THE BOLD CHRIST
Delivered October 2, 2005
At the Lordship of Christ Conference
Dominion Baptist Church
Birmingham, Alabama

The Bold Christ!
His Proclamation of Truth and Labor Midst Danger

The NT Greek word “doxa” is translated “glory” in English and has the basic meaning of “opinion”. Thus the greater your opinion is of a matter or a person the more “glory” is seen in the object. The higher your opinion is of Jesus of Nazareth, the more glory you see in Him.

That, to me, is the purpose of a series of messages on,

“The Nature of Jesus Christ”.

The more you understand about the true nature of Jesus as the Eternal Word made flesh, the more glory you will see in Him.

2 Corinthians 4:6
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The glory, or, your opinion of Jesus Christ is enhanced through these presentations on “The Nature of Jesus Christ”.

There are necessarily many overlapping insights in these messages.

Jesus Christ is so wonderful [full of wonder] that any attempt to describe Him involves and overlaps His human and divine attributes, although His human and divine natures are never co-mingled or confused. Jesus is as much God as though He were not Man and Jesus is as much Man as though He were not God.

My topic is not “The Compassionate Christ” and yet His evangelistic zeal and love for men required boldness.

My topic is not “The All Powerful Christ” although He must have all power to enforce the bold claims that He made.

My topic is not “The Impeccable Christ” but if He were not without sin, yea not able to sin, His bold claims would be sin!

My topic is not “The Angry Christ” and yet it took boldness when He was full of righteous anger as He confronted the implacable Jewish leaders who were almost all of them hypocrites.

My topic is not “The Incarnate Christ”, however, how bold was the 12-year old boy Jesus in the temple? Who told Jesus that God was His Father and not Joseph!

Luke 2:49
And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"

And neither is my topic “The Humble and Obedient Christ” and yet the boldness of Jesus Christ derives from His total submission to the will of the Father.

My assignment is, The Bold Christ!
His Proclamation of Truth and Labor Midst Danger

“Boldness” is defined: 1. Showing a readiness to take risks or face danger; daring; fearless. 2. Too free in behavior or manner; taking liberties; impudent; shameless. 3. Prominent and clear; striking and sharp. 4. Forceful in expression.

The premise of my message, “The Bold Christ!” is supported by Paul who opens and closes the Book of Romans with an emphasis on the necessity of Jesus of Nazareth being the very One promised in the Holy Scriptures.

Romans1:1-4

1 Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 
2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,
3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

What the apostle says in Romans 1:2, is that everything about Jesus is to be found in the Scriptures. What the New Testament calls the “Scriptures” we call the Old Testament. You are thinking, “I already know that!” 

Forgive me when I explain something that every person who reads the Bible should know. But in any audience there may be new Christians, or even long time professors of faith in Jesus Christ who have never seriously studied the Bible and are yet “babes in Christ.”

Something may have been explained in your hearing many times before it first registers in your understanding.

Not too long ago, after a sermon, a lady told me that she had heard explained for the first time what Jesus meant when He said in John 8:56,

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad”. 

What was the cause of Abraham’s rejoicing?
What does Jesus mean by “My day”?

When Abraham saw the ram caught in the thicket as the offering instead of Isaac, he [Abraham] saw and understood “Substitution”.
He saw it and he was glad!

But the fact is that this same lady had been present in other studies when I made the very same connection of the New Testament with the Old Testament. But now she heard it and understood.

And Paul at the end of the Book of Romans:

Romans 16:25-27
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began
26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith — 
27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

A “mystery” in the Scripture is not something that only an elite few modern Gnostics can know. A mystery is something that had been hidden and is now revealed. And so the gospel is the mystery that was hidden in the OT and is now revealed in Jesus Christ.

And so Paul opens and closes the Book of Romans by calling on the correct understanding of the Holy Scriptures as his basis for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Not only Romans, but also the Gospel of John further enforces the premise of my theme, “The Bold Christ!” My scheme for this message is to take some relevant passages in John’s Gospel and show how they reveal the Bold Christ as the fulfillment of the OT Scriptures.

Jesus of Nazareth says and does things that can only be correctly understood that Jesus is Messiah / Christ. “The Bold Christ!”

The Apostle John begins his gospel by stating that the Logos [Word], Who is very God, existed from eternity with God the Father, became flesh.

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity had no beginning but in the fullness of time the Word became something that He was not before.

The eternal Son of God took on Himself a true human nature. He became a true Man who is now and forever the Man who is God!

So while recognizing what the apostle says about Jesus as the Word made flesh, I want to take up some of the bold things that Jesus said and did to establish that He is very God. We will, with God’s enablement, see some OT mysteries that are revealed in John’s Gospel.

