One of the unexpected emotions I have experienced as I’ve read the Gospels these last few months is shock. Jesus says some seemingly outlandish and authoritative things! On more than one occasion I have found myself rereading a particular passage or verse, thinking to myself, “did he really say that?” Any notion that Jesus is merely a mild mannered, even keeled personality is a misguided one at best. That is not the Jesus of the Bible at all. Instead, Jesus is bold, clear, and he speaks the truth without reservation.
And he would have it no other way. You see, he didn’t just
come to earth as a man, as we have already seen. He came as the God-man. His
deity secures his authority. He formed the earth and everything in it by simply
speaking a word. It is no wonder that he would speak with the same boldness and
power when he became God incarnate.
But is this boldness and clarity really unique to Jesus? We
hear leaders regularly speak with some type of authority. Politicians make statements
promising results. Pastors exhort people with the truths of God’s word. Parents
speak with authority to their children. Teachers make absolute statements.
So what’s the difference?
What Jesus said actually happened. And not only did it
happen, it happened in a relatively short amount of time, namely the lifetime
of the ones who heard him speak directly. Politicians fail to keep promises.
Pastors speak on the authority of God’s word, not their own. Parents fail their
children regularly. Teachers make mistakes. Jesus is the only human being who
ever walked this earth that spoke with authority, made promises, and fulfilled
every one of them. We can bank on everything he says coming true because he is God—and
God always keeps his word.
This is why the only response we can make at the revelation
of Jesus Christ is to worship him alone. While countless people have authority
and power to speak clearly and boldly in our day, they will always fall short
of the perfect Savior, Jesus. We can trust everything Jesus says in the
Gospels, and the rest of the Bible, because he is God. And God’s word will
never fail and never pass away.
Even though we might initially be shocked by the bold claims
of Jesus as we read the Gospels, we must remember that these truths are not
simply there for shock value. They are there to bring us to our knees in humble
worship of the word made flesh. He dwelt among us, died for us, and sustains us
even now with the power of his word.
Read Part 1 and Part 2