google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html

Archive for the 'Investigating Jesus' Category

00:0000:00

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 6
Who is Jesus?

 

Jesus is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about Him. He was born to confirm God's promises, to reveal God as a Father, and to be our representative before Him. He gave us an example of how to live life to the full. He was not merely a man who received some special power. He was not some strange creation that was half man and half God, with his human nature somehow absorbed into the divine. He was much more than those ideas as we will discover as we continue in through our studies about Him in this book.

God’s salvation plan for humans involved triumphant victory over sin, death and the grave. However, no person could be found that was eligible or capable to do this. Therefore, God stepped into human history, so that this victory could be achieved. This God-man would be fully human, so that he would be able to live every feature of humanity, including suffering and death. This God-man would also need to remain fully God, so that he would be able to defeat sin, death and the grave. God’s mission of salvation to earth is clearly seen in these words of his good friend and disciple, John:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).


Jesus, being sinless, was this God-man, consisting as he did of two complete natures, the God nature and the human nature. That is why Jesus being simultaneously fully God and fully human is essential. If Jesus Christ was not fully God and fully human, if he lacked in either way, he could not be the long-awaited Messiah. That Jesus is both God and human is what makes Christianity unique. It is why Jesus’ claims to be the only way to God are true and it is why millions of people today worship Him and acknowledge Him as their God. We investigate more about that next time. With that said, from what little we know of his childhood and early life, we know that Jesus grew in stature and wisdom amongst his peers and community (Luke 2:52)

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 5
Jesus' Birth

 

The writer of the Gospel of Luke, tells us this about the birth of Jesus Christ


In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. (Luke 2:1-8)


That Jesus was a human male is not really disputed. The birth of Jesus is extraordinary at every level. The primary documents about him, found in the Bible, states that he was born of a woman, which tells us that at least in a prenatal state, Jesus was nurtured and formed as any other male baby is.

On the physical level, Jesus was born as any person is, but about his conception, he was conceived like no other person – conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). This was so that Jesus would not be given the sinful nature past that all humans have. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Other documents, outside of the Bible from that period of time, also attest to Jesus and his existence.

Throughout the Old Testament, there is a witness to the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour. From the time of the first sin done by Adam, through the creation of Israel, the life of the Patriarchs and Kings and the oracles of the Prophets – all looking forward to the Messiah coming. The Covenants that God made with people all looked forward to when this Messiah, this Savour, this King would come and rescue Israel. This King was to be their hope, their Saviour.

Christians believe this Messiah King was Jesus Christ. Jesus’ genealogy takes his physical line back to Abraham via David. Abraham was the father of Israel and David the first King. He grew into maturity as any young Jewish boy did. Anything further than this, we have no historical record, although there are several unverified apocryphal stories circulating.

When Jesus was born, his name imbued the very reason he was born. His conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. So, important is our understanding of the birth of Jesus that no fewer than 4 angels come to give us a full picture of the event. Do you think that his parents, Joseph & Mary, or God, ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed he is?” They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which he was born. The name Jesus means ‘one who saves’, or ‘a rescuer’. The entirety of his birth, life and death were centred on this very role - to save or rescue all those who would follow Him.

More about the events surrounding Jesus' birth next week

 

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus

Part 4
Jesus in the Four Gospels

 

In the New Testament, we have four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ which are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are called Gospels. But what is a Gospel, how are the four accounts different or similar and what were the main points each writer sought to communicate?

Firstly, they are called Gospels, because they gave substance to the Gospel or Good News about Jesus Christ as described by one of his early followers, the man we know as the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:16) We know that during his time on earth Jesus Christ wrote nothing formally. Yet after his ascension, the stories about Him were preserved and passed on by his disciples and other Christian teachers and evangelists. For the first thirty years or so, these stories were possibly collated and stored together. That would explain the similarity in the four accounts of Jesus’ life. They are not an exhaustive biographical detail of all that Jesus did.

Similarly, the Gospels are also not diaries reflecting a daily account of Jesus’ life. Rather they are selective accounts of his life, and were probably factual illustrations used by his disciples when preaching about Him. Therefore, they would represent the theology of the disciples, as each story about is Jesus is told. That is why they are trustworthy accounts as well as rooting Jesus’ life in first century Judaism and the Greco-Roman world

The first three of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke are what are called the synoptic Gospels. This is based on their great similarity and possibly use of a common source. Mark was probably the first Gospel written as it is shorter in length than either account written by Matthew or Luke. Mark writes as if Matthew and Luke used the Gospel written by Mark as a guide and elaborated where required. We see this in that Mark wrote none of the great discourses of Matthew (Mark 13 being the exception), such as the Sermon on the Mount. Nor does Mark show the great parables that Luke recorded. Surely if Mark had used either the accounts of Matthew or Luke, he would have used those two examples. Matthew is closer in similarity to Mark than Luke. Luke does share large portions of Mark and quite often verbatim, and with a greater use of the Greek language.

The Gospel of John on the other hand, while still telling about Jesus’ ministry, has vastly different story content. Whereas in the synoptic Gospels Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God frequently, in the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about Himself much more often, as in the seven I AM statements which we will look at in Chapters 9 and 10. For this reason, the Gospel of John was probably written much later than Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus

Part 3

 

Welcome back to this series “Investigating Jesus Christ”. Together we are exploring the life of the most amazing person who ever lived - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We will investigate together who this man was and why he matters.