Being aware of our schedule, I have been very selective in the OT connections in John’s Gospel. There are many such connections that I will pass over.

Perhaps some of you will understand some OT mysteries that you have not known before.

We will pass over the OT connection of Nathanael’s question in John 1:46, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” We could relate Nathanael’s honest question to the Pharisee’s ignorant statement in John 7:52 that, “no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”

The prophet Jonah came from Galilee and Jesus said that the prophet Jonah was the only sign that would be given to an evil and adulterous generation.

Matthew 12:38-41

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."
39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 
40 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.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea but He grew up in Nazareth and was called Jesus of Nazareth. Nazareth is in Galilee.

Let me disclose that most of these OT mysteries were gleaned from the writings of Charles D. Alexander. Mr. Alexander was from Liverpool and I was blessed to know him.

What could Jesus of Nazareth do that would be more bold than what He did early in His time of humiliation?


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Immediately following the first miracle that Jesus performed by turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana He came to the temple at Passover.

Imagine the boldness of an itinerant rabbi who in righteous indignation takes complete charge of the temple!


The Boldness of Christ:
JESUS and the MONEYCHANGERS.

John 2:13-17

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business.
15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables.
16 And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!" 
17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up."

    "Moneychanger" is derived from kollubos (a small coin; coin-dealer)

In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.  (Zechariah 14:21)

Canaanite or inhabitant of Canaan; by implication, a peddler, one who conducted mercantile caravans, a merchant, moneychanger.

Jesus is boldly fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah that the Canaanite, the moneychanger, would no longer be in the House of the LORD.

An OT mystery is revealed in the NT.


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus and Nicodemus

Consider the condescension of the “the teacher of Israel” coming to Jesus, who to Nicodemus, was a “nobody”. Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to ask Him some questions.

Why did Nicodemus come to Jesus at night? Because Nicodemus was the representative of religious Israel and it was “night” in Israel. True religion had turned to ignorance and pride.

John 3:10-13
10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? 
11 Most assuredly [Amen, amen], I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness. 
12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 
13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

When Jesus quoted Proverbs 30, about the Son of Man who came down from heaven, it caused an earthquake in the soul of this proud Pharisee.

Right then Nicodemus knew that Jesus was the Son of Man who was boldly speaking to him and that he, Nicodemus, was the stupid man of the proverb.

Proverbs 30:2-4
2 Surely I am more stupid than any man,
And do not have the understanding of a man.
3 I neither learned wisdom
Nor have knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His Son's name,
If you know?

An OT mystery is revealed in the NT.


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The Boldness of Christ:
The SAMARITAN WOMAN'S FIVE HUSBANDS.

Our culture cannot fully appreciate the boldness of a Jewish man speaking to a Samaritan woman. But Jesus addressed the woman’s response to His request that she call her husband when she said, “I have no husband.”

You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.   (John 4:18)

When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman to call her husband He is about to teach her that neither lineage nor location have anything to do with salvation. 

John 4:21-24
21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 
22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." 

In John 3, Jesus saved Nicodemus, a rich, proud, Jewish religious leader. 
In John 4, Jesus saves a castout Samaritan harlot. 

You must see that it is the same gospel for the highly respected of society and for the dregs of society. Everyone is level at the cross!

Just as Nicodemus nighttime visit represented the darkness of Jewish blindness, so this poor, wretched woman represented the half-breed nation of Samaria.  Samaria had five ‘husbands.’

The people of Samaria were half-breed Gentiles who married Jews.  The account of how Samaria was repopulated after the captivity is found in
2 Kings 17:24-41.

Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities.  (2 Kings 17:24)

Those are the “five husbands” of Samaria and this wretched woman represents them.

An OT mystery is revealed in the NT.

This encounter of Jesus and the Woman at Jacob’s Well concludes with the bold claim He made to her that He is the Messiah / Christ.

John 4:25-26

25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things."
26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." 


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus’ Own Sermon on His Deity

Of all of the passages in the Bible that prove the deity and the boldness of Jesus none surpass Christ’s own Sermon on His Deity in John5: 17-47.

The next time you have an opportunity to discuss the deity of Christ with someone who doubts this truth, just read Christ’s own Sermon on His Deity and seriously ask how Jesus could say these things about Himself?

We only have time for a few examples from John 5:

John 5:16-47
16 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.
17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." 
18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 
20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 
21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. 
22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 
23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. 
24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 
25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 
26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 
27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 
28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 
29 and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 
30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. 
31 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 
32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 
33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 
34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 
35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 
36 But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish — the very works that I do — bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 
37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 

38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.  39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. 

