And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
How do you tell people that you are telling the truth? What words or phrases do you use to convince them that you are now telling the truth? What you’re not saying is that you might have been telling something less than the truth in the past. But right now, you’ve fixed that and you’re absolutely telling them the truth.
Some people put all sorts of extra words and phrases in their speech in a futile attempt to assure people that they are now telling the truth.
· “I’m telling the truth.”
· “I wouldn’t make this up.”
· “I swear on a stack of Bibles.”
· “I swear on my sainted mother’s grave.”
But the implication, the unintended consequence, the unspoken truth is that people are not always telling the truth. If they were, then all these extra words wouldn’t be necessary.
But this is Jesus, and he never told a lie in his life. He’s never twisted the truth to benefit himself, his movement, his disciples, or followers. He’s always straight-forward when he’s speaking directly about someone or something.
Yes, he does use stories, parables, analogies. But they’re used in the service of communicating a great, higher truth. Most of the time he is direct, refreshingly clear. He even speaks the truth plainly when it’s not going to win friends, even putting him in danger. At one point, his hometown people were so upset and offended at what he said that they tried to throw him off a cliff.
Jesus doesn’t pull any punches. He called out the religious leaders and their chokehold on the people. Hypocrites. A nest of snakes. Blind guides. Full of corruption and dry bones.
Jesus also spoke so clearly about himself and his claims to be God.
Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
It doesn’t get any clearer than this. Jesus claims to be God so directly and without any options that people even quote it back to him. There’s no way to misunderstand, explain away, or reinterpret this.
Jesus claimed to be God. Period.
So, the big question is what are we supposed to do with this? Are we just to take it in just like any other piece of information? Like any post on social media? Or what we hear on robocalls?
Jesus gives us very few options. Actually, only two.
1. One option is to ignore or not believe what he said. And that’s a choice.
2. The only other option is to believe what he said.
No matter what you choose, it comes with a price. If you choose not to believe, you may be turning your back on the most fascinating, amazing, liberating person in the history of the world.
If you’re leaning towards ignoring Jesus, please don’t do it in an unthinking way. Have you ever thought about who Jesus is? Who he claimed to be? What he did?
When I’m thinking about buying stocks, I investigate the company. It’s claims. It’s history. I ask professionals, people that know a heck of a lot more than I do for advice. I never just make a decision without thinking about it.
When I go to the store to buy food, I never just throw things into the cart. I read the ingredients. Where it’s made. What’s the reputation of the company that made it.
I think it’s not too strong to suggest that making an uninformed decision about Jesus without looking into what he said, is perhaps the unwisest thing you could possibly do. You deserve the truth.
You deserve better.
 Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.  https://youtu.be/6jpwqWPKAUc?t=298  Luke 4:24-30  Matthew 23:13-36