This week’s devotions are based on the Week 5 “Explore God” – Is Jesus Really God? (WATCH HERE)
You would expect Christians to claim that Jesus is God. But sometimes the unexpected witnesses provide profound confirmation because they are not taught to profess this or have any skin in the game to profess it.
As we consider the question, “Is Jesus God?” the witness of individuals carry weight to affirm or deny the reality. The more witnesses one has, the validation of the story strengthens. The same story from people who are not biased…or completely against the plaintiff perhaps carry stronger weight than the testimony of friends and family.
We would find it risky to bring the “Accuser” to the stand to testify to the authenticity of Jesus as God. The devil and all who follow him have no reason to speak truth about Jesus. Except they have known and experienced the truth about who Jesus is…the Son of God.
When Jesus encountered individuals possessed by demons, they had to leave at his command and authority. Demons don’t have to leave at human authority, but when a higher ranking power commands them, they have to obey. This reality is the first type of testimony that the demons give to Jesus being God. However, it’s not just their reaction in the presence of Jesus, but their words that speak what they know about him.
Luke 4:40 When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.
They spoke the truth. They knew Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah foretold and promised for centuries in the Old Testament.
If the demons know Jesus is God, one would think all humanity would also acknowledge Jesus as God. But they don’t. Ironic, isn’t it. The demonic world has a clearer understanding of truth than the human world.
Another unexpected witness was the Roman centurion at the foot of the cross. The Centurion simply had the responsibility to ensure that Jesus ended up dead on the cross. To be sure he was around during the trial and heard the accusations against Jesus and the responses Jesus made. He watched Jesus go without defense or complaint. He heard Jesus speak forgiveness to him and to all who put him on the cross. He heard him care for his mother and cry out for his Father in the midst of unexplained darkness. He felt the earth shake underneath him as Jesus gave up his Spirit and he saw a body that was lifeless without any need for breaking bones. His innocence became evident. His love became real. And his identity became clear. The Roman centurion declared:
Mark 15:38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
The conviction factor for a criminal was the agreement of two witnesses. Could we apply this to the question, “Is Jesus God?” Yes. The irony is the unexpected source of these witnesses: demons and a pagan soldier.
Why did they speak this truth? Because the evidence was overwhelming and clear: Jesus is God.
Apply: What do you think of using the demons and centurion to build your answer to the question, “Is Jesus God?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the evidence is so great that even the demons and pagans proclaim, “You are the Son of God!” Help us to declare with the same boldness and conviction. AMEN.