“But you do not have His word abiding in you…”

Jesus has just told the most religious men who ever walked on earth that they died not know God!

41 "I do not receive honor from men. 
42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 
43 I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 
44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 
45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you — Moses, in whom you trust. 
46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 
47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"

OT mysteries are revealed in the NT.


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus Feeds the Multitudes

In John chapter 6, Jesus feeds the multitudes with five barley loaves and two fish and then preached that He is the True Bread from heaven, the Sent One of God.

In this miracle, the only miracle recorded in all four gospel records, Jesus fulfills the miracle foreshadowed by Elisha in 2 Kings 4:43.

Jesus is the True Bread from heaven.

An OT mystery is revealed in the NT.


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus Walks on the Sea

Jesus fulfills Job 9:8 where Job can only be speaking of God.

Job 9:8
8 He alone spreads out the heavens,
And treads on the waves of the sea;

An OT mystery is revealed in the NT.



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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus Fulfills the Feast of the Tabernacles

In John 7:1-2 Jesus comes to observe the Feast of the Tabernacles but He is Himself the “Feast of the Tabernacles.”



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The Boldness of Christ:
On the Last Day of the Feast of the Tabernacles

In John 7:37-38 Jesus fulfills Zechariah and Ezekiel’s prophecy of “living water.”

John 7:37-39

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 
39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

An OT mystery is revealed in the NT.



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The Boldness of Christ:
WHAT DID JESUS WRITE ON THE GROUND?

This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.  But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.  So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."  And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.  Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last.  And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. (John 8:6-9)

Jeremiah 17:13

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed.  Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.  


What did Jesus write on the ground? Jesus wrote in the earth the names of each Pharisee who accused the woman and then wrote beside each name a specific sin. How do we know what Jesus wrote?


An OT mystery is revealed in the NT.


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus Claims to be the Light of the World

John 8:12

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." 


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus Claims to be the Only Remedy for Sin

John 8:23-24

23 And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." 


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus Claims to be the True Shepherd of Israel

Without spending much time on this today I invite you to read what Jesus says to the Pharisees in John 10:1-10 where he calls them the false shepherds of Jeremiah 23 & Ezekiel 34.

Then Jesus says that He is the Good Shepherd.

How good is the good Shepard? He gives His life for the sheep.


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The Boldness of Christ:
The Raising of Lazarus


The raising of Lazarus is the final sign to an unbelieving nation.


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The Boldness of Christ:
The Triumphal Entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem

In John 12:12-19 Jesus fulfills Zachariah 9:9
Jesus of Nazareth made His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and literally fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 that Messiah would come riding on the foal of a donkey. Jesus is making a bold public declaration that He is Messiah. Previously Jesus had avoided the crowds. Now He boldly claims to be Messiah!

Zechariah 9:9

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.

The great crowds that were in Jerusalem for the Passover were excited and cried out “Hosanna” or “Save Now!” They were ready to make Jesus their King. But they grossly misunderstood the nature of Messiah’s kingdom.

The Kingdom of God is not an earthly kingdom but a kingdom of priests made up of born again Jews and born again Gentiles redeemed by the blood of the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world! The “world” in the Jewish mind was the mix of Jews and Gentiles. The Jews were quite all right with a Jewish kingdom but they had no concept of both Jews and Gentiles in the same body of believers.


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The Boldness of Christ:
Jesus’ Last Bold Claim

We have barely skimmed the surface of the bold claims of Jesus but I cannot end without mentioning what is the boldest statement ever made by anyone!

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 

Mohammed is not a way to God.
The teachings of Buddha are not a way to God.
Vishnu will not take you to God.
Not even the Virgin Mary is a way to God.

There is only one way to God and that is through the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. If this claim by Jesus is not true then nothing else that He said will matter.

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Jesus was bold as He faced death on the cross.

Yes, He sweated, as it were great drops of blood, but His agony was the prospect of being made to be sin. The sinless Son of Man is about to be put in the rank and order of sinners.

But Jesus told the proud Pilate who boasted of his power that, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”

The boldness of Jesus Christ is, I believe, grounded in His sure knowledge of Himself that He was indeed the fulfillment, not only of a few isolated “Messianic” Old Testament Scriptures, but the entire Old Testament.

In the life of Jesus, nothing, "just happens."

Learn to look for connections as you read the Old Testament and the New Testament.  We have hardly begun to "search the Scriptures.”
Jesus, who is the Author of Holy Scripture, fulfills the Scripture by His perfect obedience and through His words.

Has your opinion of Jesus been enhanced?
Do you see more glory in Jesus the Christ?

This is the Jesus we worship and trust.

Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Amen
Copyright © 2005 James A. Gunn
All rights reserved
Used by permission.
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