The Truth About the Founder of Christianity/Part 5 | John Ankerberg Show

The Truth About the Founder of Christianity/Part 5

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By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon; ©{{{copyright}}}
What Did Jesus Claim?

Ed. note: This article is based upon the transcript from programs produced by the John Ankerberg Show. Additional material has been added for this print version.

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What Did Jesus Claim?

The contemplation of things as they are, without substitution or imposture, without error or confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention. — Francis Bacon

Before we proceed, let us illustrate some small portion of the impact Christ has had historically. We will do this by citing the comments of many famous and noted people—kings, scientists, poets, theologians and philosophers.

We will begin with a concise sampling of declarations made by Jesus Himself. In light of these statements, the ones that follow are all the more incredible if Jesus really were not who He claims. As you read the words of Jesus, ask yourself, what kind of man would say them? Remember also that even skeptics can’t logically deny that the four Gospel biographies of Christ are based on accurate historical reporting and that at least three were written by those who knew Christ personally and traveled closely with Him for over three years. Due to advances in textual criticism, it must now be accepted as a historic fact that Jesus said and did what the Gospel writers say He said and did. In other words, when we read the Gospel—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—we are, in fact, reading what Jesus Himself actually said, taught and did.[1] Here is what Jesus said:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)
I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies. (John 11:25)
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. (John 3:13)
For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world…. I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:33, 35)
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58)
When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. (John 12:44-45)
You call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and rightly so, for that is what I am. (John 13:13)
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)
…I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:16-17)
I and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:9)

Now, what did Jesus declare of such brazen assertions?

My testimony is valid (John 8:14)
I am the one I claim to be (John 8:28)
…You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37).

Throughout history, untold millions have believed these claims were true. Considering their nature, perhaps that is the amazing thing:

The Apostle John—This is the disciple who testifies to these things [about Jesus] and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. (John 21:24)
The Apostle Paul—He 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. (Colossians 1:16-17)

Most significantly, unlike any other religious leader, Jesus frequently appealed to His ability to prove His claims by predicting the future or performing dramatic miracles, such as healing those born blind and raising the dead:

I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. (John 13:19)
Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. (John 14:11)

If I had done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. (John 15:24)

Read Part 6

Notes

  1. See our Knowing the Truth About the Reliability of the Bible, The Facts on False Views of Jesus (published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR), and Do the Resurrection Accounts Conflict and What Proof is There Jesus Rose from the Dead?

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The John Ankerberg Show

Founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America.
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