dead
"And when he thus had spoken, he [Jesus]
cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
And he that was dead came forth...Then many of the Jews which
came to Mary,
and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him."
"he [Jesus]...called, saying, Maid, arise.
And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway:"
"...when he came nigh to the gate of the city,
behold, there was a dead man carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow...And he said, Young
man, I say unto thee, Arise.
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak."
(As a minister, Jesus never officiated at a funeral. He always
broke up every funeral He came across.J)
JESUS was the God-Man. He was all man and all God.
As a man, Jesus Christ knew first hand about the problems facing mankind.
As God, He knew the solutions. Such was the case with
the Samaritan woman at the well:
"Then cometh he [Jesus] to a city of Samaria...Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore,
being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it
was about the
sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water..."
The woman had come to the well because it provided a source
of water. Water is essential for washing, bathing, and most importantly;
sustaining life while satisfying one's thirst. So, referring
to the well water, Jesus said:
"...Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him
shall never thirst..." JOHN 4:13-14
The woman, being intrigued, said:
"...Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not..."
She was "THIRSTY." Her
life had included five husbands and one immoral relationship.
Yet she was not content. Something was missing. Apparently
she was going from one relationship to another, searching for a permanent
state of happiness, but never finding it (John 4:15-18).
WHAT A PICTURE OF MANKIND!
|Man's spiritual death (see introduction) left him with a spiritual
"void" that he tries to fill with the
things of the world. He will constantly change relationships,
careers, and religion, always searching
for happiness, joy, and peace of mind, but never finding it.
Many will try fame, money, drugs,
alcohol, materialism, or whatever it takes to fill that empty
"void". Yet the result is always the
same: they remain "thirsty".
The only thing that will fill the "void"
and permanently quench that
is a real, working, personal relationship with God through
Jesus Christ. That is why
nothing this world offers can give true meaning and purpose to
a person's life. Man's problem is
spiritual in nature; therefore, it requires a spiritual solution.
Jesus said: "...I am the bread of life: he
that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
Once Christ fills that "void"
and permanently quenches a person's "thirst",
his search for fulfillment is over. He can finally rest and be
at peace. Jesus said:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are
and I will give you rest." MATTHEW 11:28
JESUS SPENT THREE YEARS WITH HIS APOSTLES
while teaching and preaching to the masses. . .
"...The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God
is at hand:
repent ye, and believe the gospel." MARK
His message was one of hope and restoration. He had come to.
"...seek and to save that which was lost."
Jesus further revealed His intentions when He proclaimed . . .
"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners
to repentance." LUKE 5:32
This included everyone, because in God's sight . . .
"There is none righteous, no, not one:"
Never was a more selfless life lived than by Jesus Christ.
His entire ministry revolved around helping people spiritually
and physically. Not only did He live for others but He also died
for others. He was the only sinless person to ever exist, and
yet He had to die to pay for sin itself. The closer He got to
the cross, the thinner the crowds became and the more He was "rejected
of men" (Isaiah 53:3). The more abundantly He loved others,
the less He was loved (II Corinthians 12:15).
Every where Jesus preached the Gospel, the result was
the same: some trusted Him as Saviour and some did not, choosing instead
to trust in their own self-righteousness or religion. Many rejected
None with more hostility than the scribes and the Pharisees (the religious
leaders). Their hatred toward Jesus was so intense they began
to formulate a plan by which He could be falsely accused and eventually
crucified, even if it meant violating Jewish law.
After much scheming the plan was finally in place.
But it still required one key element; finding someone willing to
betray Him into their hands. So with eyes and ears wide open
they patiently waited.
. . . until one day a TRAITOR WAS FOUND.
HE WAS ONE OF THE TWELVE . . .
(To be continued . . .)
(Some information used in this lesson was derived from the following
Halley's Bible Handbook by Henry H. Halley, Zondervan Pub.
What Did Jesus Look Like? by E.L. Bynum, Tabernacle Baptist
Willmington's Book of Bible Lists by H.L Willmington, Tyndale
The Doctrine of Christ by Robert Sargent, Oak Harbor Pub.
Encyclopedia of the Bible and Christianity by David Cloud, Way
of Life Pub.
The Concordia Bible Dictionary by T. Graebner, Concordia Pub.
Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible by Robert Young,
Holy Bible King James Version.
A Sneak Preview ««««««««««««
In this lesson we have looked at the greatest man ever
born, and the greatest life ever lived. In our next lesson, we
will deal with the greatest event in all history! Having dealt
with the main person of the BIBLE, it is only fitting that we
now examine the "main event" of the BIBLE. To fully understand
the significance behind everything God incorporated into His Word, we
must completely understand the meaning of Calvary! Our next lesson
promises to be the best yet, and will reveal answers to such questions
as . . .
* Why couldn't Jesus have been strangled, drowned or suffocated?
* Can Mount Calvary still be located today?
* Why did the curtain in the Temple tear when Jesus died?
* Who actually killed Jesus?
* What does Moses and the Passover lamb have to do with Calvary?
* Why did Jesus die at age 33?
* Why couldn't God the Father even look at His Son on the cross?
* Why did Jesus have to die?
And more. . .
SO DON'T MISS THE NEXT LESSON AS WE CONTINUE OUR JOURNEY
THROUGH THE BIBLE
HE WAS BORN IN
AN OBSCURE VILLAGE, THE CHILD OF A PEASANT WOMAN.
HE GREW UP IN STILL ANOTHER VILLAGE,
WHERE HE WORKED IN A CARPENTER SHOP UNTIL HE WAS THIRTY.
THEN FOR THREE YEARS HE WAS AN ITINERANT PREACHER.
HE NEVER WROTE A BOOK.
HE NEVER HELD AN OFFICE.
HE NEVER HAD A FAMILY OR OWNED A HOUSE.
HE DIDN'T GO TO COLLEGE.
HE NEVER VISITED A BIG CITY.
HE NEVER TRAVELED TWO HUNDRED MILES
FROM THE PLACE WHERE HE WAS BORN.
HE DID NONE OF THE THINGS ONE USUALLY ASSOCIATES WITH
HE HAD NO CREDENTIALS BUT HIMSELF.
HE WAS ONLY THIRTY-THREE
WHEN THE TIDE OF PUBLIC OPINION TURNED AGAINST HIM.
HIS FRIENDS RAN AWAY.
HE WAS TURNED OVER TO HIS ENEMIES
AND WENT THROUGH THE MOCKERY OF A TRIAL.
HE WAS NAILED TO A CROSS BETWEEN TWO THIEVES.
WHILE HE WAS DYING, HIS EXECUTIONERS GAMBLED FOR HIS
THE ONLY PROPERTY HE HAD ON EARTH.
WHEN HE WAS DEAD,
HE WAS LAID IN A BORROWED GRAVE THROUGH THE PITY OF
NINETEEN CENTURIES HAVE COME AND GONE,
AND TODAY HE IS THE CENTRAL FIGURE OF THE HUMAN RACE
AND THE LEADER OF MANKIND'S PROGRESS.
ALL THE ARMIES THAT EVER MARCHED,
ALL THE NAVIES THAT EVER SAILED,
ALL THE PARLIAMENTS THAT EVER SAT,
ALL THE KINGS THAT EVER REIGNED,
HAVE NOT AFFECTED THE LIFE OF MAN
ON THIS EARTH AS MUCH AS THAT
ONE SOLITARY LIFE.
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