Is there Proof for Jesus as Messiah?

God promised the nation of Israel that he would raise up a descendant from King David who would one day establish a righteous throne forever (see 2 Samuel 7:11-16). The Hebrew word Messiah, the equivalent of the Greek Christ, actually means “Anointed One.” And it was this person who would usher in God’s eternal kingdom on earth.

More than 400 years before Jesus was born there existed over 60 major Old Testament prophecies about this coming Messiah, made over hundreds of years. This is of great historical and spiritual significance, because it is the Messiah who Isaiah prophesied would one day

remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mocking against his land and people. The Lord has spoken! (Isaiah 25:7-8).

The Evidence of Prophecy

Of course Jesus did claim to be the “Anointed One.” But do the prophesies of the Old Testament confirm that he was actually the Messiah? The answer is yes. It’s as if God gave us a specific way to recognize who the “Anointed One” would be, through what has been called Messianic prophesies.

It seems impossible, but because of these prophecies, out of billions of people born over thousands of years we are able to pinpoint one person in history as the Messiah. It is as if God had an answer waiting for us when we asked, “How will we know who the Messiah is?” Imagine we are having a conversation with God as he uses these prophecies to pinpoint who this Messiah would be.

God begins by saying, “You will know he is the Messiah because I will cause him to be born as an Israelite, a descendent of Abraham” (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16).

“But God,” we protest, “Abraham’s descendants will be many!”

“Then I will narrow it down to only half of Abraham’s lineage and make him a descendant of Isaac, not Ishmael” (Genesis 21:12; Luke 3:23-34).

“That will help, but isn’t that still an awful lot of people?”

“Let him be born from Jacob’s line, then, eliminating half of Isaac’s lineage” (Numbers 24:17; Luke 3:23-34).

“But—”

“I will be more specific. Jacob will have 12 sons; I will bring forth the Messiah from the tribe of Judah” (Genesis 49:10; Luke 3:23-33).

“Won’t that still be a lot of people? Again, we may not recognize him when he comes.”

“Don’t worry! Look for him in the family line of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1; Luke 3:23-32). “And from the house and lineage of Jesse’s youngest son, David” (  Jeremiah 23:5; Luke 3:23-31). “And then I will tell you where he will be born: Bethlehem, a tiny town in the area called Judah” (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1).

“But how will we know which person born there is the Messiah?”

“He will be preceded by a messenger who will prepare the way and announce his advent” (Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1-2). “He will begin his ministry in Galilee” (Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:12-17) “and will teach in parables” (Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13:34-35), “performing many miracles” (Isaiah 35:5-6; Matthew 9:35).

“Okay, that should help a lot.”

“Oh,” God responds, “I’m just getting warmed up. He will ride into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:2; Luke 19:35-37) “and will appear suddenly and forcefully at the temple courts and zealously ‘clean house’ ” (Psalm 69:9; Malachi 3:1; John 2:15-16). “Why, in one day I will fulfill no fewer than 29 specific prophecies spoken at least 500 years earlier about him! Listen to this:

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Did Jesus Prove He was God?

Jesus claimed to be the Son of God and the only way to God. And he wasn’t being arrogant about it. But did he actually give proof that he was God? How did he back up his claim to deity?

Jesus’ disciples were having a little difficulty understanding just who their Master was and what he was really up to. So he made this statement: “Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of what you have seen me do” (  John 14:11). Here Jesus was appealing to both his authoritative teaching on the kingdom of God and his many miracles in order to substantiate and verify he was in fact God in human form. In regard to miracles, he was in effect saying, “You are finding it hard to believe that I am God in the flesh—well, look how I as creator of all things have complete command of the forces of the universe—the weather, the human body, gravity, life, and death.”

Listen to these words: “I have a greater witness than John,” Jesus said, “my teachings and my miracles. The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and they prove that he sent me” (  John 5:36). “The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me” (  John 10:25 niv). Jesus’ miracles became credible proof that he was who he claimed to be. So let’s look at a few miracles he performed.

But first, what actually is a miracle? It can be defined as a religiously significant intervention of God in the system of natural causes. Some people contend that miracles cannot occur because it is impossible to violate the laws of nature. But those who make this contention assume that nothing exists outside of nature. They believe we live in a closed system.

However, if God exists as the Creator of the universe, then he exists outside of the laws of nature he created. He can thus step into his creation and intervene as he wills. And he has. He entered the sphere of humanity by taking on human form in the person of Jesus. And to give us evidence he was God, Jesus performed miracles.

Here are examples of his miracle-working power from the New Testament, which documents that he was able to: 

  • calm a storm (see Matthew 8)
  • make a mute person speak (see Matthew 9)
  • feed 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish (see Matthew 14)
  • cast out demons (see Mark 5)
  • walk on water (see Mark 6)
  • bring sight to the blind (see Mark 10)
  • make a fig tree wither up by cursing it (see Mark 11)
  • foretell the future (see Mark 14)
  • heal a paralyzed man (see Luke 5)
  • raise a boy from the dead (see Luke 7)
  • heal incurable hemorrhaging (see Luke 8)
  • cleanse lepers (see Luke 17)
  • turn water into wine (see John 2)
  • make the lame walk (see John 5)
  • forgive sin (see John 8)
  • raise a man from the dead (see John 11)
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Was Jesus a Real Person?

In recent years some people have questioned the actual existence of Jesus. Some claim that the idea of a Savior was manufactured by certain people and it ended up becoming a religion.

