Day two of our VBS this week is, “Is Jesus more than just a good man?”. Most people have heard of Jesus and many of them believe that He was an actual man who walked on this earth, a great teacher and leader, yet not God. In the last article, we looked at the evidence that proves that Jesus is the Son of God, or, in other words, God, Himself. Let’s check out the facts and determine if Jesus were just a good man or was there more to Him.
Remember, our theme for VBS this year is based on 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, we need to examine the evidence so that we can give an accurate account of who Jesus is and what He is able to do.
I. Jesus is a great teacher
One of the things that many people will praise Jesus for, even if they do not believe that He is God, is the fact that He was a great Teacher. In the gospel of Mark, chapter 6, we learn of His desire to teach people God’s Word. On the Sabbath, when people gathered at the synagogue, Jesus went there with His disciples and began to teach. The people were amazed at His teaching. There was something different about it. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ teaching literally knocked the people off of their feet because His teaching had power that the religious leaders of the day did not have. Some of the people accepted what He was teaching, like the disciples, while the majority overlooked His message and tried to attack Him. People are no different today. His message is just as powerful today as it was some 2,000 years ago and as people begin to understand His message, they usually either react the way that the disciples did and believe or they try to attack Him in one way or another to justify their not accepting His life changing message. Later on in Mark 6, Jesus once again encounters a large group of people and He began to teach them because He felt compassion on them, as they were like lost sheep without a shepherd. Jesus was more than just a great teacher because His message has the power to change people’s lives for the better.
II. Jesus uses the Word of God to change people
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4 we find Jesus once again in the synagogue teaching the people. This time we see Him open up the Word of God to teach them. This is how Jesus uses His message to transform people. In II Timothy 3:16-17, we encounter the way in which Christ uses the Word of God to transform us.
- Training in righteousness
First, as we are exposed to the Word of God, we are taught things like who God is, what we are like, what is right and what is wrong etc. and as we are taught God begins to show us where we are wrong. The word reprove means to be shown where you are wrong with the purpose of getting back right. God exposes our weaknesses and faults as we are learning from His Word. Once He shows us where we are wrong, He then shows us how to get right and helps us get there. Once we are corrected, God then begins to train us day by day so that we learn to stay on the right path. If we will walk through this process with Jesus leading the way, we will notice that our lives will begin to change day by day.
III. Jesus works miracles
Back in Mark 6, we saw that Jesus was a great Teacher and took advantage of every opportunity to teach people God’s Word. He also performed miracles. The feeding of the 5,000 was an impressive miracle but it is not the most impressive miracle that Jesus ever performed. I would suggest that the most impressive miracle that Jesus performs is the fact that He is able to change a person’s life for the better. In fact, it is more than just making people better, He literally sets us free from our wost enemy, our sin nature, ourselves. There are a lot of great teachers who can help people improve their lives but there is no one other than Jesus who can set a person free from his slavery to sin.
IV. Jesus is the Messiah
The final thing that makes Jesus more than just a great man is the fact that He is God’s Promised One, the Messiah, God in the flesh. I referenced Luke 4 earlier and will do it again here but from another perspective. Jesus was and is the long awaited Messiah, Savior of the world. This Messiah was foretold all the back in the book of Genesis chapter 3. God set up mile markers in the Scriptures that were revealed in human history leading up to the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled all of those prophecies. Luke 4 is a fulfillment of Isaiah 61:-12. When Jesus stood in the synagogue in Luke 4, He fulfilled what was written in Isaiah. As the Messiah, He is able to set free the captives. All of us are born into captivity because of our sin natures, we are slaves to sin. Jesus the Messiah is able to set us free and change our lives. No one else has the ability to do that.
Have you been taught by Jesus through the Word of God? Has He shown you where you are wrong and helped you get back right? Is He training you to walk on the right path? Has He set you free from your slavery to sin? Are you living in that freedom? Has your life ever been radically changed by Jesus Christ? May the Lord help us be taught by Christ through His Word so that we can have our lives transformed and live as free people, no longer enslaved to sin’s devastating grip.