By Charles D. Earl
Former Director of Missions, Holston Valley Baptist Assoc., Rogersville

Sunday School Lessons explore the bibleFocal Passage: Matthew 17:1-13

Our text in Matthew 17 begins with the words that introduce to us one of the most wonderful and most inspirational events in the whole New Testament. This event in the life of Jesus happens after He has had many, many opportunities of teaching. He uses in these teaching periods probably His most favorite teaching tool which, of course, was telling parables. He also has worked several miracles, among which is the healing of the centurion’s servant, Jairus’ daughter.  Many who were blind had received their sight. During this interim period Jesus had also called His disciples and sent them forth to preach and to heal.  

In Matthew 11:2 John has been put in prison, and from that prison he sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus if He is the Messiah or should they look for another. Jesus instructs John’s disciples to tell John to examine His ministry for proof that He is indeed the Messiah. Then Jesus continues His teaching by speaking complimentary words about John the Baptist, saying there is none greater than John. After quite some time passes, Jesus learns that John the Baptist has been put to death. Remember now, according to Matthew’s record, John the Baptist had already baptized Jesus, he had stood on the banks of the Jordan when the Spirit of God descended like a dove and a voice from heaven Matthew identified as the voice of God the Father says, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” We have God the Son being baptized, God the Holy Spirit descending like a dove, and God the Father speaking from heaven! What else do we need to prove to us that Jesus was God incarnate? Jesus was as much God as if He were not man and He was just as much man as if He were not God!

That Trinity, that Three in One, can be seen even in the early verses of Genesis. Do you remember those words? In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make man in our image according to our likeness.” As those first verses of the gospel of John declares, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (the Trinity) were all involved in creation!

So the question John the Baptist was asking Jesus in that day, and the question all the naysayers are asking Jesus in our own day is, “Are you really the promised Messiah or should we look for another?” Men still today, with a straight face, ask the same question, “Is Jesus really, I mean really, God?” There are so many biblical proofs available we do not know where to begin to prove His divinity, and we have cited many of them above. Quite frankly, I can’t think of a better Scripture to prove Who Jesus was and is than the first verses of the gospel of John. Do you remember them? Listen to them again: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GOD! How much proof do we need to prove that Jesus is fully God, that Christ is God?

If these proofs are insufficient to convince you of the divinity of Jesus, turn to Matthew 17 and read about that wonderful account of His transfiguration!