The Good News

Discussion of the Best News in the World, the Gospel of Jesus, and related topics

Category Archives: Jesus’ Divinity

Birth of Jesus Christ

Advertisements

Hebrews 10 The Greatest Sacrifice

My thoughts on Hebrews 10:19-25.

In view of what Jesus Christ did in His earthly life for us, let’s reflect and respond.

We who were bought and paid for with a price, the blood of Jesus Christ, are now invited into holy places (to know Him and have Him teach us about holy things and ourselves).

He became the Greatest Highest Priest of all time when He offered Himself for us.  Through His offering the veil is lifted, the veil was torn so we may enter and see His glory and worship Him for who He is and what He’s done for the world and for us.

We draw near Him in full assurance of faith with our hearts made clean by the sprinkling of His blood.  Our evil conscience has been cleansed and liberated.  We can approach the holy and marvel that we are attracted to Him and that we are worthy to have these thoughts and desires.

We hold fast, never laying down nor forgetting our confession to the truth of Christ’s work and redemption.  Fear not and no not waver.  Why?  He who promised is faithful to His people to fulfill all that  He promised in His Covenant with us and otherwise.  He is the faithful, Covenant-keeping God.  Therefore, we consider how to motivate others to also be faithful to Him, to love Him and serve Him and others.

Don’t neglect the Community and the coming together in person like some do.  Encourage one another and do it more vigorously as Evil is hunting, as you see the end coming and hope in the promise of Jesus’ return.

Cease the Day!

Hebrews 10: 19-25 ESV

Messiah

Gospel of John 2

Gospel of John 1

The Gospel of Jesus Christ in Mark 2

The Gospel of Jesus Christ in Mark

How It Is for Muslim to Come to Jesus

Pray for this lady.  God knows her and her need.  Be her comfort Lord Jesus!

Man Born Blind

In John 9 Jesus walks by a man who has never seen.  This man was born blind.  Image result for man born blind in the bible

I read this section last week and the reactions of the man, his parents, the disciples and the Pharisees all struck me.

After this miracle, even the neighbors are confused whether the man is the same man they had known from childhood (verse 8).  The Pharisees did not believe, they believed this healing was impossible (v 13).  They began investigating what they perceived as trickery (v 18).  The Pharisees say that Jesus is a sinner and from the Old Testament we know that God does not hear sinners. (Jesus did not dispute this claim.) But, the man born blind makes a strong point: “One thing I know, I was blind and not I see!” “You, Pharisees do NOT listen!” (v 24) The Pharisees respond” “We follow Moses but we don’t know this man.”  In the Jewish history, no one had been healed of blindness.

The man born blind presents first hand information to the Pharisees and to their apparent bias to the evidence: “This is amazing! You do not know where he is from yet he opened my eyes. God listens to those who worship him.  Never has anyone opened eyes of the blind.  If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” Pharisees: “Are you trying to teach us?”

Jesus comes to the man and reveals  that he is Messiah, the Son of Man: “I came so that those who do not ‘see’ may ‘see.'” (v 35)  Jesus then turns to the Pharisees and condemns them because they claim sight but are blind and refuse to believe the clear evidence presented to them (v 41).

A man is a most pitiable condition receives physical sight and another amazing revelation.  Not only does he gain sight, which he never had, he sees Jesus for who he truly is: the unique, promised Son of Man.  The Son of Man has special meaning to Jews. Jesus is the most notable son of man of all time.

“The Son of Man” is a messianic title that refers back to the mysterious, human-divine figure of “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7.  That one would rule over all the nations of the earth forever.  This Son of Man was to be “lifted up” by being crucified (John 3:14), will provide divine revelation (John 6:27) and will act with end-time authority (John 5:27 and 9:39).  See ESV Study Bible notes.

What do you know about the son of man?  Have you met him? He still lives in the 21 century.

Related:
Jesus Heals Man Born Blind
Grace to You
Man Born Blind
Blind Man Sees

The Case for Christ

I read The Case for Christ many years ago and other Strobel books.  From the book you can see that Lee was searching and did exhaustive interviews all across the country(USA) and maybe some abroad.  Bishop Barron has done the best summary of the book and the new movie out on Lee Strobel’s search and what he found.  I’ve included the article from wordonfire.org below and hope you enjoy it.

