Miracles are proof of the Messiah
We have found He of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. John 1:45
What does it mean to fully preach the gospel of Christ? I am convinced that most of us do not have the faintest idea of what that includes. In some ways it seems incomprehensible to the human mind. In other ways it is very simple, all at the same time. Sometimes we do harm to the body of Christ and dishonor God by not preaching the whole counsel of God’s Word, which is basically preaching Christ, or as Jesus said, “the gospel of the kingdom of God.”
Many of us have been watching the events unfold within our country since the last presidential election, or even before that. I recently turned on a program where the host was going over events that happened four or five years ago. The host had gone over the topic so often that it became boring and redundant. Although something may be true, that doesn’t mean we should wear it out and make it offensive to others. Sometimes ministers do this by preaching only a small part of the gospel message.
The Sunday morning message begins to sound the same week after week, month after month. Pastors often do this when they preach the “historic Jesus” of the early church. In John 1:45 Phillip said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets wrote,–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Phillip was referring to the Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15 which was to come. He was also the “Root of Jesse,” that Isaiah wrote about.
In the days of the early church, there were many who did not accept the fact that Jesus was the Christ, the One sent by God to redeem His creation. Many of them cried out, crucify Him, crucify Him; they did not believe He was the One the holy prophets spoke about. Even Saul, (who later became Paul), did not accept Jesus as the redeemer. When God confronted Saul on the road to Damascus, why did God reveal Himself in the person of Jesus Christ? Because He was showing Paul that Jesus of Nazareth (the one Saul was trying to destroy), was the very Son of God. He was the anointed One of God, sent to reconcile the cosmos back to God. Previously, Saul had rejected this and was going from town to town persecuting the people of the Way (followers of Christ).
The “historic” Jesus was the foundation of the local church, Ephesians 2:20. The building block that the Jews rejected was accepted by many of the Gentiles. Even Nathanael found it hard to accept that the Anointed One (son of Mary and Joseph) came from Nazareth. In John 1:46 he asks the question, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”
In John chapter 4, the Samaritan woman at the well witnessed to the people of the city, “Come see a man who told me all things that ever I did, could this be the Christ?” The people of the city replied, “This is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” In Mark 6:3, after the people seen the miracles performed by Jesus, and the wisdom with which He spoke, asked this question, “Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?”
The miracles that Jesus did were to be a sign or proof, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, the Son of God. In Luke 5:24, Jesus says to those around Him, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins,” He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise take up your bed and go to your house.” Jesus also used the example of His miracles to strengthen the faith of John the Baptist and to show that He (Jesus) was the Redeemer sent from God.
In the gospel according to John, the author says this, “but these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” As we drive through the local towns, cities, and country, let’s take time to enjoy the beauty of all the decorations. In this Christmas season let’s remember the “historic Jesus,” who came as a babe in a manger. But let’s also remember that the babe is now the risen Saviour, He is Lord and King, and as the Sovereign Ruler and Judge, He will come to judge the world with righteousness. Are we ready for that time, or is it only the “historic Jesus” that we want to remember?
In the next article we will begin to focus on fully preaching the gospel of Christ. I hope you will join me as we look at foundational truth of the Bible that can support and strengthen the local church.
Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published two books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.