QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU DIG DEEPER INTO THE MAIN MESSAGE FOR YOUR FAMILY DEVOTIONS OR SMALL GROUPS:
Read Luke 20:41-44 and Matthew 22:41-45. What are some of the differences in these two accounts?
Pastor Michael stated that Jesus’ question “What do you think about the Messiah?“ is the key question for every generation… and every individual. Why? Read the following three verses and discuss how our salvation and eternal destiny are dependent upon our answer (what we think about Jesus). 1 John 2:21-25, 1 John 4:1-6, 1 John 5:1.
Read Matthew 16:13-17. How is Peter ‘blessed’? What does it mean “Flesh and blood didn’t reveal that to you”? Do you think that some people choose to walk away from God and what they were raised to believe because they’ve ONLY had ‘flesh and blood’ reveal Jesus the Messiah to them?
Discuss why Jesus had to be fully God… and fully Man? Some thoughts for your discussion:
He had to be fully Man because because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should pay for sin. He must be a righteous man because one who himself is a sinner would not be able to pay for others’ sins. [Hebrews 2:14, John 12:27, Hebrews 2:17-18]. It was essential that Christ Himself did not sin in this identification with us. Otherwise, how could He pay for our sin? Berkhof writes, “Only such a truly human Mediator, who had experimental knowledge of the woes of mankind and rose superior to all temptations, could enter sympathetically into all the experiences, the trials, and the temptations of man (Heb. 2:17, 18; 4:15-5:2) and be a perfect human example for his followers” (Matt. 11:29; Mark 10:39; John 13:13-15; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 12:2-4; 1 Pet. 2:21). L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 319. In short, the answer is Jesus had to be a man so that He could identify with us, suffering in our place and sympathizing with us in our weakness.
He had to be fully God so that, by the power of His divinity, He might bear the weight of God’s anger in His humanity and earn for us and restore to us righteousness and life. This answer focuses on the power coming from His divine nature. There is no way any mere human could bear and fully satisfy God’s wrath. By nature, this wrath is infinite in quality. In order to bear the weight of wrath, it is essential that the Savior be divine. But also, in order to satisfy this wrath, He had to offer a sacrifice of such a value that God would be pleased to accept it. Only Christ as God could bring a sacrifice of infinite and eternal value to God that He would propitiate heaven’s wrath. By virtue of His divine nature, He is able to earn for us eternal life and favor with God. Finally, the divinity of Christ means that He is able to be raised from the dead (after conquering it) and therefore apply the benefits He has earned for us. In short, the answer is, Jesus had to be truly God so that He could satisfy God’s wrath and secure for us true righteousness and life.
Pastor Michael discussed a ‘supposed’ contradiction in Matthew 2:23 that people will sometimes bring up when attacking the validity of the Bible. How is this NOT a contradiction? Why are things like this so important for Believers to grasp?