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Preachers always notice the listeners who are paying careful attention. Our eyes tend to go to the people who are busy looking up passages of scripture whenever a reference is given. Another strong indication of a good listener is when someone in the audience is taking notes. This is different from drawing pictures. The preacher can also notice the eyes that appear to be open, but that bland stare can also indicate that the rhythm and tone of the speaker's voice and the holy atmosphere is putting the person to sleep.
Once while I was preaching a sermon series from the Gospel of John, a person was listening very attentively while they took down notes and wrote questions that were later given to me. This curious seeker of truth asked me after the service, "Jesus makes no claim that he thought of himself as the only Son of God but rather the Son of Man (a child of God - as we are all children of God) Where does Jesus claim to be God's Son?."
First of all, allow me to state that to ask the above question is a bit like asking: "is honey sweet or pleasing?" So why do we bring up such a provocative question right here at this time of year? We all sincerely hope that those who are seeking answers to life's perplexing questions will confidently turn to Jesus Christ for eternal salvation and help in times of trouble. He is willing and able to deliver us from the greatest fears and provide lasting comfort and hope.
It is always reasonable for us to consider the question if Jesus of Nazareth, born of the virgin Mary who was married to Joseph ever considered that he was really and truly THE only begotten Son of God. There is no place for us to look for this answer except the Holy Spirit inspired Word of God. Some people have a problem with looking to the Bible and they audaciously accuse believers of being lowly and ignorant "Bible thumpers." This type criticism is most likely one of those things people say when they have run out of anything intelligent to say. In the modern parlance, we might simply say to them, "whatever." Nevertheless, our faith in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit comes from our faith in the Bible as the Word of God and we have no problem with that.
Some people say they cannot believe in Jesus Christ because we do not have any evidence. They do not believe the words of the Bible are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I believe in many things that I have never seen before. Just because I personally never visited Del Rio, Texas, I believe that the place exists. I used to like to listen to a radio program from there when I was a bit younger. More importantly, there is no doubt in my mind about the reality of things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and yes - even hatred and malice.
This is not the time of year that people celebrate the birth of Christ. However, considering this question makes me think of the great hymns about Christ by the great composers. I also think of the great works of art by the great masters of art. They were inspired to do their best work to capture the regality and love of Christ the Lord. H.G. Wells placed Jesus of Nazareth at the top of a list of six of the world's greatest characters. Please consider the great impact Christ has had, and continues to have upon this world.
The angel Gabriel informed Mary: "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High." (Luke 1:32 NIV) No other figure in history has had such a powerful impact upon the world. Time is calculated from His birth. (BC & AD) The first day of the week memorializes His resurrection. None of the atheistic Communist leaders of the Soviet Union could find the courage to mount an effective challenge to change the Russian name for Sunday. The English equivalent of the Russian Voskrecenye is Resurrection Day. When Christians partake of the Lord's Supper, we recognize this as a monument to faith that Christ died for our sins. Moreover, when we read the beautiful New Testament that is a compilation of inspired books, we are reading a monument that is two thousand years tall.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. The descriptions about the sonship of Christ teach us about the relationship that exists between the eternal Father and the eternal Son. The apostle Peter confessed: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." (Matthew 16:16) Jesus accepted this and blessed Peter for making this powerful confession of faith. The whole reason why the Sanhedrin charged Christ with blasphemy was that He claimed to be the Son of God. (Mark 14:61-62) When the Father gave the Son the commission to go to earth as the Savior, the Son came in obedience, but He was not an inferior being to God the Father. Scripture teaches us that Christ is equal to God. (John 1:1-14, John 5:17-25, Philippians 2:6)
Long ago, the Jewish prophet and Persian nobleman Daniel declared; "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence." (Daniel 7:13) Jesus Christ quoted from Daniel's prophecy when He was on trial and the chief priest asked Him if He was Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 14:62)
Dear friends, Jesus of Nazareth knew who He was - the Christ and Son of the Living God. He understood the difficulty of His mission to earth. Do you know Jesus today as your Savior and Lord? Christ Jesus came to seek those who are lost in sin. Turn from sin and turn to Christ for salvation by confessing your faith, and being baptized into Christ.
You are invited to attend the services of the Church of Christ at the corner of 3rd and E Streets. Write me with any questions or comments David Binkley, Sr., P.O. Box 186, Cedar Key, FL 32625 or E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also request to receive the daily WORD OF THE DAY by e-mail. Check out our web site at www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com.