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We are all about Jesus!

According to the Bible, Jesus was much more than a good man or a good teacher. Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be God. While it seems hard to believe in our present day, it was no easier to believe 2,000 years ago. In fact, Matthew (a follower of Jesus who recorded some of what Jesus said and did) wrote this after Jesus performed several miracles and taught with authority:

"And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him." (Matthew 13:53-57)

You see, the people from his hometown never thought there was anything special about Jesus. Even his own brothers doubted he was God (John 7:5). So when Jesus began to perform mighty miracles and teach with authority about God, that didn’t go over very well.

In Mark 2, Jesus had returned to the town of Capernaum after doing these things, and a huge crowd gathered together in a home to hear him teach. Some men who had a paralyzed friend learned that Jesus was in town, so they picked up their friend and brought him to Jesus, hoping that Jesus would heal him. Mark writes, “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” (Mark 2:5).

You can imagine how that went over. The religious leaders were furious and thought to themselves, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7).

But Jesus knew what they were thinking, and asked them if it was easier to tell someone that their sins were forgiven (the effect of which could not be proven) or if it was easier to tell a paralyzed man to stand up and walk (the effect of which could be immediately proven).

Then Jesus said, “‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’ – he said to the paralytic – ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.’” (Mark 2:10-11). And the man got up right then and there and walked home, leaving the people in amazement.

This is just one of several instances where Jesus claims to be God, to have the authority of God, or to be able to do things that only God can do. After several years of performing miracles, preaching, and teaching, Jesus was betrayed by one of his closest friends, arrested, unjustly tried and condemned, beaten, and brutally executed.

The Jews, the Roman army, and Jesus’ followers all thought that would be the end of Jesus. But then something amazing happened. On the third day after he was crucified, the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid was empty. He appeared to his followers – even more than 500 at one time – over the next 40 days before he ascended into heaven.

Many who doubted him before – including his earthly brothers who at one time thought he was crazy – all came to believe that Jesus was God and the Savior who had come to offer his life for the forgiveness of sins.

What do you believe about Jesus? If you’re not sure and you’d like to talk to someone, please contact us or attend a worship service this weekend. You can also learn more by reading our Statement of Faith and Church Covenant. We’d love to meet you and help you understand what the Bible says about Jesus. Nothing is more important!