The problem with this thinking is that there are simply too many biblical and extra biblical writings that attest to the real person we know as Jesus Christ, who lived and died in the first century.

An Untenable Idea

First, it is absurd to believe that in the first century thousands of people would devote themselves to a person who never existed. By AD 100, about 65 years after Jesus had been on earth, there were some 25,000 people who called themselves Christians—named after Christ who they believed in. Many of these Christ-followers were persecuted not just by governments but by family and friends. Some even gave up their lives as martyrs for this person. Would so many people do this for a person who had never lived? And within 200 years (AD 300) the faithful band of Jesus-followers grew to over 20 million.   It is inconceivable that such a large following would have lasted had it been based on a phantom Christ.

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Does the Bible Endorse Capital Punishment?

If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image (Genesis 9:6).

Does Scripture provide our modern society with the justification for capital punishment?

As humans we were created in God’s own image. This in and of itself establishes the dignity, value, and worth of all human life. God desired from the beginning that we honor one another and life itself. God said, “Honor your father and mother…you must not murder…you must not commit adultery…you must not steal…you must not testify falsely…you must not covet your neighbor’s wife” (Deuteronomy 5:16-21). From God’s interaction with Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the early church, it was understood and taught that life was sacred at every stage. Promoting social justice, taking care of the poor, and defending human rights find their basis in each of us and our governmental bodies by the fact that we are created in God’s image with value, dignity, and worth.

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Was the Flood Global?

“Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die” (Genesis 6:17).

Was the Flood a localized disaster or a worldwide destruction of all human and animal life?

Many geologists and Christian scholars do not believe there was a single universal flood of history, yet acknowledge that there were many devastating local floods in earth’s history. On the other hand, there are geologists and Christian scholars who contend that only a worldwide flood could account for the earth’s sedimentary layers and the fossils that have been formed. 

The Scripture states that “all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky…Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks” (Genesis 7:11,19-20). This passage can be interpreted at least two ways. One is that the Flood covered the highest mountains of Planet Earth. This interpretation comes from translating the Hebrew word erets as “earth” or “world,” meaning worldwide. However, erets can also be translated as “country” and “land,” which refer to limited land areas. So scholars have differed on the extensiveness of the Flood.

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Did New Testament Writers Twist the Meaning of the Old Testament?

The 39 books of the Old Testament were written to and about the children of Israel, or the Jewish nation. Some critics charge that writers of the New Testament twist Old Testament passages and take them out of context to make them fit their views of Jesus and his teachings. What are these purported distortions that critics refer to?

For example:

Matthew quotes Isaiah 7 and declares that it was prophesied Jesus was to be born of a virgin and would be called Immanuel (Matthew 7:14). Critics point out that a full reading of chapter 7 of Isaiah shows it is more likely referring to the birth of Hezekiah, who became a godly king of Israel.

Hosea the prophet says when Israel was a child, God loved him and “called my son out of Egypt” (Hosea 11:1). We all know that God did in fact call his people out of Egypt. Yet Matthew says this was a prophecy about Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to Egypt and their later return. They did this to escape Herod’s decree to kill all the newborn Jewish males in Bethlehem.

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Does the Bible Contradict Itself?

The Bible contains 66 books authored by over 40 different people writing on hundreds of subjects, including who God is and how he interacts with his creation. Could all these different authors, who wrote hundreds of years apart, be consistent and in harmony regarding its message? Critics claim that is impossible and assert there are thousands of errors and contradictions in the Bible. Is this true?

When conservative Christian theologians say the Bible is without error (inerrant) they mean that, when all the facts are known, the Scriptures as they were penned by the authors in the original writings and as properly interpreted will be shown to be true and not false in all they affirm. This is of course the case if God is actually the author of Scripture. It stands to reason that if he inspired certain men to reveal his words, he would be sure not to contradict himself, so that his Word would be error-free.

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Did God Create Aliens?

Are we the only finite intelligent beings in the universe? Are there others out there somewhere that God created who are our “alien relatives”? Many have speculated that intelligent life exists somewhere in the distant universe—it’s just that we haven’t made contact with it yet.

King David wrote, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4). The space that God created, in its vastness and wonder, is majestic and awesome and beyond our comprehension.

Scientists say matter is spread over a space at least 93 billion light-years across. There are probably more than 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, with countless billions of planets.  10 That blows the mind! And it may cause us to wonder, are we the only intelligent beings God created in this vast universe?

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Does God Love Everyone Regardless of Sexual Orientation?

Not long ago the news media released a picture of a man and a young boy protesting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The young boy was holding a sign that read, God Hates Fags. This particular church group believes that God hates gays above all other kinds of sinners and that homosexuality should be a capital crime. On their website they assert that every tragedy in the world is linked to homosexuality, specifically society’s increasing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality as a legitimate lifestyle.

The resentment garnered by this church group is not just a problem for these few picketers. David Kinnaman, in his book UnChristian, indicates that, sadly, more than nine out of ten outsiders view all Christians as anti-homosexual as well.

So what does God think about homosexuals? Does he love them as much as he does heterosexuals, or does he really hate “fags”?

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Is God Racist?

A racist is one who believes that a certain human race is superior to any or all others—that one race or some races have distinctive characteristics determined by hereditary factors, and this endows them with an intrinsic superiority. And this means that racial discrimination is justified. So based on this definition, is God a racist? Some say he is.

In the book of Genesis it tells us God singled out a man named Abram and said,

Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land I will show you. I will make into you a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you (Genesis 12:1-3).

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