The Greatness of Jesus Proven By His Enemies: Part Two

More Proof

In our last article, we introduced the idea of Jesus’ greatness being proven by those who were opposed to Him. Although this concept may at first seem somewhat backwards (why do we care what Jesus’ enemies think?), what those who are against you have to admit to be true about you can be very telling. It is the purpose of this article to examine the accusations made against Jesus authority.

Speaking With Authority

The religious leaders of the first century (at least in theory) followed the commands of God ratified for them in the Law of Moses. They also created several “oral traditions” which were not ratified (and were greatly burdensome), but their justification for such a practice was to follow the commands set forth by God. No Pharisee would ever claim to hold for themselves the authority which was afforded to God and His Law. So, when Jesus Christ began to proclaim new teachings personally, this created much controversy.

When Jesus would say such things as: “You have heard that…but I say to you” (Mat. 5:21, 22; 27, 28; 31, 32, et al., NASU) He was taking a position of personal authority – an authority afforded only to God Himself. When Jesus explained that God had given the authority to the Son of Man to forgive sins (Mat. 9:6), He was taking an authority reserved for God Himself. When Jesus proclaimed Himself “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mat. 12:8), He was taking authority upon Himself.

Unfavorable Response

How did the Pharisees choose to respond to these statements? This question is key to understanding the truth unwittingly proven concerning Jesus Christ. At first, they attempted to challenge Jesus’ teachings before the crowds, but every time were dumbfounded by His wisdom. When this tactic failed, they attempted to impugn Jesus’ character by calling Him a “blasphemer” (Mat. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 14:64; John 10:33; et al.) and eventually putting Him to death based upon this charge.

A Key Question

The real question was never brought up by the Pharisees: Did Jesus deserve such authority? If He were any other man, such statements would have been indeed blasphemous as they claimed. But Jesus was not like any other man. Not once were Jesus’ teachings able to be challenged. They could not be challenged, because He spoke with the authority of God. He spoke with the authority of God, because He was God in the flesh, who dwelt among men (John 1:14).

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