Radio Broadcast Tuesday 01/05/2021

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Jesus Christ P32 (01-05-21)


We all have doubts in life. It is just natural to mankind. “How do I know Jesus is God?” “I have to see to believe.” These are things you may have said, or even heard others say. Have you thought through the truth of such a statement, that I have to see to believe. A lawyer once said, “Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.” Everything that you see and hear must be verified with corroborating evidence. So what evidence do we have so we may believe Jesus is God?

Sometimes seeing can get us into trouble, when our eyes are focused on the trials and storms of life, and you think all is lost. In the natural realm, yes, a storm could sink your boat and you could drown. But who is in control of all things, the storm and the seas of life? Consider the real life lesson as told by Jesus when his disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee in a fishing boat, when a storm rose up all of a sudden. Then Peter sees Jesus walking on water. That defies gravity! Everything we know about nature, that just does not happen naturally. The disciples thought they saw a ghost, but Jesus tells them not to be afraid. Jesus was obviously not afraid. So Peter, in his impulsive way, asks if that is you, ask me to come to you on the water. And Peter started walking on the water, but not for very long, because as soon as he saw the reality of the fact that those waves are high and that he could drown, he started to sink. But Jesus was not sinking, and he was walking in perfect peace. Jesus simply took Peter by the hand and said, “Why did you doubt? Oh, you of little faith.”

What did Peter and the disciples come to believe? That Jesus is God in the flesh. They worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”. We know from the prophet Isaiah, that you will be kept in perfect peace when your mind is steadfast on Christ, the Creator of all that can be seen, and even the unseen, because you put your trust in Him. Did not Jesus call out Peter to come to Him on the water? Would God ever ask you to do something that He will not also provide the means for you to carry that out? If you are in ministry, and you know that is what God has instructed you to do, then will God not also supply what you need so you can continue doing what God has asked you to do? As long as Peter kept his focus on Christ, he was walking on water, doing what Jesus asked him to do. Jesus would cause the water to hold him up. God wants us to put our trust in Him. You can have the peace of God that does not depend on the circumstances of life, but a peace that surpasses understanding. That is the peace that God gives, that the world does not understand.

It is also true that we cannot believe everything we see. You may have heard it said that seeing is believing. Is that true? If you stick a pencil in a glass of water, it looks broken even though it is not. Would you write an essay with a broken pencil, if you thought by seeing, believing by what you see, that the pencil was broken? You look down the railroad track, down miles of track, and it looks like the track disappears into one track, as if you were to get on such a train, only to have the train fall off the track, because there is no more track at the end. So, it is very true that seeing is not needed to believe. You put your trust in the one who holds the whole world together by the power of his word.

So when doubting Thomas said, after Jesus rose from the dead, but not yet having seen him, says “Unless I see the nails in his hands and the spear wound in his side, I will not believe.” That is not good logic, from what was just explained earlier, but that is what he said. Then all of a sudden Jesus walks through a wall. People do not just walk through walls! But all the disciples saw that with their own eyes. Were they lying? Were they all lunatics? I do not think so.

This is what happened. Not only that, he just jumped in on the conversation, and showed Thomas the holes in his hands and the wound in his side. Thomas said, “I believe”. He did not even have to put fingers in the hole in his hand or his hand in the spear wound in his side. He believed. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who do not see, yet believe.”

Jesus knows all of us very well, and is understanding of our weaknesses and knows our tendency to doubt, and to be easily unsettled when trials and tribulations come, with a tendency to give into fear, and none of us will escape the storms of life. But God is right there with us in the midst of the storm. He did not come to solve all our problems. He is the problem solver. He is our peace. He is our life. So keep our eyes on Him, for surely difficult days lie ahead, especially as we near the end of the age. But God has promised to take us out of this world when the time is right.

For us today, Jesus is not here physically anymore. He will come again some day, and after the seven years of tribulation, he shall dwell with men again, and we shall see Him with our own eyes. But until that day comes, we learn to walk by faith, in what He has said, in His precious promises to us, that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that He will cause all things to happen for good, and that He has given us everything we need for life and godliness. We have everything we truly need when we have Christ living in us.

We believe based on the testimony of those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus, those who saw and believed, who heard the words of Jesus, and wrote them down. This is not a blind faith, but faith based on historical evidence, the historical Jesus, who died, was buried and rose again, and left us His very words through the scriptures handed down by those who were eyewitnesses, and who placed His Spirit in us so we may know all that He has freely given us. So we believed based on the historical evidence as written down for us.


In Matthew 2:11, what did they do when they saw Jesus?

Matthew 2:11
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In this particular case, they bowed down, and worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ, even as a baby, and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. So Jesus, even before He is in His physical form, knew what was going on. He was being worshipped by wisemen who didn’t know what was going on.

