Either Jesus was a total wacko….or He was the real thing…God in the flesh, our Savior and redeemer! God alone has the ability and authority to redeem us, to forgive our sins. Jesus says, “But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” In His day, the religious authorities considered this blasphemous…worthy of death. Yet, directly after Jesus announces that HE has the authority to forgive sin……He clinches it with a healing of a paralytic man…..and even these religious men were amazed!
Mark 2:10-12 (TNIV) 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
When you have doubts about Jesus, when it is hard to fathom who He is….indeed God…….when the problems in your life overwhelm you, when everything is going wrong…….recognize that Jesus HAS the authority to heal and forgive! But it takes us seeking Him out and coming to Him in prayer….it takes our surrender……knowing that indeed Jesus is who He says He is. Who was Jesus? Well, I can tell you many things from Scripture…..but even if we simply look outside of Scripture to the many accounts (some of these accounts by those who did not believe that He was indeed who He said He was), WE CLEARLY SEE WHO He was. (and all these accounts align with Scripture, just sayin’…..)
“We do know some things about the historical Jesus — less than some Christians think, but more than some skeptics think. Though a few books have recently argued that Jesus never existed, the evidence that he did is persuasive to the vast majority of scholars, whether Christian or non-Christian,” said Marcus Borg, a retired professor of religion and culture at Oregon State University
The following “facts” about Jesus would be affirmed by most history scholars, Marcus Borg said: — Jesus was born sometime just before 4 B.C. He grew up in Nazareth, a small village in Galilee, as part of the peasant class. Jesus’ father was a carpenter and he became one, too, meaning that they had likely lost their agricultural land at some point.
— Jesus was raised Jewish and he remained deeply Jewish all of his life. His intention was not to create a new religion.
— He left Nazareth as an adult, met the prophet John and was baptized by John. During his baptism, Jesus likely experienced some sort of divine vision.
— He became a noted healer, teacher and prophet. More healing stories are told about Jesus than about any other figure in the Jewish tradition.
— He was executed by Roman imperial authority.
— His followers experienced him after his death.
It is clear that they had visions of Jesus as they had known him during his historical life. So….was Jesus a liar or a lunatic……He backed up what He said…He healed, He performed miracles. Jesus was a teacher and a prophet; He shared the inner wisdom that we need to live a fulfilled life. Jesus was and is indeed God.
Matthew 9:10-13 (The Message Version) Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?” Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.”
TODAY…recognize that Jesus is the great healer….that Jesus can provide healing to us because HE WAS WHO HE SAID HE WAS….indeed, Jesus is God. He loves us and wants us to love Him and also….He wants us to love each other. YES, TODAY…recognize that Jesus is the great healer….