Jesus Christ (a 16-part study)

We often conclude our prayers with the words, "in Jesus' name". Why do we do this? First, when teaching about prayer the Lord said: "You may ask me for anything in my name and I will do it" (John 14:14) and "I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." (John 16:23)

If you look back over Christian history, you will see that there have been many confident proclamations made declaring when the world will end. These predictions have come from cult leaders, churches and self-appointed prophets who have been prepared to go public in declaring when the Lord Jesus Christ will return and bring the world to an end. And they have not been short of followers either.

Jesus addressed these words to Saul of Tarsus, later to become the Apostle Paul, when he confronted him on the road to Damascus.

Saying that Jesus is the only way to God is often regarded as arrogant by those who believe that there are many ways to God: one can be a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, it doesn't matter since no one person or belief system has the exclusive claims on being the only way to God. There are many ways to God.

The Pharisees were a group of religious leaders in Jesus' day who turned religion into a heavy burden for the people. They majored on keeping the law perfectly, thinking they were reflecting the will of God by their close attention to such things as the tithing of dill, mint and cumin and the washing of hands and utensils before eating. Many were influenced by the Pharisees' teachings and found little joy in serving God. Against this background, Jesus invites the spiritually weary and burdened to come "learn from me" (Matthew 11:29) The Pharisee who accepted this invitation learned from Jesus that God is exceedingly gracious to sinners.

The Bible makes it very clear that Mary was a virgin when she conceived. And the Bible is equally clear when it declares that Jesus did have brothers and sisters.