Though Jesus’ words were profound, they were plain

Published 8:15 am Friday, November 3, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: If Jesus is the truth, why did He speak in riddles, especially to religious men? It seems that someone who claims to be one with God the Father would speak plainly to the people in easy-to-understand language. – J.S.

Dear J.S.: Jesus was very open and frank. He spoke of people appearing to be religious on the outside but corrupt on the inside and said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may also become clean” (Matthew 23:25–26, NASB).
True belief in God is inward and has to do with a personal commitment and attitude, rather than strict observance of rituals and rules. Jesus was frank, bold, and honest in every situation.
Only the Savior would speak so plainly from the cross as He bled and died for the sins of the whole world, and prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34, NASB). The officers at the foot of the cross replied in astonishment, “Never has a man spoken in this way” (John 7:46, NASB). The crowds were amazed at His teaching. He spoke with authority and with power. Jesus’ claim to deity is fully supported by His character. He is unique in history.
Though Jesus’ words were profound, they were plain. His words were weighty, yet they shone with a luster and simplicity that staggered His enemies as we see in John 10:24–25, 30 when Jesus was asked, “If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” And He answered plainly: “The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. … I and My Father are one.”
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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