Did Jesus understand Himself to be the Messiah and revelation of God in human flesh? This two-fold question is important to answer, since many today claim that Jesus never understood Himself to be neither. In yesterday's post we considered how Jesus understood Himself to be on equal par- with God by his phrase: "but I say". This phrase was His way of saying He was equal in authority to the Old Testament and above and superior to the Jewish traditions of His time. Such a statement undoubtedly sparked controversy and marvel from both Jesus' opponents and followers.
In today's post we raise the question again: how well did Jesus understand Himself to be with respect to being the Messiah and decisive revelation of God in human flesh? In conversations that I've had over the years with people of differing worldviews, religions and even-skeptics - the charge has been that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah nor God's decisive revelation of Himself in true humanity. Demonstrating this to be the case is important, since the Jesus I worship and preach and that Bible believing Christians have staked their trust in must surely be more than another "prophet" or mere "holy-man".
As I noted yesterday, this series of posts aims to explore whether or not Jesus understood Himself (by way of his words and actions) to not only be the Messiah or deliverer of His people, but also God in human flesh, the Savior of the world and other truths that are unfolded in the New Testament. We witnessed yesterday Jesus' implicit claim to be Divinely authoritative by way of His phrase: "but I say to you". Today, we will consider another action and teaching of Jesus, whereby He uses the phrase: "truly, truly I say to you" or "verily, verily I say to you".
How Jesus' use of "truly, truly" or "verily, verily" or "amen, amen" was His way of claiming to be the sole gateway to God
Whenever one reads any of the writings of the Jewish teachers of Jesus day, the teacher (or Rabbi) would give his exposition of a particular text, and then end the teaching by way of the phrase "truly" (or "amen" or for those who use the KJV, "verily"). Such a method was the Rabbi's way of saying "what I just said is based upon the Bible and other authoritative tradition" or "what I just taught can be confirmed by others". No Rabbi would had ever dreamed of placing this phrase in front of their teaching, lest they be presuming themselves to need no other validating authority. As a matter of fact, if any Rabbi would had done such a practice, it would be assumed He was setting himself up to be His own authority - which only God can do.