Would you know the messiah if he appeared? It's easy to say yes. Many people are familiar with the second coming passages; every eye shall see him, every knee shall bend, and every tongue will confess. But consider this, those are old testament passages. And the Pharisees knew these verses. But when the Messiah appeared, doing Messiah stuff, they had no idea their own Elohim/God was in their midst.
I want to retell the story of the Luke 5 and the paralytic. But, let's use the old testament to fill in the blanks. The story of the leper spread like wildfire. Everyone showed up in Capernaum to see the leper messiah. Even as the people waited patiently to see what this new messiah would do, Isaiah the prophet knew what Jesus was up too.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
We know what happens next. The roof tears open and a paralyzed man hovers into a crowded room. If you are a Jew, and Isaiah is on your tongue, what do you think is about to happen?
Luke records Jesus response to their faith by making a comparison to God seeing the faith of Abraham.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fear God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. Genesis 22:12
Jesus is brilliant, and Luke is smart enough to recognize what is happening. Jesus tells the man, "your sins are forgiven." So the Pharisees hold a little pow-wow. They begin to reason together.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool
I kind of think Luke is poking fun, but I can't prove that. But what are they discussing? Does the Bible teach about God healing, er forgiving sins?
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Did you catch the order of operations in that text? I guarantee the Pharisees knew it. The Lord forgives then heals, and not to jump too far ahead but he restores youth like an eagle.
But Jesus is not done revealing who he is. Luke tells us that Jesus perceives their thoughts. Do any old testament echoes stand out? What about when Jesus calls them out? The scripture teaches only God knows your thoughts.
"And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.
1 Chronicles 28:9
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,
but gracious words are pure
Let me insert a quick note. When a Jewish student or scribe thought of scripture, they didn't think of individual verses. These verses hyperlink to a whole concatenation of ideas. It's no wonder the Pharisees act as they do. There is no wiggle room. Their scripture rebukes them. The most comfortable response is to call blasphemy and throw rocks.
But I think Jesus is showing them grace. He responds like a rabbi. He asks a question. There is enough scriptural evidence to make a case for his identity. But just in case they are still wondering, Jesus, reminds them that only the cloud rider of Daniel has the power to do everything they just witnessed.
"I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities
If the cloud rider of Daniel forgives people, then it's the same man from Isaiah 53. The crowd and especially the Pharisees would have this connection. But Jesus is not done with this testimony. The paralytic rose and walked at the command of Jesus.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it(he) stood firm.
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Jesus claimed to be the Elohim/God of creation. There was no denying it. Everyone, including the Pharisees, understood. Luke tells us that everyone was amazed. Prophecy, scripture, and Messiah all met at one place that day.
And remember Isaiah? The paralytic man leaped like a deer. I guarantee it.