As I sit here preparing for our opening night of VBS (vacation Bible school), I am reminded of the overwhelming evidence that Jesus truly is the Son of God. When dealing with evidence, eye-witness testimony is pretty important. For our first lesson, we want to take a look at some eye-witness testimony of people who heard God call Jesus the Son of God. Evidence is key to making any decision and God has called us as believers to be ready to defend our faith with evidence when people ask us. In fact, this is the theme of this year’s VBS. Agency D3; Discover, Decide, Defend. The key verse for the week is I Peter 3:15:
. . . always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you . . .
In order to make a defense, I have to know the evidence, understand it, and be able to present it in a clear manner. The Gospel gives us hope because without it our situation is hopeless. We are born sinners and are enslaved to sin until someone sets us free. unfortunately, we do not have the ability to set ourselves free. Jesus came to this earth to set us free from sin’s death grip on us. We want to examine that evidence so that we can make an informed decision and then share that good news with others. The reason that Christ was and is able to set us free from sin’s grip is because He is God. The Bible presents Christ as the Son of God or God Himself, in human form. What proof do we have of this? Are there eye-witnesses to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God? In order to be able to give a defense based on evidence, I need to know the evidence. Let’s dig in and see what we discover.
I. Saint Matthew’s eye-witness account
Matthew was one of Christ’s disciples and he wrote his Gospel account based on what he had witnessed. He was also guided by God, Himself, to write the evidence that he did.
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (II Peter 1)
Matthew did not write down what he wanted to write. He wrote based on his experience but he was guided by God. The Words that he wrote came directly from God. The evidence that we are going to examine is directly from God.
Matthew 3:13-17 reveals what Matthew witnessed, God said, and John the Baptist experienced. John the Baptist baptized Jesus and when He rose out of the water, God demonstrated who He was by having the Holy Spirit descend on Him is the form of a dove. It was visible, for all to see and witness. Then God goes on to say that Jesus is His Son, in whom He is well pleased. Not only was there visible evidence that Christ is the Son of God, there was also audible evidence to prove who Christ was and is. Matthew recorded this event for us along with the eye-witness report.
II. Saint John’s eye-witness account
There is another John, the Gospel writer, who also witnessed who Christ was and is and wrote it down for us to examine. Of course, just like Matthew, John did not write what he wanted, he wrote his experiences as God led him. In John 1:29-36, we discover John’s account. We see John the Baptist sharing his pervious experience when he baptized Jesus. John reveals some helpful insights about who Jesus is and what He is able to do. Not only is Jesus the Son of God, He is also able to take away the sins of the world because He is God. This is part of what makes the Gospel good news. John confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. He had seen the Holy Spirit descend and he had heard the voice of the Lord. Have you allowed Jesus to take away your sins? Has He set you free from your slavery to sin? There is plenty of evidence, what are you going to do with and about that evidence?
III. Isaiah’s prophetic account
There is one more piece of evidence that I would like to examine before making our decision. Isaiah the prophet wrote almost 600 years before the birth of Christ. God used Isaiah to write some important prophecies about the first advent of Jesus, the long awaited Messiah. Isaiah wrote about what would happen to the Messiah when He walked this earth.
1 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold ; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42)
We were to know the Chosen One, the Messiah by the fact that the Lord will place His Holy Spirit upon Him. God did this in Matthew 3 when Jesus was baptized. There is evidence written down close to 600 years before the birth of Christ about what would happen and then it happened before the eyes of John the Baptist.
So, what are you going to do with the evidence that has been presented to you? We have discovered that Jesus is the Son of God and He has the ability to deal with our sin problem. Now we have to decide what we are going to do with that information. Are we going to believe it or not? Are we going to accept it and live by it or not? Are we going to defend that evidence or not? May the Lord help us take that evidence, understand it, live it, and share it with others.