Archives for September 2013

Doubt is a choice.

I am seeing in my life and the lives of other believers that when we are tempted and when we fail, those moments are not moments where we doubt that God is real or powerful.  Those moments are moments when we choose to believe that we know what is better for ourselves than does God.  It is a rejection of His authority, and a doubting of His goodness rather than a doubting of His existence and ability.

18 And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” 21 And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him,“One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 23 But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” 28 And Peter said, “See, we have left our homes and followed you.” 29 And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”  – Luke 18:18-30, ESV

In this passage Jesus is affirming His own goodness and His own deity.  Just like the lesson of the rich young man, we must trust Him even when we don’t want to.

God is good, so what about Jesus?

And as He was setting out on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments:  ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'”  And Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
– Mark 10:17-21

Sometimes people like to point to this exchange and say that Jesus never claims to be God.  That is far from what is happening here.  Jesus recognizes the mans heart.  He is looking for that self assurance that we all want.  So He comes to Jesus hoping that he will be justified.  But Jesus sees that there is more to the situation than just the mans question.

The man wants eternal life, and once Jesus answers Him with some of the commandments, the man confidently says he has obeyed them.  Notice how Jesus only lists the commands that have to do with our relationships with other people.  He does not mention the commands that speak directly to our relationship with God.  This tells me that Jesus knew which commands were a struggle for the man.

Then we actually see a claim to deity.  After the man says that he has followed all the commands that Jesus has spoken, Jesus tells him to sell all He has, that he will have treasure in heaven and tells him to come follow Him.  These statements are ludicrous without the authority to back them up.   First, What gives Jesus the authority to tell the man to sell his property?  The fact that He is God and all things were created and given through Him to begin with.  What gives Jesus the authority to assure this man that He will have treasure in Heaven?  The fact the He is God and all things were created and given through Him to begin with.  And what gives Jesus the authority to tell this man to come and follow Him?  The fact that He is God and all things were created and given through Him to begin with.

This passage is actually a very strong case for the evidence of the deity of Jesus Christ.  So when Jesus says that only God is good, he is actually pointing out that this man has not come to grips with the fact that Jesus is indeed God.

The question is, have you?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

And the Word become flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  – John 1:1-5 & 14