I. NOTE THE MANY RADICAL CLAIMS THAT JESUS MAKES CONCERNING HIMSELF IN THESE VERSES.
A. To believe on Him was to believe on the Father who sent Him.
B. To see Him was to see the Father.
C. He has come as a light into the world.
D. Those who believe in Him do not abide in darkness.
E. That He came to save the world.
F. If you do not believe in Him, you will be judged in the last days by the word He has spoken.
G. He did not speak Himself but spoke the words the Father commanded Him to speak.
H. His commandment is life everlasting.
II. THESE ARE ALL VERY RADICAL CLAIMS THAT DEMAND AN OPINION AND A CONSCIOUS REACTION ON YOUR PART.
A. These claims are either true or false, thus you either believe them or not.
B. Not to believe them is to declare that He was either a:
1. Liar, fraud, and a deceiver.
2. Or more kindly, He was suffering from delusions and belonged in an institution.
III. WHAT PROOFS ARE OFFERED TO SUBSTANTIATE HIS CLAIMS?
A. He said that His works testified in His defense.
1. He said, believe Me or else believe Me for My works' sake. a. When Nicodemus came to him at night he said, "We know that you are a teacher come from God for no man can do the works that you do, unless God is with him."
b. John has given us many of the signs that He did to prove His claims.
1. He turned the water to wine.
2. He walked on the water.
3. He calmed the raging storm with a word.
4. He healed the sick.
5. He caused the lame to walk.
6. He opened the eyes of the blind.
7. He raised the dead.
2. His words. When many of His followers turned from Him, He asked His disciples if they were also going to go, and Peter answered, "To whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life." When the officers who were sent to arrest Him came back empty handed and were asked why they did not bring Him in, they responded, "Never has a man spoken like this man."
a. Jesus said, "Now I have told you these things before they come to pass, that when they come to pass, you might believe."
b. The words that I speak, they are Spirit and they are life.
c. His words have and continue to inspire millions throughout the ages to a higher and nobler life. They have brought hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, comfort to the sorrowing.
3. He declared that His resurrection from the dead would be the only sign given to the wicked and perverse generation.
a. When He was asked to give them a sign as to by what authority He had driven the money changers out of the temple, He replied, "Destroy this temple and in three days, I will raise it up." They answered, "We have been building on this for forty-six years, and you say that you will raise it in three days?" But John tells us that He was referring to the temple of His body.
b. When the Jews asked Him for a sign, He said the only sign that they would receive was the sign of the prophet Jonah, for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
B. The evidence for the resurrection. Showed Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs.
1. Hundreds of eyewitnesses.
a. Our system of jurisprudence where facts are substantiated by the testimony of witnesses.
b. You say that you did not have opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses.
c. Let it be noted that the majority of the witnesses gave their lives for maintaining that their witness was true. Martyrs.
2. We also have the many fufilled prophecies.
a. Let us say that we have decided to acclaim ourselves as prophets speaking for God, and will prove our claim by making some predictions of the future. How far can we go in deceiving men? We have to contend with the law of compound probabilities. If California has a major earthquake on the average of one in every two years and I predict that Calif. will have a major earthquake this year, a major earthquake this year would not prove very much. I had a 50\50 chance of being right or one in two. But if I would go on to say that the earthquake would happen on June 13th, because there are 365 days in a year, my chances of being correct would jump to 1 in 730. 365 x 2. If I would be so bold as to say that it will happen at 2:03 p.m. then the chances would jump to 1 in 1,051,200. If I should then be so bold as to say that it will take place precisely at 2:03 and 15 seconds, because there are 60 seconds in a minute I must take 60 x 1,051,200 which now means that my chances of proving that I am a true
prophet are 1 in 63,073,000. If it took place at 2:02, I would still be a false prophet.
b. Peter speaks of being an eyewitness to His glory that was manifested at His transfiguration.
c. Of hearing the voice of God confirming that He was His Son.
d. But then Peter adds, "We have the more sure word of prophecy."
e. It should be noted that in just taking 5 factors concerning the earthquake we would be able to make a powerful case for being a true prophet. It should be noted that there were more than three hundred predictions concerning the Messiah that Jesus completely fulfilled. Born in Bethlehem, betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver that were then tossed down in the house of the Lord and then used to buy a potter's field, to making triumphant entry on a donkey.
C. There is sufficient proof and evidence that if you do not believe, it is not because it is not believable, but that you don't want to believe.
1. Why would a person not want to believe His claims?
a. He claimed that if you believed in Him you would never perish.
b. He claimed that if you believed in Him you were not condemned, but have passed from death into life.
c. He claimed that He came to give you life and that more abundantly.
d. He claimed that He was the resurrection and the life, and that if you live and believe in Him you will never die.
e. He claimed that He was the way, the truth and the life, and that no man could come to the Father but by Him.
2. The reasons why a person does not want to believe His claims are:
a. He has set a standard for living that they do not want to live up to.
1. He said that it was more blessed to give than to receive, and that goes against my selfish nature.
2. He said I was to love my enemies, and that goes against my desire for vengeance.
3. He said for me to forgive, and that goes against my pride.
4. He said to look at a woman lustfully was sin, and that goes against my lustful nature.
5. He said that to come after Him, you had to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him.
6. Those are not popular concepts in these days of self-glorying.
b. Jesus said that people will not come to the light because the light exposes, and they love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil.
3. If you do not believe in the claims of Jesus, I would be very interested in hearing from you, as to the reasons that you do not believe.
a. Some have said that if salvation was such a great thing then why isn't everyone saved? The value of soap is not questioned because there are so many dirty people in the world.
b. Some have said that they believed until they prayed and God did not answer their prayer.
c. I know of a man who said that he believed in the Bible until he saw a scripture that said that rabbits chewed a cud.
1. The scripture that he was referring to was the one that speaks of the hares chewing the cud. For many years it was thought the rabbit did not chew the cud, but I read recently that new research does reveal that the rabbit did indeed do that which is similar to chewing the cud. It does not have multiple stomachs as does a cow, but a process of chewing again its digested food has been reported.
2. What do you suppose that man will say when He stands before God at the great judgment seat?
3. What will you say when you stand before God and He asks you why you did not believe on His Son Jesus Christ?