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  • Writer's pictureRick LoPresti

What kind of man is this?

This may sound strange, but there was nothing miraculous about the birth of Jesus Christ. He was born just like any other child. He went through the normal birth and growth process (Lk 2:51:52). It was His conception that was miraculous (Is 7:14, Is 9:6, Mt 1:18-20, Lk 1:35). He is God manifested in the flesh (Jn 1:1-3 & 14, Jn 14:7-11, 2Cor 5:19, Col 2:9, 1Tim 3:16). He is fully God and fully man. He called Himself a man (Jn 8:40), but He also identified Himself repeatedly as God in word and deed (Jn 10:25-38, Jn 14:10-11). However, even though it should have been obvious for those reasons and also because Jesus was fulfilling many prophecies, His divine identity could only be perceived by revelation (Mt 11:27, Mt 16:17). The flesh does not receive the things of the Spirit (Rom 8, 1Cor 1-2).

The greatest error man can ever make is thinking that Jesus Christ is just a man. This happened while He was here. In Matthew 12:1-8, the Pharisees criticized the disciples of Jesus for allegedly doing work on the Sabbath by picking and eating corn. The Lord pointed to the example of when David and his men ate the shewbread that was only lawful for the priests to eat. Then He made the profound statement that He is Lord of the Sabbath. That means that He is God. The Pharisees thought they were being the religious enforcers, but failed to recognize that the One who made the seventh day, the Sabbath, and the law was standing there in the flesh. This caused them to make a grave error.

In Matthew 16:13-18, Jesus asked the disciples who people were saying He is. Some said He was John the baptizer, others said Elijah, others said Jeremiah, and others said one of the prophets. Any of these would have been miraculous, but they were all wrong and they all failed to identify His deity. Then came Peter's famous confession that He is the Christ or Messiah. A look at the prophecies of who Messiah is show He is God in the flesh. Jesus said this is a revelation from God upon which He would build the church.

At the Jewish trial of Jesus, they tried to force Jesus to say He is the Messiah, the Son of God (Mt 26:63-64). He replied, "Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven". They called this blaspheme and decided this was enough evidence to do what they had been wanting to do all along which was to kill Him.

In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus was teaching in a packed house in Capernaum. Some houses had thatched roofs which this one apparently did. In order to get their incapacitated friend inside to be healed, they tore the roof open and lowered him down. Instead of Jesus telling the man to be healed physically, He forgave his sins. People thought that was blaspheme because only God can do that. Jesus asked which phrase is easier to say and then to show He has the power to forgive sins and is therefore God, He told the man to get up and take his bed home, which he did. They people said they had never seen anything like it.

In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus and the disciples were on a boat on the Sea of Galilee when a storm came up. Jesus commanded the storm to cease and it did. The disciples asked each other, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

In Mark 6:1-6, Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth to teach, but the people rejected Him by saying, "From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us?" This is where Jesus grew up. They were familiar with Him in His humanity, his earthly work, and His earthly family; but they had no idea who He really is.

When king Herod heard about Jesus, he thought it was John the baptizer whom he had beheaded (Mk 6:14-16). That would have been quite a miracle, but the truth was an even greater one. God had come to earth in the form of a man to be our Savior. The misidentifying of Jesus as just a man was a theme throughout the book of John (Jn 5, Jn 6:32-63, Jn 7:27, Jn 8:12-59, Jn 10:24-38, Jn 11:23-45, Jn 12:34).

Identifying Jesus as just a man was the critical mistake that cost people their opportunity to receive Him when He was here. It caused His enemies to kill Him. It is still the greatest mistake people can make today. He is the Creator (Jn 1:1-14, Col 1:16), the Lord (Phil 2:10-11), the only Savior (Acts 4:12), and the heavenly Father (Jn 10:30, Jn 14:7-11). He is the only hope for mankind (Col 1:27).

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