He also received worship from those who knew him the best in his physical life, and those were the apostles.

Matthew 14:22-24
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

If anyone who has ever been on the Sea of Galilee, you will understand that can happen in an absolute instance. When Amy and I had the fortunate experience of going over there, we were out on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. It was just like glass, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, that thing was bouncing all over the place. That can happen.

Here was Jesus with his disciples and he instructed them to get into a boat and go to the other side. So they were making that trip, being buffeted back and forth by the waves.

Matthew 14:25

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.

If that does not get your attention, I do not know what would.

Matthew 14:26
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

We look at that and read it. We say, “Well, did they not know Jesus was God?” The answer to that is, “No, not in His fullness yet.” Suspicious of it? Yes. Prophesied? Yes. But did they really get to the depths of that? No. Do you know why? It tells us. It was not until Pentecost.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[Isaiah 64:4] –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

Until the time the Spirit of God came to indwell those apostles, which was on the day of Pentecost, they did not understand or comprehend the fullness of the truth about Jesus Christ. That is precisely why Peter, a few days earlier, was out denying Jesus to a little maiden girl, and then forty days later was out to the very people who crucified Jesus, right in their face. You talk about getting in their face. “You are the ones who crucified the Son of man.” Where did that boldness come? Where did the rareness of that truth come from? It came from the indwelling of the Spirit of God, on the day of Pentecost, the first time man was born into this world. Jesus is the firstborn from among the dead, and the first man ever born alive spiritually. The rest of us, who are in Christ, had to be reborn alive spiritually.

Matthew 14:26-29
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Now that would be an event!

Matthew 14:30-33
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

I think we have to put ourselves in these situations, rather than just reading words on a page in a book. Imagine yourself in the situation. Let us say you and I were going to go out fishing to get there. We were out in the middle of a lake in a boat. The winds came, and the one who had been our friend, and somebody who had been close to us, who we knew and was quite different from us, and making claims of himself that were quite unusual. We have read a lot of prophecies about this person, and all seemed to be fitting, but did not know for sure. But then you are out in the middle of a storm, and then all of a sudden you see your buddy walking out on the water. You would think you would say, “Come on in.” But I tell you, it would scare you to death. It is contrary to the laws of nature. You do not walk on water. You swim in water. So you are seeing a physical miracle right before your eyes, something you have never seen before. “This has got to be a ghost.” “This cannot be the real Jesus.” “He is like one of us. He cannot walk on water.” But there he was. He cries out to us. “Do not be afraid. Take courage.” “Hey, Bob. Come on Bob.” He says, “Come on out.” You get out of the boat and take a few steps. You could imagine the thrill of that, for a second or two. This is unbelievable. But you can also understand the fear of it because of the severity of the waves, knowing that out in the middle of that water, in the middle of that turmoil, if you were in water instead of on top of water, you would not be able to get out of the water due to drowning. And so all of a sudden, you get your eyes on the waves instead of on the Lord, who said “Come on out here.” Then you start seeing. Then you see salvation. Jesus reaches down in the water and picks him up and obviously puts him in the boat.

When studying a lesson like this, it is, of course, to show evidence of Christ’s Deity and only God can be the recipient of worship. As you study these things, we have to come to personal application. I think there is a phenomenal lesson for us in this particular passage of scripture alone. In this world in which we live, it is full of trials and tribulations. It is full of waves. It is full of the winds. It ties into, again, that passage in Matthew that says to build your life on a foundation, because when the storms come and the winds blow, it is going to blow your house down if you are not rooted in Jesus. Not in religion. Not in theology, but in Him are you rooted? It is not as if problems are going to come your way. It is just when they are going to come your way. None of us are going to escape those according to the word of God.

John 16:33 (NASB)
33 These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

We were taught so many times, in the late 60s and early 70s, certain things. When I came to the Lord, there was this big conception that when you come to Christ all your problems will go away. People will come into your face, eyes gleaming and faces smiling and saying, “I came to Jesus and all my problems went away.” It was not very long before you would stop hearing those testimonies any more. The reason for it is because it is a lie. Those problems do not go away. You now have a problem solver in your life. But, again, He is not there to solve your problems. He is there to be your life. And His life is the solution to the problem. It is back to that simple reality that Christ is not a problem solver. He is your life. It is because He is your life that your problems will be solved.

