Hi people I am writing again. I am always hungry to write on an article of my own & I did have one this time, I was going to write on Isaiah 64 because when I read it I felt as though I was spiritually in a cup & stirred with a spoon. I mean it was amazing. However I have an odd feeling to write on the Word I heard again in Church. The reason I feel more strongly to write on this is because there are people who site this piece of scripture so as to show that Jesus is not God. This situation seems to me as very dangerous, which can pollute a mind that knows little. Like one famous preacher puts it, if you were to come across a poisonous snake when you enter your house, will you say O see there is a poisonous snake and then get about your daily chores around the house. No, you would make sure that the snake is so far out that there is no chance of it coming back. So that is how I feel right now and that is why I will leave Isaiah 64 for now and write on what I heard in Church today. I would like to compare “people who try to prove that Jesus is not God as per the Bible” to this. Consider this if I were to tell you “Hey friend, you are so amazing & the last thing I would want to do is hurt you”. A person can easily choose words from this sentence & put it as “Hey friend, I want to hurt you”. So you see the words taken do exist in what was originally said but it totally changes the meaning of the sentence. In fact, if I may say so it is a corruption of what was originally said. This is the parallel that I draw with people who try to prove from the Bible that Jesus is not God. These people carefully choose scripture to suit their convenience & will ignore the context the scripture was written.
The piece of scripture I am talking about is Luke 18:18-30
18 A Jewish leader asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to receive eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; respect your father and your mother.’ “
21 The man replied, “Ever since I was young, I have obeyed all these commandments.”
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “There is still one more thing you need to do. Sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.” 23 But when the man heard this, he became very sad, because he was very rich.
24 Jesus saw that he was sad and said, “How hard it is for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 It is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”
26 The people who heard him asked, “Who, then, can be saved?”
27 Jesus answered, “What is humanly impossible is possible for God.”
28 Then Peter said, “Look! We have left our homes to follow you.”
29 “Yes,” Jesus said to them, “and I assure you that anyone who leaves home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the Kingdom of God 30 will receive much more in this present age and eternal life in the age to come.”
As you can see from verse 18, the Jewish leader is asking the wrong person the wrong question. He is calling Jesus Good and at the same time he calls Jesus teacher, which is more like that of a prophet. So it is more like him referring to Jesus as God as well as a prophet. Leaving this aside the question he puts to Jesus is “What can he do to go to heaven”. He was looking to earn his salvation, which as I have helped you understand earlier, Salvation is purely through grace & mercy that purely comes through the sacrifice of Jesus.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Coming back, so what does Jesus do? He puts the question back to the Jewish leader as you can see. This is not Jesus denying that He is God but Jesus is trying to bring about an understanding in the mind of that Jewish leader by asking him some thought provoking questions. In verse 20 Jesus asks the Jewish leader if he knows the following commandments ..’Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; respect your father and your mother.’ You will notice from the above that the very first commandment is missing from the above list. Let me take you to Exodus 20:3 to show you what it is.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
To explain the above commandment, it means that you should not only put gods worshiped by others before the One God but you should also not hold on to anything more that you hold on the One God. Now the Old Testament says that God knew His people but His people did not know their God. Here is some scriptural proof.
22 “For my people are foolish;
they know me not;
they are stupid children;
they have no understanding.
They are ‘wise’in doing evil!
But how to do good they know not.”
It is in the New Testament that God has plainly revealed himself as One God in the Father Son and Holy Spirit. So you see that when Jesus put the statement to the Jewish leader, asking him to give up his riches, which was most precious to him (Jewish Leader) & then follow Jesus. You can then plainly see the parallel between Luke 18:22 and Exodus 20:3. Jesus was actually testing the Jewish leader to see if he willing to hold to the very first commandment. The Jewish Leader subconsciously acknowledged Jesus as God in the start by calling him Good but as Jesus tested, the Jewish leader held on to his money more than he held on God (Jesus). The Jewish leader’s held on to his money like it were a god.
A similar scenario to this is in John 4, where the Samaritan woman also thinks of Jesus as a prophet but Jesus towards the end helps her understand that He is the Messiah, meaning He saves His people from their sins.
6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 A Samaritan woman came to draw some water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” 8 (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)
9 The woman answered, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan so how can you ask me for a drink?” (Jews will not use the same cups and bowls that Samaritans use.)
10 Jesus answered, “If only you knew what God gives and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask him, and he would give you life-giving water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you haven’t got a bucket, and the well is deep. Where would you get that life-giving water? 12 It was our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well; he and his sons and his flocks all drank from it. You don’t claim to be greater than Jacob, do you?”
13 Jesus answered, “All those who drink this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring which will provide him with life-giving water and give him eternal life.”
15 “Sir,” the woman said, “give me that water! Then I will never be thirsty again, nor will I have to come here to draw water.”
16 “Go and call your husband,” Jesus told her, “and come back.”
17 “I haven’t got a husband,” she answered.
Jesus replied, “You are right when you say you haven’t got a husband. 18 You have been married to five men, and the man you live with now is not really your husband. You have told me the truth.”
19 “I see you are a prophet, sir,” the woman said. 20 “My Samaritan ancestors worshipped God on this mountain, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where we should worship God.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the time will come when people will not worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans do not really know whom you worship; but we Jews know whom we worship, because it is from the Jews that salvation comes. 23 But the time is coming and is already here, when by the power of God’s Spirit people will worship the Father as he really is, offering him the true worship that he wants. 24 God is Spirit, and only by the power of his Spirit can people worship him as he really is.”
25 The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah will come, and when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
26 Jesus answered, “I am he, I who am talking with you.”
You can see that Jesus does not force his Lordship on us as if it were some sought of dictatorship; Jesus helps his chosen people understand that He is God through divine understanding. From verse 21 you can see that the man was expecting Jesus to be pleased with his reply. In verse 22 Jesus test him by asking him to give up all that he has and follow Jesus. I would like to clear a common misunderstanding here to; this verse does not mean that only the poor will go to heaven. The reason the Jewish leader is asked to give all he has to the poor is because that is the best way in the eyes of Jesus for him to give up everything and follow Jesus. This also does not mean that everyone who follows Jesus is supposed to give everything away to the poor because as you will notice form 23-25, there was something (riches) that the man held on to that was dearer to him than God (Jesus) & that is why Jesus said in verse 25 that it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.
Now this does not mean that all rich people are going to hell because salvation is not earned as I said earlier. If a rich person were to give up all his belonging and live the life of a sage that would not mean that he has EARNED eternal life. As I said earlier eternal life cannot be earned. It is those to whom God chooses to reveal Himself, in whichever way, who are saved. As Jesus said in verse 27 in terms of being saved, what is humanly impossible is possible by God.
From verses 28-30, I would like to quote the same story from Matthew 19:27-29. I would first like to brief you on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke. These are called Synoptic Gospel as they have similar content with variation in presentation, just as how different people would relay the same event that they mutually experience, differently through words.
27 Then Peter spoke up. “Look,” he said, “we have left everything and followed you. What will we have?”
28 Jesus said to them, “You can be sure that when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the New Age, then you twelve followers of mine will also sit on thrones, to rule the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times more and will be given eternal life.
To conclude you can see from verse Matthew 19:29 that if you put Jesus before whatever you put first in your life then you will not only receive a hundred times more but it would show that God is working within you & you are destined for paradise (heaven).