Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19990331.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part LXXVI: Certifying Christianity Via Christ's Keeping His Claims Under Threat Of Death To The Contrary
Lesson: Though He admitted He KNEW He was under a death threat for doing so, Jesus stoutly held to His claims to be Israel's Messiah and incarnate God! Jesus thus showed He BELIEVED the claims!
- Some who deny Christ's deity assert that He never viewed Himself as God as did His followers.
- In answer to this challenge, Luke exposed what Jesus clearly believed concerning His own identity as it relates to claims of His being Messiah and God as clarified under the clear threat of death for Jesus to renounce those very claims. Luke 22:63-71 reveals this invaluable insight for us as follows:
- Certifying Christianity Via Christ's Keeping His Claims Under Threat Of Death To The Contrary.
- Luke's Gospel was written to give Theophilus insight on the credibility of the Christian faith, Luke 1:3-4:
- As such, he reveals what Jesus truly felt about claims of His being the Messiah and God in Luke 22:63-71:
- After His arrest, Christ's captors tried to intimidate Him into recanting His claims as Messiah and God or at least discredit Jesus before His followers, Luke 22:63-67a, 70a. (Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 261)
- First, Christ's captors abused Him in an effort to wear down His confidence or to discredit Him, Luke 22:63-65: (a) Jesus was mocked and then struck in a humiliating manner, Luke 22:63. (b) Then, in a calculated effort to m ake Him look foolish, they blind-folded Jesus, struck Him in the face and tried to get Him to prophecy who had done it, Luke 22:64. The plan was to goad Jesus into saying which one had hit Him so they would make Him look foolish i n just playing along with their abusive guessing-game. (c) Luke records that they said many other slanderous things against Jesus.
- Second, on the heels of this abuse, His captors brought Jesus before the weighty sanhedrin so it could use its pressure coupled with the subliminal threat of impending execution implied in the previous abuse to intimidate Jesus into saying what they wanted Him to say, Luke 22:66.
- Third, just what the religious leaders revealed they wanted Jesus to recant were (a) His claims to be the Messiah (Luke 22:67a) and God (Luke 22:70a in light of John 5:18). (b) Their efforts to make Jesus recant these two claims became clear when the religious leaders officially asked Jesus if He was the Messiah (v. 67a) and if He was the Son of God (v. 70a). The questions coming on the heels of the previous physical and verbal abuse implied that if Jesus recanted these claims, things would go easier for Him where His holding to these claims would mean almost certain execution!
- Jesus' response to these questions about His identity under pressure of a death threat revealed that Jesus truly viewed Himself as the actual Messiah and Incarnate God as follows, Lk. 22:67b-69, 70b-71:
- When asked if He was the Messiah, Jesus stated He knew that His life was threatened: (a) First, He replied that were He to tell His captors what He felt of His Messiahship claim, they would not believe Him anyway, Lk. 22:67b. (b) Second, Jesus said that had he responded with a rabbinical question-and-answer format to instruct His captors, they would not answer Him, Lk. 22:68a. (c) [There is important manuscript evidence that the KJV's phrase "nor let me go" in v. 68b should be omitted as the NIV treats it, cf. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Com. on the Grk. N. T., p. 178. Accordingly, we will not comment on v. 68b to be sur e we reflect what only inspired Scripture for sure says!]. Thus, Jesus revealed He knew He was already doomed to death by His captors!
- So, realizing this threat to His life, Jesus said He was the Messiah of Daniel 7:13-14, Lk. 22:69.
- In response to the second question of His being the Son of God, in the Greek text, Jesus literally said, "(What) you say, that I myself am." (UBS Grk. N.T., p. 307)
- This "I myself am" phrase is an emphatic expansion of the simple verb that would be translated "I am" wherein the subject is written along with the verb to emphasize the subject. In other words, Jesus went out of His way to make it clear that He felt He Himself was actually God incarnate!
- Christ's statements were so clearly consistent with His original claims to be the Messiah and deity that His captors ended the meeting to send charges to Pilate to ask for Christ's execution, Luke 22:71-23:1.
Application: (1) Be assured that our faith did NOT originate with the disciples, but with JESUS! (2) Be sure that Jesus WANTS us to be so sure of His STRONG claims while under ultimate duress!