Monday, March 4, 2013

The Real Truth About Jesus (Part 2)

The Life Of Jesus Christ 
Not only was the birth of Jesus unusual, so was His life. Let’s take a look at His personal life, His teachings, and His works and miracles. 

1. His Personal Life 
Jesus Christ was the only man who ever lived a perfect life. He never committed one sin, in thought, word or deed (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22 and 1 John 3:5). 

No wonder God broke the silence and declared in His own voice: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). 

A. He was holy – The religious leaders of the day watched Him very carefully hoping to find something wrong with Him because they were jealous. Jesus challenged them, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46). No one could answer Him; no one could point to anything bad in Him. 

Even at His trial when Pilate the governor examined Jesus, he had to admit that he could not find any fault in Him (Luke 23:4). After His execution a Roman military commander was heard to say, “Certainly, this was a righteous Man” (Luke 23:47). 

John testified that Jesus was full of grace and truth and that he saw His glory (John 1:14). Isaiah, the prophet, wrote: “He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth” (Isaiah 53:9). 

When you read about prophets in the Old Testament, you will discover that they confess their own sins. For example David said: “For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done this evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:3, 4). Isaiah writes: “But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). 

Prophets of the Old Testament were godly men but they were far from perfect. Jesus Christ was perfect in every way. He was perfect in His love, grace, and in His sacrificing Himself for the sake of others. He was affectionate and merciful, comforting the unfortunate and healing the broken hearted. “He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38). See also Matthew 9:35 and Mark 7:37. 

B. He was gracious and merciful – One day He and His disciples went to a village but the people refused to receive Him. Two of His disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But Jesus rebuked them, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:54-56). 

Compare this attitude with many political and religious leaders who sacrificed the lives of their followers and of their enemies in order to obtain their greedy desires. Jesus did not wage war to conquer cities, acquire lands and possessions, or gain a following. No, He opened the eyes of the blind, healing them as well as enlightening them as to their spiritual need. He exposed people’s hearts in order to purify them and remove their guilt and sin. 

On one occasion some religious leaders brought a woman to Jesus and asked Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” They were trying to trick Jesus into making a serious mistake so they could accuse Him. Here was a dilemma! If Jesus said let her go, He would have been guilty of going against the law. If He agreed to have her stoned, where would the mercy that He taught about be? His answer was, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Her accusers, being convicted by their own consciences left one by one. 

Jesus did not consider her sin a light matter. It certainly was a serious sin. She deserved to be executed according to the law, but He gave her another chance to repent and to live a godly life. He told her, “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11). 

This is what Jesus does for sinners who come to Him for forgiveness. He forgives their sins and gives them the strength to live godly lives. Can you see now that Jesus’ compassion surpasses that of all other spiritual and religious leaders and founders? He came to give men, women and children a new life, spiritual sight and the power to live a godly life. 

C. He was humble – Despite His greatness and power He was a humble Man and invited people, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28, 29). 

Jesus did not live in a castle or a palace, neither did He own slaves or servants; instead He told His disciples that He was among them to serve (Luke 22:27). Mark records in his book, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). 

D. He was wise – He did not go to school or any institutions of higher learning, yet His wisdom and knowledge was profound. When He was 12 years old, He was sitting among the doctors and the teachers of the Law, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers (Luke 2:41-50). 

Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2). 

His harshest words were reserved for the religious hypocrites of His day, who hated Him and tried to argue with Him every chance they got. When people asked Him questions, He always answered with great wisdom and graciously. Therefore many believed on Him, but many did not.

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