January 11th 2009

Who is Jesus?

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?’”

Matthew 16:13-15 NIV

If you were to survey a randomly selected group of people about who they think Jesus Christ is, you would get a variety of responses.

Some would say that Jesus was a great moral teacher. Some would call him a prophet. Others would equate him with founders of religions, such as Buddha, Mohammed, or Confucius. And some would say that Jesus is God. As we read above, Jesus himself once posed the question to his disciples.

Throughout the New Testament, we find evidence of Jesus’ identity. He healed lepers, the lame and the blind. He raised the dead. In John 8:58, when quizzed about how he had special knowledge of Abraham, he replied, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was, I Am” — invoking and applying to himself the personal name of God—”I Am”—given in Ex. 3:14.   In the next verse we see that his audience understood exactly what he was claiming about himself. “At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds” (John 8:59).

In John 20:28, Thomas fell at Jesus’ feet, exclaiming, “My Lord and my God!” The Greek text literally says, “The Lord of me and the God of me!”

In Philippians 2:6, Paul tells us that Christ Jesus was “…in very nature God”. Y
et for our sakes, he chose to be born in human form. And this is what makes Jesus unique. He is man and God, simultaneously. He crosses the vast, impossible gulf between divine and human, and fuses God and humanity together. The Creator joined to the created in a bond of love that no human logic can explain.

When Jesus posed the question of his identity to his disciples, Peter answered, “‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven’” (Matthew 16:16-17).

Jesus was not merely human for the short period between his birth and his death. He rose from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, where he is today as our Saviour and Advocate – man with God – still one of us, God in the flesh now glorified for our sakes just as surely as he was crucified for our sakes.

Immanuel – God with us – is still with us, and will remain so forever.

Prayer

Father in Heaven, thank you that you have revealed through the scriptures who Jesus is. Thank you that he chose to share our humanity and that he is in very nature God. Thank you that he is my Saviour and my Advocate, the Immanuel.

Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach

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