Monday, March 4, 2013

The Real Truth About Jesus Christ (Part 3)

2. His Teachings 
Jesus Christ is the greatest teacher that human history has ever known. He taught us the truth about God and all about human destiny. Though His teaching was simple and clear, yet it was sublime, authoritative and pure. He spoke words of absolute truth, mixed with grace and mercy. 

A. About God – He taught that God loved man and wants to give him true happiness. God does not enjoy judging man; He wants rather to give him everlasting life. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” wrote the Apostle John (John 3:16). 

Jesus taught that God hears our prayers and that He knows all of our needs – physical as well as spiritual needs. He taught that God is our heavenly Father who loves His creatures; He even takes care of the birds and feeds them; and without His permission not one single hair can fall from our heads (Matthew 6:26, 10:29-31). 

God welcomes the sinner who repents, just as a father welcomes his son who was lost (Luke 15:11-32). “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). 

He taught that in spite of God’s holiness and the fact that He hates sin, yet He is loving and merciful, calling sinners to repent so that He can forgive them. Then He gives them a new life with a nature that enables them to live a life of righteousness. 

B. About Man – Jesus taught that man has great value from God’s perspective. He also warned: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). This means the lake of fire. But whoever repents and believes on Jesus Christ will have eternal life; he crosses over from death to life (John 5:24). 

He taught His followers, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who … persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). Be willing to sacrifice for the good of others. He also taught them to live a life of purity and honesty. 

C. About Himself – Jesus taught that He came from heaven to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). God sent Him to be the “Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). He said about Himself: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness” (John 8:12). He also said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). He never turned away any sinners who were really sorry for their sins and believed on Him (John 6:37). 

Although He never sinned in thought, word or deed, He came to die for our sins. When evil men crucified Him He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). 

D. Use of Parables – He often taught by using parables (simple stories that had spiritual meanings). For example, He told a story about a man who had two sons. The youngest son rebelled and left home. He wasted his money on ungodly living. When he ran out of money he finally came to his senses; he felt bad about what he had done to his father and decided to return to his home. To his surprise his father received him with great joy and welcomed him back. Jesus said that in the same way God welcomes sinners who repent and return to Him. 

Teaching about the importance of listening to and obeying God’s Word, Jesus told a parable about a farmer sowing seed in his field. As he was planting, some of the seed fell on a path and the birds ate it up; some seed fell on rocky places and didn’t grow; but some fell in good soil and grew and produced a good crop. In the same way when we accept God’s Word (the seed) into our hearts and obey what it says, we also produce a good crop (life) for God (Mark 4:1-20). 

E. He knew the future – Jesus could foretell the future too. He didn’t do it for money or for fame, but rather for the glory of God. He warned that just before He returns the second time there will be increasing earthquakes, epidemics and wars. It seems to us that His coming must be soon, although He never revealed exactly when it will be. The important thing is to be ready when He does come.

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