by Steven Chan
In Matt 16:15, Jesus saith unto them, “But who say ye that I am?” That is really the most important question that one would need to answer. Who was Jesus Christ? Was He merely a man who happened to be a good teacher? Was he more than that? Our personal answer to that question will determine how we live our lives today. If our answer is that Jesus was merely a historical figure who also happened to be a great teacher and he was nothing more than that, then Jesus does not matter much to us. Each one of us has to consider the evidence carefully and reason for ourselves whether Jesus was no more than just an ordinary human being.
The Bible provides ample evidence that Jesus was more than just a man and that He was truly the Son of God.
1. In Matt 1:20-23, the Bible records for us that the angel of the Lord declared that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and the writer of the account testified that His birth would be a fulfilment of a promise made nearly 700 years ago by the prophet Isaiah:
“When an angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins. Now all this is come to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.”
God through His prophet Isaiah had long ago prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin. His birth was no ordinary birth.
2. At His baptism, at the river Jordan by John the baptizer, the Bible tells us that God Himself testified that Jesus was His Son: “And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens rent asunder, and the Spirit as a dove descending upon him: and a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11)
3. In Matt 16:15- 18, Peter the fisherman, having witnessed the extraordinary powers of Jesus, declared that Jesus was the Son of the Living God:-
Peter had witnessed “the blind received their sight, and the lame walked, the lepers were cleansed, and the deaf heard, and the dead were raised up, and the poor had good tidings preached to them” (Matt 11:5). He had seen how Jesus fed 5000 men at one time and another 4,000 men at another time with few barley loaves and some fishes.
So, when Jesus asked them: “But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I also say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:15-18)
The Bible tells us in John 20:30-31 that “many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye may have life in his name.”
Peter had considered the evidence and he was convinced that Jesus was truly who He claimed to be: the Son of the Living God.
4. On yet another occasion, at the top of a high mountain, when Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, God again declared that Jesus was His Son:
“While he was yet speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matt 17:5).
Many years later, the apostle Peter reminded the Christians of this incredible testimony by God when he wrote in 2 Pet 1:16-19:
“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to him by the Majestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: and this voice we ourselves heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount. And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts:”
5. The apostle Paul, once a persecutor of the church who later became the preacher of the gospel, wrote that the resurrection of Jesus was clear evidence for or declaration that Jesus was truly the Son of God:
”Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Rom 1:1-4)
Indeed, the empty tomb is certainly one of the most powerful evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The Jews and/or Roman authorities could have paraded the body of Jesus and thereby proved that Jesus had not been raised. They couldn’t because the body was no longer in the tomb. On the contrary, Paul declared that following His resurrection, Jesus was seen by many:
”and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve; then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also.”
There’s sufficient evidence recorded in the Scriptures to convince any one who is seeking to know the truth about Jesus, that Jesus was truly the Son of God. Since He is the Son of God, the Bible tells us that God asked that we listen to Him (Matt 17:5). Are we listening to Him? Jesus said in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Are we following Him?