I meet alot of people each week. The business I'm in probably leads me to an average of meeting 8 to 10 people each day. If I follow the Bible's admonition to witness about the truth to others (Isaiah 43:10-13; Acts 1:8; Luke 14:15-24), I must make it a point to speak to others about their eternal destiny, and this includes knowing Yeshua the Messiah, and knowing who He really is and what He really stands for.
One Scripture I use alot in teaching others about Yeshua is John 3:16. I choose this Scripture because it is very well known and often even non church goers can quote it in part and sometimes in whole. After either reading or quoting the verse I ask the people a few questions. "Who loved the world?" The reply: God. "Who did Yahweh (God) give?" The reply: His Son. "Must we believe in His Son according to this verse, in order to have eternal life?" The reply: Yes, that's what it says. This is typically how the conversation goes, and I think that if a conversation goes like this, you are on the right track.
I would like to focus on one singular aspect of John 3:16 now and that is that Yahweh (whom the world generally calls God) gave His Son. Yahweh really did give us His Son. I have pressed this point with many people and up until I get into more detailed specifics people are always in agreement. Yet, when I ask the average church goer if "Jesus is God" they will almost automatically respond, "Yes," or "Absolutely!" Yet at the same time they will confess that "Jesus is the Son of God," or more properly, "Yeshua is the Son of Yahweh". So I then go back to John 3:16 showing them that the text does not say that "God gave God" or that "God gave Himself" but that "Yahweh gave His Son". It's quite plain.
See, many people profess with their mouth that they believe Yeshua to be the Son of Yahweh, but their heart is far from such a belief. They rather stress the issue of what's commonly called the "Deity of Christ" believing that Yeshua's identity is "God". That's where the stress lies with most professing Christians. The stress is not placed on Yeshua being the Son of God, but rather God Himself.
Is that the stress that Yeshua placed on His identity? I do not believe so. Yeshua asked His disciples a question about who He was. Matthew 16:13-18 records the episode for us. He basically stated, "Who do you say that I the Son of man am?" One of Yeshua's disciples was bold enough to answer the question and he (Peter) answered by saying "You are the Messiah the Son of the Living Mighty One (God)." Yeshua responded to Peter's answer by saying that flesh and blood did not reveal this to Peter, but rather, the Father in heaven. It was the Father in heaven, Yahweh, that revealed to Peter who Yeshua was. I'm going to say here that I do not for one second believe that the Father in heaven was wrong, inaccurate, or trying to pull the wool over the eyes of humanity. Yeshua really is the Son of Yahweh.
Yeshua went on to say that the church would be built upon this foundation, and understanding this is critical. Peter's revelation, for it to be a foundation, had to be the most absolute revelation of who Yeshua was and is. In other words, this was not something partial; you do not build upon a partial foundation. The question had been asked by the Savior Himself, and the answer was given - the complete answer. Yeshua really was Yahweh's Son, not Yahweh. There is a distinct difference in saying:
(2) Son of Yahweh
Statement one includes one party, while statement two includes two parties. Yahweh really did give us His Son. John 3:16 really is telling the truth.
You know, if you buy a new car and you want to know something about the engine you should flip the manual over to the section about the engine. Yes, you might learn something about the engine by reading about the car in general or by reading another section or two that's somewhat related. But the most complete and pertinent information you'll find about the engine is guess where? In the section about the engine of course.
If we want to know who Yeshua is, wouldn't you think the best place to find out would be where He Himself actually asked people the question "Who am I?" Wouldn't you think that this would be the best place to go to find out who He really is or what His identity is? Especially in light of the fact that He applauded Peter for the answer given in Matthew 16?
I hope and pray that people will really believe that Yeshua is the Son of Yahweh. Their eternal destiny depends upon it.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.