Thursday, March 5, 2015

CHRIST'S UNIQUE CLAIMS

Some of the most obvious considerations, when thinking about the supremacy of Christ, are the claims He made about Himself.  Other teachers said they were telling the truth.  Christ said, "I ... am the truth" (John 14:6).  Other teachers asked people to follow their teachings.  Christ asked people to follow Him.  More than twenty times in the Gospels Jesus spoke about the need to follow Him.  The other great leaders taught people to worship God… Jesus accepted the worship of Thomas (John 20:28).  Jesus made statements that clearly implied that He was God, and some of His hearers were so scandalized by these remarks that twice they wanted to stone Him for blasphemy (John 8:54-59; 10:30, 31).

Seven "I am" statements appear in John's Gospel, showing that Christ claimed to be the source of eternal life.  He said, "I am the bread of life" (6:35); "I am the light of the world" (8:12); "I am the gate" (10:7, 9); "I am the good shepherd" (10:11); "I am the resurrection and the life" (11:25); "I am the way and the truth and the life" (14:6); "I am the true vine" (15:1).  Leon Morris reminds us that "in each case the Greek form of 'I am' is emphatic."  Each saying includes the personal pronoun "I."  "There is no need to include the personal pronoun unless emphasis is required."  Morris concludes that to Jewish ears, the words I am "aroused associations of the divine."  These and other statements of Christ make us agree with J. T. Seamands' statement that the uniqueness of Christ "is not something we concede to Christ, but something He confronts us with."

-- Ajith Fernando in The Christian's Attitude Toward World Religions


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