Today we continue looking at some of the evidences outside of the Bible for the existence of the man we know as Jesus Christ.

Josephus (37-101AD) Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3

“Now around this time lived Jesus, a wise man. For he was a worker of amazing deeds and was a teacher of people who gladly accept the truth. He won over both many Jews and many Greeks. Pilate, when he heard him accused by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, (but) those who had first loved him did not cease (doing so). To this day the tribe of Christians named after him has not disappeared.”

Jewish Talmud (400-700AD) (b. Sanhedrin 43a)

“Jesus practiced magic and led Israel astray”

“It was taught: On the day before the Passover they hanged Jesus. A herald went before him for forty days (proclaiming), “He will be stoned, because he practiced magic and enticed Israel to go astray. Let anyone who knows anything in his favour come forward and plead for him.” But nothing was found in his favour, and they hanged him on the day before the Passover."

 

As we have hopefully seen clearly, there is much evidence for the man we know as Jesus Christ from writings outside of the Bible. These are only a handful of sources which give good evidence for His existence. You may like to do your own investigation into the evidences: whether you are not a Christian, been a Christian for a long time or just begun being a Christian. Go for it! Discover extra WOW factors about this Jesus for yourself! We continue next week, looking at the evidence in the Bible. 

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 2

Welcome back to this series “Investigating Jesus Christ”. Together we are exploring the life of the most amazing person who ever lived - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We will investigate together who this man was and why he matters.

Today we continue looking at some of the evidences outside of the Bible for the existence of the man we know as Jesus Christ.

Mara Bar-Serapion (70AD) from “Letter to his son”)

“What benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as judgment for their crime. Or, the people of Samos for burning Pythagoras? In one moment their country was covered with sand. Or the Jews by murdering their wise king? After that their kingdom was abolished. God rightly avenged these men…The wise king…Lived on in the teachings he enacted.”

Pliny the Younger (61-113AD) from “Book 10, Letter 96”

“The Christians) were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food—but food of an ordinary and innocent kind.

Phlegon (80-140AD)

Here the darkness surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is described, in an effort to explain it: “Phlegon records that, in the time of Tiberius Caesar, at full moon, there was a full eclipse of the sun from the sixth to the ninth hour.” (“Chronography”, 18:1)

“Now Phlegon, in the thirteenth or fourteenth book, I think, of his Chronicles, not only ascribed to Jesus a knowledge of future events . . . but also testified that the result corresponded to His predictions.” (“Origen Against Celsus”, Book 2, Chapter 14)

“And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place …” (“Origen Against Celsus”, Book 2, Chapter 33)

“Jesus, while alive, was of no assistance to himself, but that he arose after death, and exhibited the marks of his punishment, and showed how his hands had been pierced by nails.” (“Origen Against Celsus”, Book 2, Chapter 59)

Suetonius (69-140AD)

“Because the Jews at Rome caused constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus (Christ), he (Claudius) expelled them from the city (Rome).” “Life of Claudius”, 25:4

“Nero inflicted punishment on the Christians, a sect given to a new and mischievous religious belief.” “Lives of the Caesars”, 26.2

Lucian of Samosata: (115-200 AD) from “The Death of Peregrine”. 11-13)

“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account…. You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.”

 

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »

00:0000:00

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 1

 

G’day! Welcome to this series “Investigating Jesus Christ”. Together we will explore the life of the most amazing person who ever lived - Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We will investigate together who this man was and why he matters.

When the human we know as Jesus Christ was born, his name imbued the very reason he was born. His conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. Jesus very name, means “one who saves” and the entirety of his birth, life and death were centred on this very role. His role was to save all those who would follow Him.

Jesus is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about Him. Jesus was born to confirm God's promises, to reveal God as a Father, and to be our representative before Him. He gave us an example of how to live a holy life to the full. Jesus was not merely a man who received some special power, nor was he some strange creation that was half man and half God. He was much more than those ideas. That Jesus is both human and divine is what makes Christianity unique amongst the world’s religions. It is why Jesus’ claims to be the only way to God are true and make sense, and it is why millions of people today worship Him and acknowledge Him as their Lord and their God. The studies are divided into four parts. Are you ready to go? Come and join into this adventure of investigating the most talked about person in history – Jesus Christ.

We start by looking at some of the evidences outside of the Bible for the very existence of the man we know as Jesus Christ. There is much evidence for the existence of the man we know as Jesus Christ, dating from the 1st century to the 5th century. Some claim that there is more evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ than there is for Julius Caesar.

3rd Century Julius Africanus quoting Thallus from the 1st century
“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” (“Chronography”, 18:1)

Tacitus (56-120AD)
“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

("The Annals", 15.44)

 

Click or Tap here to listen to or save this as an audio mp3 file

~

You can now purchase our Partakers books! Please do click or tap here to visit our Amazon site!

Click or tap on the appropriate link below to subscribe, share or download our iPhone App!
Subscribe in podnovaI heart FeedBurneritunes_logo.giffacebook.giftwitter.gifAdd to Google Reader or Homepage
Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Read Full Post »