It is one of those things we have to realize, that in this world we are going to have tribulation. There is no one that escapes that. Sometimes we get the idea that these pastors and people on television and on radio, they never have any problems because their faith is so big. Then we start talking about how big our faith is. You hear people say, “If you had faith in God blessing me the way I do, you would be as blessed as I am.” So, in many instances, people build up pastors and really help them to become extremely wealthy. They are the ones making him wealthy, not God. He is there telling them, “It is because of my faith I am wealthy, and if you have my faith, you will be wealthy too.” So people are out there trying to get wealthy instead of getting the one who is wealthy, who is Christ Jesus, the one who is more precious than all the gold and the diamonds in the world could ever possess. It should be obvious that the creator is more precious than the things created.

In this world, we are going to have tribulation. No one will escape that. I will not escape that. Nobody escapes that. We all have them. If our foundation is not rooted in Christ Jesus, then those things are going to blow us away. When He said to Peter, “You of little faith”, it was not sitting there to chastise the size of his faith. “Why did you doubt me?” That is the whole issue. It is not, “you need to work on your faith.” The issue is that you lost confidence in the faithful one. In other words, “Peter, why did you doubt?” “When I said come on out, I certainly would not be saying come out and walk on water, and say I pulled another one on you, as if I am a godly prankster of the age, saying ‘I got him again’. If I did not provide for you to walk on water, I would not have called you out on the water.”

Sometimes we have got to remember that, even in our work, if God called us to it, then He is going to provide the wherewithal to keep us in it. If He called us out on the water, then why would He call you out on the water and not provide you the ability to walk on water. But we get our eyes on the waves instead of on the Provider. We start yelling “help” and start sinking. Jesus is saying the same thing to us. “You of little faith. Why do you doubt me? If I called you into this, then why would you think that I am not going to provide for the water to hold you.”

I do not know about you, but sometimes I get into my own stupidity, where many times I am most vulnerable when it comes to the proclamation of the gospel, continually year after year, and to see that many times the constant having to financially be living hand to mouth. We should not have any problems as long as it is His hands and His mouth. But seriously, we wonder why there are not more people giving to this ministry or giving to the proclamation of this. Why are not more people involved in this type of thing?

You get to the point of saying, “Lord, I am so tired of fighting financial stuff, having to raise money to pay for a radio station so people can hear, and evidently do not care, for if they did, they would be providing the dollars for that type of thing. It really gets discouraging sometimes. You sit down and say, “Well, it just looks like the Lord is going to let you down.” He is saying, “Look. If I called you into this, then why do you think I am going to all of a sudden not make the water hold you up?”

It is one of those things drawing you back to the mindset of, “Is God in this? Is Christ my life or is He not my life?” If He is and if we truly are, and you as a listener are in His will, whatever or wherever that might be. It is not what we are doing that is the issue. It is rather asking if we are there where God wants us to be. Why do we continually doubt that the one who called you into something is not going to provide? This is a phenomenal picture of this, that Peter got his eyes on the waves and the winds, and became fearful. When you get fearful, you lost perfect love.

1 John 4:18
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

What does fear do then? It casts away perfect love. How can I be trusting in the total love of God for me and be fearful of my future or my present or my past? The only answer I got to that is “I can’t”. My problem is not in anxiety or fear of the future, or in fear of today. My problem is not in the regrets of yesterday. My problem is not in trusting the love of God to carry me through the winds and the storms of life. So these are phenomenal lessons we can learn from of these things.

Again, once that is revealed to you, you know what your tendency would be. “Man, have you learned your lesson, Peter?” “Well, then get back to the water and start walking again.” He did not say that to Peter. The response of the apostles, once they got back into the boat, was that they proclaimed something. “Truly, Jesus, you are the Son of God”, and they worshipped Him. Their minds got back focused upon Him instead of them. There again is that scripture that says that He will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon him.

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Let us look at another example of how easy it is for us to doubt and also to doubt when confronted with the historical Jesus that turned us to believe. Of course that is with Thomas. Every one of us has a little but of the apostles in us. We can be doubters like Thomas. We can be impulsive like Peter. We got all of those characteristics, just in different degrees.

John 20:26
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

That would get your attention, too, seeing someone walk through a wall! A guy just walked through a wall, and he says, “Peace be with you!”. After you faint, then you say, “Oh, yes.”

What also is interesting is this. They did not have sound equipment. Here are the disciples in a closed room, and Thomas says, “unless I put my fingers in his hands and my fist in his side, I will not believe. Jesus just comes in and picks up with the conversation, for He knew what was being talked about.

John 20:27
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

What was the response?

John 20:28-29
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Let us take a look at another situation here. Thomas is saying, “unless I can see it, I will not believe it.” Now, that at first makes sense until I start thinking about it. I can take you to one of the most miraculous sites in the world. I can take you to within 20 feet and you will not see a bit of it. How can that be? It is very simple. You just turn your back on it. I can take you to the Grand Canyon and stand you in front of one of those most magnificent sites you will ever see, the magnitude of it is awesome, and you will not see it. All you have to do is turn your back on it.

