Thanks to Dan for his comment on a previous recent blog. He has given a good insight. We should be gentle with those who doubt as Jesus frequently was in the gospels. Doubt is not the same as denial. Jesus had no patience with those who denied the evidence outright. He had comfort on those who were asking honest questions.
We’ve been going through the New Testament lately wanting to come to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Tonight, we’re going to be starting the book of Acts and our first passage will be one JWs use to deny the deity of Christ. The verse is 2:36, but we will begin at verse 29 to avoid being accused of taking the verse out of context.
29“Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
” ‘The Lord said to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand
35until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet.”
36“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
The JW will say that at this point, Jesus was made Lord. If he was made Lord, then that would mean he was not Lord at his birth or even prior to that. (To be there, some might dispute this claim, but they’d have to say when it happened. Their book “What Does The Bible Really Teach?” even says Jesus became the Christ at his baptism. It’d be good to tie both together and ask the JW when Jesus became Lord and Christ.)
We’re going to look at some verses in Luke’s gospel since Acts is also by Luke and is his second work. Let’s look at Luke 2:8-12.
8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
This would indicate that Jesus was Lord and Christ even at his birth. I simply challenge the reader at this point to go to a Bible online and look up the words “Lord” and “Christ” in the gospels and see how many times Jesus was called that.
Some of you are thinking “Well and good, but that still doesn’t explain the verse.”
Correct. What did Peter mean? He did not mean become. The word “made” in this case would indicate a declaration more than anything else. Because Jesus rose from the dead, he has thus been vindicated in his claim to be Lord and Christ. The resurrection is God’s act of declaring that all Jesus said about himself is true. Hence Peter’s appeal, “He is going to take his throne and you all better get right. After all, he is the one YOU crucified.”
The message is still true today. Jesus is Lord and Christ, and the message of repentance is still there also. Have you responded?