Lesson 1 - The Word of God

"Your word is truth."
John 17:17

What a simple sentence!  Jesus Himself made this statement in His prayer to the Father.  Do you believe that God's word is truth?  Jesus did.  Are you more intelligent than Him?  Yes, Jesus Christ believed that the Bible is indeed the Word of God.  As such, it is true.

 

It Is Written....

Jesus prefaced much of His teaching with three words: It is written.  He was saying that His teaching was in harmony with the Old Testament Scriptures.  Perhaps the most revealing verse is Matthew 4:4:

"But He answered and said, 'It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"

Jesus used this phrase many times.  On two other occasions in Matthew 4 He said, "It is written...."  It's interesting that all three quotations that He used here in Matthew are from the book of Deuteronomy, a much neglected book of the Bible. 

It should be obvious that Jesus Christ, the greatest teacher who ever lived, believed that the Old Testament  is the Word of God.

The New Testament wasn't written until after Jesus died, rose again, and ascended to heaven.  It has been said, "The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed."  The New Testament Scriptures are consistent with the Old Testament.

You can believe the Bible.  It is the Word of God.

 

Jesus' Endorsement
of the Old Testament

 The Jewish Bible of Jesus' day did not contain the New Testament Scriptures, just the Old Testament. 

The New Testament hadn't been written yet.  Our English Old Testament begins with Genesis and ends with Malachi.  The Jewish Bible began with Genesis and consisted of all of the Old Testament books, but ended with 2 Chronicles.  This is important to know.

In Luke 11:50, 51 Jesus said, "...the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah...."  Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, was killed by his brother, Cain.  In Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we read, "Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him."  Genesis 4:8.

But what about the blood of Zechariah?  He was a godly man, who spoke out against the disobedience of the people.  "So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord."  You can read about His death 2 Chronicles 24:20, 21.

What's the point?  The blood of Abel is recorded in Genesis, the first book of Moses.  The blood of Zechariah is mentioned in 2 Chronicles, the last book of the Old Testament.  In this one statement by Jesus, "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah," the Lord is making a sweeping endorsement of the Old Testament.

 

Creation, the Flood, and Jonah

Today there are many skeptics who do not believe the Bible, because of some stories found in the Scriptures.  In this brief lesson consider three biblical accounts that are rejected by many so-called scholars: creation, Noah and the flood, and Jonah and the great fish. 

Evolution is taught in public schools as fact.  The first verse in the Bible says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  Creation, not evolution, is clearly taught.  Those who have trouble with this opening verse will undoubtedly have trouble with the rest of the Book.

But what did Jesus believe?  Consider His words to His disciples in Mark 13:19 where He mentioned "the beginning of the creation which God created...."  In Mark 10:6 we have another reference to "the beginning of creation," when God created Adam and Eve.  Jesus believed in the Genesis account of creation.

Some people have doubts about Noah and the flood.  But Jesus didn't have any doubts.  In fact He said, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all."  Luke 17:26, 27.

In the Old Testament book that bears his name Jonah fled from the presence of the Lord and wound up in the belly of a great fish.  He spent three days and three nights there, and then the fish vomited him out on dry land.  This story also has its doubters.  But what did Jesus think?  He taught, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."  Matthew 12:40.  As Jonah was...so will the Son of Man be....

It's obvious that the Lord Jesus believed the biblical record of these things.

 

The Scriptures Cannot Be Broken

In a confrontation with the Jews Jesus quoted a verse from the Psalms, and added, "The Scripture cannot be broken."  Matthew 26:24.  On another occasion He said to His disciples, "The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him."  John 10:35.  The Bible is about Jesus Christ. 

In Psalm 34:20 we read about something else that could not be broken.  "He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken."  About one thousand years before Christ came into the world this prediction was made.  It is fulfilled in John 19:36.

When Jesus was crucified with two other men, the religious leaders went to Pontius Pilate, the governor,  and requested that their legs be broken.  They did not want their bodies to remain on the cross on the Sabbath, a holy day.  Pilate granted their request, and ordered the soldiers to break their legs.

Now get the picture.  God had said in His Word that not one bone would be broken.  Pilate said, "Break their legs."  Roman soldiers were very good at carrying out orders.  They came to the first two men and broke their legs.  "But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs."  John 19:33.  Here we have the fulfillment of God's Word.  Jesus' legs could not be broken, because the Scriptures cannot be broken.  God always keeps His Word.

 

Lesson 2 - The Son of God

 
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