Jubilee Weekly August 15, 2017

“How Do the teachings of Jesus Stack up with the Religions of the World?”

Do all of the religions teach basically the same thing?

Did any of the other religious leaders make claims that were similar to Christ’s?

This may surprise you that we have no historical data where any of the founders of the world’s major religions

– apart from Jesus; no one ever claimed to be God. That is a huge fact. Jesus on numerous occasions said that

He was God and/or equal to God. John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.”

  • If He was deliberately miss-leading the people, then He was a liar.
  • Some thought He was mentally unbalanced. If He was, that could make Him to be a lunatic.
  • But, if He was telling the truth, then that would make Him LORD.

Think about the facts —

  • Chinese teachers, Confucius and Lao-tzu focused on moral, social and cultural influences on their people, BUT neither of them was a theologian.
  • Buddha may have been an atheist. We are not sure that he believed in any kind of divinity.
  • Even the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book, does not raise Muhammed to the level of Allah (their god). They see him, Muhammed, as Allah’s chief prophet.
  • None of the Old Testament leaders or prophets were ever raised to the level of God. In fact, in Isaiah 48:11, God said, “I will act for my own sake, indeed my own, for how can I be defiled? I will not give my glory to another.” (HASB) (None of the greats — Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Paul, Peter – were candidates for godhood.)
  • The Hindu personality, Krishna, may have been closest to god-like or appears as such in their sacred writings, the Bhagavad-Gita. When it comes right down to it, scholars are not sure that Krishna ever lived or what time period he lived in.
  • It is important for us to know and remember that God, as we know Him, is totally apart from His creation. We do not reach godhood as humans.

In stark contrast, Jesus made bold claims to be both the Son of God and the Son of Man.

Matthew 11:27, “All things have been entrusted to Me, by My Father. No one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son desires to reveal Him.”

Mark 2:10-11, “But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” He told the paralytic, “I tell you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”

Jesus showed close familiarity with the Father.

Mark 13:36-37, “Otherwise, He might come suddenly and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: BE ALERT.” (Consider the authority with which He spoke.)

In Mark 2:5-7, we hear Him offering forgiveness for people’s sins. “Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ But some of the scribes were sitting there, thinking to themselves: Why does He speak like this? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’”

I think one of the clearest and most powerful claims that Jesus made about Himself is found in Mark 14:61-64, “But He kept silent and did not answer anything. Again, the high priest questioned Him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed one?’ ‘I am,’ said Jesus, ‘and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the power and coming with the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘why do we still need witnesses: You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?’ And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.”

Lastly, we have a number of passages of scripture that bestow titles of deity to Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:36, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty the God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both LORD and Messiah!”

Romans 1:3-4, “Concerning His Son, Jesus Christ our LORD, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and was established as a powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of Holiness.”

Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Conclusion:

I hope you can see that not all religions are the same.

They don’t all teach the same.

Only one founder declared Himself to be God.

Only one founder declared Himself to be the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.

Only one founder declared Himself to be the way to the Father’s house.

Only one founder died to atone for our sins and rose again so that we might receive from Him the gift of eternal life.

HE IS JESUS THE CHRIST!

Put your total trust in Him.

Pastor Leonard