You cannot believe everything you see. I remember my dad. Dad was not a born again Christian but he was very much a religious man. He was a very wonderful man, and full of wisdom. Dad had a lot of God’s wisdom. I remember one time being an attorney, you see every segment of the world and society you can see. Dad used to always say, “Bob, only believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.” I kind of carried that through to a degree in my life, for that really is a true thing. These things, what you see and hear, must be verified. That is good advice. It is a good way to live your life.

On these things, people will say “unless I see it, I will not believe it.” I can take you to the Grand Canyon and you will not see it because you can turn your back on it. I can also take you to the railroad tracks, miles down the road. I take you to the middle of those railroad tracks, about a mile or two, and what do you see? You see them coming together. At the end, it looks like a pencil point coming together. So you say, “unless I see, I am not going to believe it”. If you are seeing that, then you would be an idiot getting on a train. If you get on a train, those wheels are going to come together and that train will tip over down a few miles, if indeed you are saying “if I do not see it, I am not going to believe it”, because you are seeing something and you better not believe it if you are going to take a train trip.

I can take a glass of water and put a pencil in it. When you put a pencil in it, what does it look like? What happens when you put a pencil in it? It looks like two. Is it? No, but it just looks like it. I better not believe what I see because I am not going to write an essay with that pencil if I believe what I see, for it looks like it is broken. So to say “unless I see something, I will not believe it” is kind of ludicrous for I can show you several things that you see that you better not believe.

Here is Peter. There is a mindset we many times have. “If I cannot see this, if I cannot put my finger in his hands and I cannot put my hand in his side, then I am not going to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.” So Jesus just shows up. “Okay, have at it. Here are my hands. Put your finger in it. Here is my side.” The scriptures do not even give a hint that he actually did that. He did not need to. He just thought he needed to. He just saw him. The seeing of the holes in his hands and the spear wound in his side, in Jesus’ side, was enough. He was not concentrating on the wound or the holes. It was Jesus. When he did, he fell to his feet calling him, “My Lord and my God.”

John 20:28
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Now, he was not talking to two different people standing there. He was talking about Jesus as to who he was. How? It was revealed to him. How? By the Spirit of God. What was Jesus’ response to that faith. He did not say, “You little fool. You should have believed all along.” Jesus understands. Jesus understands you and me.

John 20:29
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

“Because you see, you believe.” That is wonderful. In essence, he is saying, “Thomas, you have the privilege of seeing me right now.” Remember he said that he is going away, and “you will not see me physically again, and neither are people living today going to see Jesus physically until He comes back the second time.

John 16:7
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

So Jesus says, “Blessed are those who do not have to put their finger in my hand or their hands in my side.”

So, that is where we are today. That is by faith that we believe by the historical evidence of those who were there, who saw him and wrote about it. If everything was written about all he did, then all the books could not contain it.

John 21:25
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

We have the privilege of having that book in our hands or hearing the testimony of someone and believing. It is a marvelous thing, what happens to us. The minute that faith is exercised, then something happens to us. As I have said before, I remember one time talking to a young man who was plagued with alcohol. He really had a drinking problem. He was a young guy. Watching a nice young fellow destroying his life. I was sharing Christ with him. He said, “Well, again, I just cannot believe. I just do not know what to do.” I said to him, “John, let me tell you something. You are familiar with vodka or gin. Let us say I put a bottle down, but it did not have a label on it. It looks like clear water there. And I say to you, ‘John, if you drink 1/5 of that gin, and you drink that, you are going to get goofy. Your eyes are going to cross. You will slur your speech. You are going to think you are King Kong and Burt Reynolds all wrapped up into one. You are going to take a step and stagger trying to walk down the street. You are going to be a mess, if you drank that whole bottle of liquid in there.’ Let us say he had never seen booze before, never had an encounter with it, and never seen booze before. He says, ‘that looks like water to me. I do not believe what you are saying, that if I drank that. That looks like innocent water to me.’ The only way you are going to know if I am telling you the truth, is to pull off the cap and drink it. Outside of that, you are not going to know. It is just like with Jesus. Until you drink, by faith, you are not going to know.

Order the Bible Study; “A Closer Look at Faith, Hope and Love” book today!

A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love

Born Free

Classic Christianity

Goodbye is Not Forever
Purchase Goodbye Is Not Forever Today!

What About 1 John 1:9 Booklet

Order from our online store: Bible Studies, Books, Witnessing Tracts, Audio Cds, DVDs and More.

Purchase and download Bible Studies, the Closer Look Series & more.

%d bloggers like this: