Do you reject the Jesus of the Bible?


“Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shown you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped from their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted to him, and said, John performed no miracle: but all things that John spoke of this man were true. And many believed on him there.” John 10:31-42

Many times, the truth’s worst persecutors come from within the outward, visible church — from those who should accept and embrace the truth but do not because it calls into question the validity of established beliefs and traditions.

It happened to Jesus because He claimed to be the Messiah and the Son of God — a claim His teaching and many mighty miracles verified. But the truth He revealed challenged the religious beliefs and traditions of His day — that one could be acceptable to God by living according to traditions and a strict interpretation of God’s law passed down by the rabbis and elders revered in Jesus’ day. Instead of studying the Scriptures and accepting the truth, they rejected the truth and sought to kill Jesus.

Does this still happen today? Let a minister or church member challenge established church dogma or tradition with the clear words of Scripture and see what happens! It almost always results in a rejection of the truth in order to preserve long-held doctrines and traditions, even when such are clearly contrary to the Bible’s teaching. Instead of honest examination and comparison of church dogma and traditions with the Bible, it almost always ends in expulsions, ex-communications, and character assassinations.

Notice where Jesus went — beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing early in his ministry (cf. John 1:28). Jesus and His doctrine were not accepted in Jerusalem, the center and headquarters (so to speak) of Jewish worship in Jesus’ day. His claims and teaching were rejected and condemned by the “seminaries” and mainline “churches” of His day, so Jesus crossed over to the east side of the Jordan.

And what happened there? The seed of truth planted by John the Baptist took root. John had testified of Jesus that He was the Son of God and the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He said Jesus was before him, greater than him, and that he wasn’t even worthy to stoop down and unloose Jesus’ sandals. He called upon all his hearers to repent of their sinful ways and believe in Jesus, the promised Messiah and Savior of the world (cf. Mark 1:4-8; Matt. 3:1-12; Luke 3:1-20; John 1:14-36). And when those who had heard the preaching of John now heard the preaching of Jesus and witnessed His miracles, many believed in Him there.

So also today. It is not always the religious rulers and church officials who come to know and trust in Jesus — many times, they reject Him and the truth He proclaims and hold to their own religious traditions and teachings — but it is those who humbly hear God’s Word and see in Jesus the fulfillment of all that God has promised who are brought to believe.

Jesus is the Seed of the woman in Genesis 3, the Seed of Abraham in Genesis 12, the substitute sacrifice of Genesis 22, the virgin-born Immanuel of Isaiah 7, the Mighty God of Isaiah 9, the sin-bearing Servant of Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, the only-begotten Son of God in Psalms 2 and 110, the one who provides plenteous redemption in Psalm 130, the only-begotten Son of God and the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world in John 1.

The true Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, may challenge your beliefs and traditions. He might even be rejected by your church or religious leaders in favor of another idea of Jesus imagined in men’s hearts. However, it is only the true Jesus revealed to us in the Bible who gives life. He is God the Son in human flesh. He is the one who fulfilled all that God said of Him in the ancient prophesies and promises of Scripture. He paid the penalty for your sins when He suffered and died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of all. He rose again and will be your Judge on the Last Day. Those who trust in Him have pardon, peace, and the promise of the eternal joys of heaven. Those who reject him have no forgiveness, no peace, and will be condemned to the eternal torments of hell. (Cf. John 3:16-18,36; 1 John 5:11-12.)

Look at what God’s prophets (including John the Baptist) say of Jesus in God’s Word. Look at Jesus’ teaching and works. Look at the teaching of Jesus’ apostles recorded for us in the Bible. Place your faith, your hope, your confidence in Jesus, the Son of God and Your Savior!

O gracious and merciful God, grant that I not let my own views and traditions keep me from believing Your Word and placing my faith in Jesus, Your Son, and my Savior. In His name, I pray. Amen.

[Scripture is quoted from the Revised 1833 Webster Version of the Bible.]

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