For 7 weeks, we're partnering with over 100 other churches in metro Richmond for the Explore God series. This series is especially designed for people that have spiritual questions and are exploring what they believe. For more information on the full series, as well as other Explore God opportunities we have going on, visit our Explore God page, or visit the ExploreGod.com.
In one of his books, scholar Peter Kreeft notes that only two religious leaders in history astounded their contemporaries so much that the question they evoked was not “Who is he?” but “What is he?” In other words, their actions and words were so dramatic and extraordinary that it led people to wonder about their fundamental and ontological nature, not just their identity. The two figures are Jesus Christ and Buddha. On the one hand, Buddha insisted he was just a mere man, not a god, and rejected any appeals to worship him. On the other hand, Jesus in all sorts of ways did claim to be God, and did not refuse the divine adoration of his followers. Indeed, it was the very reason he was put to death: “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you,” said the religious leaders to Jesus, “but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, claim to be God” (John 10:33).
Our question this week is the question on which Christianity hangs. If Jesus is not divine, then his death is meaningless and his resurrection is a myth. But if he is divine, then our whole understanding of God is re-shaped, his death is effective for our forgiveness, and his resurrection promises hope for us and the world. The answer to this question is everything!
We’ll look this week at how Jesus’ words and actions point to his divinity. Ultimately, we’ll look at what this means for us today if these claims are really true.
Our weekly worship guide can be downloaded here.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 6 “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father.
8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”