jesus claimed to be the christ - god's chosen one!
Did Jesus think He was the Chosen One? Did He actually claim to be God?
The Claims of Jesus: According to the Bible, there is NO doubt that He considered Himself the Christ - The Chosen one who would reconcile the world back to God:
Personal Relationship: Even at Age 12, Jesus claimed a personal relationship that the Hebrews are uncomfortable with when He said: "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" Luke 2:49b
Jesus Proclaimed: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Jesus Claimed Authority: (After some people brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus to heal him, Jesus said to him:) "Your sins are forgiven." (The crowd was incensed by this apparent blasphemy, because only God has the authority to forgive sins - so Jesus said to them:) "Which is easier: to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…" He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Luke 5:20b, 22b-25
Jesus Proclaimed to the Samaritan Woman: The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am He." John 4:25-26
Jesus Introduced the New Covenant from God: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many..." Mark 14:24a
Jesus' 'Blasphemous' Claims Almost Got Him Killed: "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I AM!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself... John 8:58-59
In the end, it is because Jesus claimed to be the Messiah that He was put to death!
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teaches of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. "If you are the Christ" they said, "tell us." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You are right in saying I am." Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips." Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate...(They said) "He...claims to be Christ, a King." So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" "Yes, it is as you say." Jesus replied...With loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. Luke 22:66-67a, 70-71, 23:1, 2b-3, 23
Validation of the Witness:
John the Baptist: When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?" Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me." Matthew 11:2-6 (Jesus was validating the confirmation that John was looking for according to scripture in Isaiah 35:5 and 61:1, concerning the arrival of the Kingdom of God.)
Beliefs and Messages of the Early Church:
Peter's Sermon: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:38a
Peter witnesses to a crowd: "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out...that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you - even Jesus." Acts 3:19a, 20
Paul's Message in a Nutshell to the Church in Colosse: "He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him." Colossians 1:15-19
More of the Message to the Colossians: But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation- if you continue in you r faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. Colossians 1:22-23
Paul Presents the Good News to the Romans: "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." Romans 3:21-22a
Nearly every one of Christ's disciples, as well as many of the early Christians, were put to death because of these claims. This is a clear indicator of the sincerity of their belief that Jesus is the Christ, since no man (much less dozens) would willingly be put to death for a lie!
Clark Pinnock summed up the question well:
“Even…the other strata of the New Testament present(s) a strong claim to deity on the part of Jesus, if only implicitly: He will be the judge of humankind, He forgives sins, His presence is God’s presence, one’s attitude toward him decides one’s destiny, His actions are God’s actions, He teaches with divine authority, he receives worship, His is the model human being, and He applies to Himself Old Testament texts that describe God.”
4 Views of Salvation in a Pluralistic World – Clark Pinnock pg 146
The evidence is crystal clear. Jesus claimed to be God, and to be the Chosen One. The Church of Jesus proclaimed this message in no uncertain terms. So what do we do with this information? Like C. S. Lewis so eloquently stated, this claim makes Jesus either a lunatic, or the genuine Son of God. There is no middle ground. Many believe that Jesus was a great religious teacher - there is no disputing the fact that He enabled a world-wide religious phenomenon - but He cannot simply be a great religious teacher and make false claims of deity. We must accept Him as one or the other. Lets pursue that thought a little further, clearly emphasizing the personal decision to be made:
Was Jesus Wrong? For Jesus to be wrong, He either had to be a lunatic or a pathological liar. A liar would make Him a hypocrite of the highest order, since He preached virtues and would be inconsistent with the way He lived His life. There would be no gain in starting an unpopular religious sect. In addition, very few claims are made that He was simply a liar. He would also be a lunatic because there was no gain to be made from His claims, since He lived and died in poverty, and preached a message of repentance and of salvation for sinners that was VERY unpopular!
In addition, He never portrayed any signals of mental illness, such as incoherence or poor relationships. In fact, He is to this day credited even by unbelievers to be among the wisest teachers who ever existed. In light of this evidence, ARE YOU PREPARED TO CALL JESUS A LIAR?
The only alternative is to come to the conclusion that Jesus told the truth - that He is the Son of God!
with the evidence of manuscript presented, the claims of Christ and His
followers, His acts and miracles, it is reasonable to believe that
Jesus IS the SON OF GOD!