Who is This Jesus?
By Mickey Keith on December 08, 20081 CommentIn the New Testament book of Matthew, Jesus asks his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They answered, “Some say Jeremiah, Elijah or some other prophet.” But then he asked the question for all ages- “Who do YOU say that I am?” Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Messiah, the son of the Living God.” Jesus told him that his correct answer came by Divine revelation! The Message Paraphrase says, “You didn’t get that answer out of books or from your teachers”.
John, the apostle of love, who leaned on the breast of Jesus at the last supper, wrote concerning his eye witness account of Jesus’ life and ministry-
1 John 1:1-3 NIV “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
History is full of men who have claimed to be God, or to have come with a message from God. But only One is the truly Divine Son of God!
John 1:1-3, 14 NIV “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Not only is Jesus the Son of God, but He is God the Son! As the Word (Greek-`logos’- thought and expression of God), He was pre-existent with God the Father at the Creation of the universe and beyond!
Col. 1:15-18 NIV “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”
Col. 2:9-10 NIV “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.”
In the words of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians, we see the totality of what Jesus Christ gave up as He divested Himself of equality with God to become one of us-
Phil. 2:5-11 NIV “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
If God sent someone or came Himself with a message so important that all of humanity needed to hear it, it seems reasonable that He would first let men know when the messenger would come, and where he would be born. He could also tell us what doctrine he would teach and how he would die. Prophecies such as this would certainly add to the authenticity of one claiming to be a supreme being with a supreme message for mankind.
Isaiah 9:6, 7 NIV “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
Isaiah 7:14 NIV “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
When an ambassador comes from a foreign country, the government requires documentation verifying his true identity. How much more should we ask of someone claiming to be God’s messenger.
No religious leader has ever had anyone foretell his birth, pre-announcing their arrival on earth. But with Jesus, everything was different! He was the “the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But to as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:9-12
Because of Old Testament prophecies, Christ’s coming was not unexpected. When you compare the 300+messianic prophecies to the 33 year life of Jesus of Nazareth, there can be no doubt that He is more than a man…But the Son of the Living God!
Not only did the prophets of old foretell the coming of Messiah, but angelic hosts announced, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth; good will toward men…”
Not only was Christ’s birth predicted and his coming heralded, but his life had such an impact that it divided history in to B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini- Latin for `in the year of our Lord’)
Every atheist and sinner must acknowledge Christ with each check written, and the turning of each calendar page.
“Every person who ever came into this world came to live. He came to die.” To Christ, death was the fulfillment of His life. All of his words and actions revolve around the cross. Each of us had our life story begin with birth and end at death. But Jesus’ death preceded His birth. He is the “Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world.” The cross cast a shadow back over His entire life.
Isaiah 9:2 NIV “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
John 1:4-5 NIV “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
Christ was more than a mere man!
If He is what He claimed to be, Savior, redeemer, and King then we have a powerful Lord worth following in these terrible days! We need a Christ who is fearless and loving even to the death…One who is forgiving and willing to make the total sacrifice for us. Jesus has already proven His great love for you!
He was God’s plan to bring redemption, the new birth, peace and goodwill to the hearts of men! It was not enough to teach men how to be good; but Christ provided the power for men to live Godly lives.
Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote-
“In the filthiest place in the world, a stable, purity was born. He who later was to be slaughtered by men acting as beasts was born among beasts. He who would call Himself the “Living bread descended from Heaven” was laid in a manger (Literally, a place to eat). Centuries before, the Jews had worshipped the golden calf, and the Greeks worshipped a donkey. Men bowed before them as God. The ox and the donkey were now present to bow down before their God.
No worldly mind would have suspected that He, who clothed the fields, would someday be naked. That He, Whose hands spun the stars and planets into orbit, would one day have tiny arms not long enough to reach the huge heads of cattle; that the feet that trod the everlasting hills would one day be too weak to walk; that the Eternal Word would be unable to speak; that Omnipotence would be wrapped in swaddling clothes; that Salvation would lie in a manger.”
And that is exactly why they missed Him! Divinity is always where on least expects to find it.
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