bright witness logo

BRIGHT WITNESS.COM A CHRISTIAN WEBSITE

JESUS
By Jim Roberts

 

At some point in every life, two questions usually arise. Who is Jesus? Who is Jesus...to me? Unfortunately, those two questions have sparked some of the most heated arguments ever incurred among professed Christians. There is little or no disagreement throughout the Church that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, Lord and Savior; though a handful of sects (or cults) which promulgate doctrinal distortions and twisted dogma, take issue with those beliefs. However, once someone takes a firm stand and declares that Jesus is God, quite often the fur will begin to fly, and "Christian" love is often temporarily cast aside in lieu of serious and heated dispute.

Who IS Jesus...to you? Think about that for a moment. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the writer of the epistle (or written sermon) to the Hebrews tells us the following:

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 13:2-3).

Suppose for a moment that you were God and despite the enormous disparity between yourself and the human beings you created in your own image, you decide you wish to reveal yourself to the world. How would YOU go about it? What method would YOU employ? Keep in mind that you are the sovereign creator and absolute ruler of the universe as humans know it, and far beyond. You are the ultimate "commander-in-chief" of everything - everywhere; the ONLY true God. You and you alone are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. How would YOU come into this little world hung out here in space to show yourself to mankind? Be honest now!

If it were me, I'd most likely choose to come with great pomp and royalty. I would be born in splendor and have parents of the highest position and rank. My ancestry would be flawless, impeccable. I would be extremely handsome. My wealth and power would be exceedingly impressive and second to none. I would, of course, be both politically astute and correct. My popularity would be off the charts. I would be backed and supported by the strongest military force on earth, and I would associate with only those of the highest caliber and breeding; the absolute elite.

In contrast, let's review how Jesus elected to arrive. He had no royal heralds. On the contrary, his arrival was announced to lowly shepherds, and he was preceded by a "wild man" named John, who was rumored as one who tried to drown people in water. He became a simple carpenter after being born in a dirty little barn. The village he was raised in was so small it hardly showed up on a map. His ancestry was at best one with a questionable history. For example, included was a Moabite named Ruth; a Canaanite harlot called Rahab; an infamous cheat by the name of Jacob; Judah, a shameless womanizer; David, an adulterer and a planner of murder, and Solomon who, though gifted with great wisdom, saw fit to have hundreds of wives and turn his back on God. Is this the kind of family tree or résumé YOU would choose? Jesus also associated with the perceived riff-raff of his day; e.g., tax collectors, sinners, the poor and lame, a fairly successful physician and some struggling fishermen. He even publicly took the side of an adulteress who was about to be stoned.

Can you imagine what kind of love would be required to leave the highest throne in all creation and accept such a fate in human flesh? This is precisely what Jesus did and who he became in order to prepare himself for the day he would bear his own cross to Golgotha's Hill, and there offer himself up for an ugly and humiliating death in order to take away the sin of the world.

Is Jesus Christ God? This question has been asked by millions for more than 2,000 years. Scriptural references are used to support both pro and con views. Most references cited in opposition to Christ being God have been taken out of context, and with little or no regard for Scripture that validates the claim. The Muslim position concerning the belief of Christian missionaries that Christ is God refers to the missionaries' belief as "mendacious polemics and distortions of their faith." Much of Islam's problem with biblical interpretation is deeply rooted in Islam's inability or unwillingness to distinguish between the physical Jesus and the One who "became flesh and dwelt among us." Islam's position in this matter, including Islam's choice of biblical texts to support Islam's view in this regard, has been compiled and published by Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, among others. Relying on an Islamic interpretation of the Holy Bible, however, may be likened to placing the Ku Klux Klan in charge of civil rights!

Does the Bible teach us that Jesus Christ is indeed God? Did Jesus himself ever indicate that he is God or that he and God are One? Did others believe him to be God? Consider the following scriptural passages - IN context:

For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God (John 5:18).

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58)

God said to Moses, "I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14)

"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)

"And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began." (John 17:5)

"I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:22)

Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form (Colossians 2:9).

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." (Revelation 1:17-18)

Jesus answered, "Don't you know me Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." (John 14:9-11)

The most decisive and clear passage attesting to Christ's Deity, however, is found in John 1:1-14. Note the convincing flow of these clinching excerpts:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

The 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. (John 1:14)

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. (John 1:18)

These scriptures give one a fresh and revealing perspective of who it was that hung nailed to that cross on our behalf so long ago. They also lead us into a deeper understanding of the matchless love of God.

Is Jesus God? While on this earth was he in fact God manifested in human flesh? What do YOU believe? While here on earth, Jesus performed 37 miracles. He demonstrated power over death itself and the ability to command elements of nature. But then, it's really quite understandable that the One who created ‘nature," would certainly hold control over it.

The first part of the Nicene Creed sums it up nicely with these words:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
he became incarnate from the virgin Mary,
and was made man.

Who is Jesus? Who is Jesus...to YOU?

BACK TO TOP

HOME | STATEMENT | ABOUT | CONTACT | JESUS | SALVATION | ISSUES | DISCUSSIONS 1 | DISCUSSIONS 2 | REFLECTIONS

Copyright © 2008 - 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. designed by don bantum, Post Office Box 1251, Paradise, California 95967-1251 - e-mail me