The Case for Christ is a film adaptation of Lee Strobel’s best-selling book of the same name, one that has made an enormous splash in Evangelical circles and beyond. It is the story of a young, ambitious (and atheist) reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who fell into a psychological and spiritual crisis when his wife became a Christian. The scenes involving Lee and his spouse, which play out over many months of their married life, struck me as poignant and believable—and I say this with some authority, having worked with a number of couples in a similar situation. In some cases, a non-believing spouse might look upon his partner’s faith as a harmless diversion, a bit like a hobby, but in other cases, the non-believer sees the dawning of faith in his beloved as something akin to a betrayal. This latter situation strongly obtained in the Strobel’s marriage.

In order to resolve the tension, Lee used his considerable analytical and investigative skills to debunk the faith that was so beguiling his wife. The focus of his inquiry was, at the suggestion of a Christian colleague at the Tribune, the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus didn’t rise, his friend explained, Christianity crumbles like a house of cards. The narrative unfolds, then, as a kind of detective story, Strobel hunting down leads, interrogating experts, asking the hard questions.

I liked this for a couple of reasons. First, at its best, Christianity is not fideist, that is to say, reliant upon a pure and uncritical act of faith on the part of its adherents. Rather, it happily embraces reason and welcomes critical questions. Secondly, and relatedly, Christianity is a stubbornly historical religion. It is not a philosophy (though it can employ philosophical language), nor is it a spirituality (though a spirituality can be distilled from it); rather, it is a relationship to an historical figure about whom an extraordinary historical claim has been made, namely, that he rose bodily from the dead.

Now especially in recent years, many attempts have been made to mitigate the scandal of this assertion. Jesus was a great moral exemplar, a powerful teacher of spiritual truth, an inspiring man of God—and it doesn’t particularly matter whether the reports of resurrection are factually accurate. Indeed, it is probably best to read them as mythic or symbolic. To all of that, classical Christianity says no. It agrees with Lee Strobel’s colleague: if the resurrection didn’t happen, Christianity should be allowed to fall onto the ash heap of history. Therefore, watching our intrepid investigator go about his work is, for a true Christian, thrilling, precisely because the questions are legitimate and something is very really at stake.

So what were his inquiries? First, he wondered whether the resurrection stories were just fairy tales, pious inventions meant to take away our fear of death. But he learned that, in point of fact, many people claimed to have seen Jesus after his crucifixion, including five hundred at once. Moreover, most of the leaders of the early Church went to their deaths defending the legitimacy of what they taught. Would anyone do that for a myth or a legend of his own invention?

But another question came to his mind: might they all have been victims of a mass hallucination? A psychologist patiently explained that waking dreams are not shared by hundreds of people at different times and different places. “If hundreds of individuals had the same hallucination, that would be a greater miracle than the resurrection,” she informed him with a smile.

But what about the reliability of the Christian texts themselves? Weren’t they written long after the events described? A Catholic priest, who is also an archeologist and specialist in ancient manuscripts, told him that the number of early copies of the Christian Gospels far surpasses that of any other ancient text, including the Iliad of Homer and the Dialogues of Plato.

What about the “swoon theory,” according to which Jesus did not really die on the cross but only lost consciousness, only to be revived sometime later? A Los Angeles based physician detailed for him the brutal process of a Roman execution, which resulted in the victim slowly bleeding to death and asphyxiating. The swoon theory, the doctor concluded, “is rubbish.”

At each stage of the process, Strobel continued to wonder, question, balk, and argue, all the time maintaining the default position that Christianity is bunk. Nevertheless, it was becoming clear that the relentlessness of the counter-arguments and their stubborn congruence with one another was wearing him down. This made me think of John Henry Newman’s famous account of how we come to religious assent. It is very rarely by virtue of one clinching argument, Newman said, but rather through the slow, steady confluence of inference, hunch, intuition, experience, the witness of others, etc. This convergence of probabilities, under the aegis of what Newman called the “illative sense,” customarily leads the mind to assent.

In the course of their conversation, Strobel’s priest-archeologist interlocutor showed the skeptical journalist a reproduction of the Shroud of Turin, purported to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Gazing into the eyes of the image, Strobel asked, “What would have made him go through all of this?” The priest responded, “That’s easy: love.” As the arguments were jostling in his head, Strobel remembered that image and that explanation—and the filmmakers insinuate that this is what finally pushed him over into belief.

The Case for Christ is interesting for any number of reasons, but I think it is particularly compelling for its subtle portrayal of the psychological, spiritual, and intellectual dynamics of evangelization.

Related:

The Disturbing Fact of the Resurrection

Beyond Blind Faith

From Atheist to Jesus Follower

When Do We Have Enough Evidence to Know Christianity is True?

Athiest Come to Christ