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Jesus

Who is Jesus

By April 2, 2024May 24th, 2024No Comments

Who is Jesus

Imagine trying to encapsulate the vastness of history for every human being who has ever lived… into a single blog post.

People have been asking, “Who is Jesus?” for thousands of years. Contradictory voices have offered a plethora of answers. If I could spend my entire lifetime, It would still be impossible to fully describe the depth of his character and his incalculable impact on mankind.

But then again, if Jesus could be fully known, he would not be much of a God…or at least not a God I would want to build my life upon.

Testimony of Others

Let’s first consider the testimony of those who knew Jesus intimately – the twelve men he purposefully chose to invite into his inner circle. Their accounts reveal Jesus was one who defied societal norms by befriending outcasts (women, lepers, mobsters, uneducated masses) and challenged the religious elite.

When you read the testimonies about Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John through the lens of John 3:16 — “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish but have eternal life. – AMP) — you discover Jesus is more than we ever dared to imagine; you find a perfect Savior who beckons anyone and everyone to abundant life and everlasting love through a one-on-one personal, intimate relationship with the God of the universe… something no one else in heaven or on earth could ever accomplish.

The Transformation

Before Jesus’s death and resurrection, this motley crew of ordinary people (we might even say a bunch of rednecks) grappled with doubts and fears. After his arrest, his closest friend denied ever knowing him. After his death, they hid because they feared the authorities would crucify them too.

Yet days later, they began boldly proclaiming that he was alive. They spent the rest of their lives spreading his message of hope, forgiveness, repentance, and salvation to “the ends of the earth.” Ten of them were killed for doing so. This transformation is inexplicable (almost), unless everything they said about him really is true.

Jesus In Action

To gain an even better understanding of who Jesus is, we can observe how he interacted with people from all walks of life and what he chose to teach others about himself and his Father. He had encounters with:

  • Religious rulers
  • The lame
  • The blind
  • The sick
  • A woman who had five ex-husbands and was living with a sixth
  • The dead brother of two women from Bethany

All of these offer profound insights into his character and identity.

Whether dining with tax collectors, saving an adulterous woman from being stoned to death, or healing the sick on a day when work was forbidden, Jesus’ actions spoke volumes about his compassion and radical inclusivity. Time and again, Jesus shattered cultural barriers, offering forgiveness to the repentant and grace to the undeserving. Whether rebuking those who thought they were better than everyone else, restoring sight to the blind, or raising the dead, his miracles were tangible expressions of divine love and power.

His interactions with people of all walks of life reminded me of what Timothy Keller once shared:

To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial.

To be known and not loved is our greatest fear.

But to be fully known and truly loved … that’s what it is like to be loved by God.

In addition to examining the perspectives of others, it’s crucial to consider Jesus’ own words about his identity and mission. Surprisingly, he never promised the disciples happiness – like any honest parent. He did promise there would be trouble. However, He also promised to give his followers peace.

Jesus’ Own Words

He made audacious claims. From declaring himself the Son of God to asserting that he is the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus left no room for ambiguity about his divinity. Yet, paradoxically, he also embodied humility by washing the feet of his disciples and ultimately laying down his life for humanity.

He did not spend his time trying to appeal to the masses. He did not spend his time with those who thought they had it all together. He often chose to seek out those who probably thought themselves worthless, too far gone, past saving. Jesus shows us that no one is beyond his reach – he loves every human being and wants a relationship with them.

The Invitation  and Challenge of Jesus

Jesus poses a potentially life-altering question to each of us:

“Who do you say that I am?”

It’s a challenge that demands more than a quick dismissal or blind acceptance. We must decide if Jesus was being truthful – which means he is God, a liar – which means he is truly evil (countless men and women have given their lives defending and spreading his good news), or a lunatic – which means we cannot believe anything he said about himself. His claims leave no room for sitting on the fence.

In the words of Jesus himself,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20, ESV).

The invitation has been extended to you—will you dare to open the door?

Will you choose to embark on a journey of investigation and wrestle with the evidence until arriving at a well-reasoned, honest conclusion?

The stakes are high – our response to Jesus’ question ultimately shapes the course of our lives and eternity.

I hope you will. Discover his deep, inexplicable love for you. Discover the purposeful life he has planned for you. Getting to know him is not a one-time event – it is a lifelong, intimate journey that you can choose to pursue.

Would you take the time to read this short poem written by Dr. James Allen Francis, then immediately open a Bible (or open the Bible app)? Begin by reading (or listening to) Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John in the New Testament. It won’t take all that long – and it may be the best decision of your life.

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant.
He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30.
Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or owned a home.
He didn’t go to college.
He never lived in a big city.
He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born.
He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him.
His friends ran away.
One of them denied him.
He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today, he is the central figure of the human race.
I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched,
all the navies that ever sailed,
all the parliaments that ever sat,
all the kings that ever reigned
have not affected the life of man on this earth
as much as that one solitary life.  

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