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Jewish Eyewitnesses – His Friends

Jewish Eyewitnesses – His Friends

The Bible is remarkable for being candid about its greatest men. It reveals flaws in the characters of, for example, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David and Solomon. The New Testament does not attempt to hide the failings of Peter, Paul, John or other influential figures in the early church. However, the unanimous consent of all the New Testament writers is that Jesus was free from all moral taint. The following quotes are from men who spent three years living in close proximity to him and had opportunity to observe his behaviour at all times, including periods of physical exhaustion and times when he was under intense pressure. The fact that they were his friends does not diminish their testimony, it enhances it.

John

(his closest friend, who sat next to him at the final Passover Seder he shared with his disciples)

We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life [a term he uses in the first verse of his Gospel as a title for the Messiah, recalling Psalm 33:6] — the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us — that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus the Messiah. (1 John 1:1-3)

 Jesus the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:5-7)

Peter

(a strong, impetuous fisherman who became Jesus’ best known disciple)

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:18-21)

Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:21-25)

Thomas

(the disciple whose doubts dissolved when he met the risen Jesus)

Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand [here,] and put [it] into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:24-28)

Judas Iscariot

(It may seem odd to class Judas, who betrayed Jesus, as a friend, but he was a disciple who was with Jesus day and night for 3 years. In view of the fact that most miscreants seek to justify their deeds, the final words of Judas are all the more significant and poignant.

“I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” (Matthew 27:4)

 

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