Millions claim to believe in Jesus Christ. In fact, almost two billion people say they are “Christian”. I wonder how many of those who are called by His name really know Him… I mean really know Him.
Suppose you had to draw a picture of Jesus for someone who did not know Him. How would you picture Him?
As a gentle Jesus, carrying a lamb or hugging a child? Jesus was gentle, but He was also tough, as we see in the account of Him clearing out the Temple (Luke 19).
As revolutionary Jesus, with a Bible in one hand and a sword or machine gun in the other? Jesus was a revolutionary. He said: “I have come to bring fire on the earth…Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division…” (Luke 12:49, 51) But Jesus’ revolution was a revolution of love, not guns.
As a wealthy Jesus, standing in front of a palace in fine clothing? Though He created and owns everything, Jesus had “no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)
As a sad-looking Jesus, with tears in His eyes? Yes, Jesus wept, but He also made many happy and promised “great joy” to those who come to Him and follow Him.
So, who is Jesus? We know that He is a historical figure for whose existence there is actually more evidence than there is for Julius Caesar.
Although Jesus was perfectly human—He would feel tired, sleepy, hungry, sad or angry—He was, at the same time, more than human.
He was hungry, but He fed thousands of people.
He was tired, but He stood up and caused the storms to stop.
He cried when His friend died, but then He raised Him from the dead.
Jesus also made some shocking claims about Himself:
• He claimed to have no sins.
• He claimed to be one with God the Father.
• He claimed to be able to forgive sins.
• He claimed to be the only door to heaven.
• He said “Come to me” instead of “Go to God.”
Because there were many opinions concerning Jesus (as there are today), Jesus asked His disciples the following question: “Who do people say I am?” (Mark 8:27) One of His disciples, Simon Peter, answered: “You are the Christ the Son of the Living God.” (Matthew 16:16)
If Jesus was not the Son of God, He would have corrected Peter. But instead He said: “Blessed are you, Simon, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 16:17).
Jesus came with a mission; He came to fulfill God’s plan to save the human race from eternal death. Manmade religions are man trying to reach God, but Jesus is God reaching down to us!
The Great “I Am”
Some of Jesus’ claims about Himself were difficult to understand! He said:
“I am the Bread of Life.” (John 6:35) People were, and still are, spiritually hungry, searching for something that can satisfy their hunger and fill them.
“I am the Light.” (John 8:12) Seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, Isaiah said: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has downed.” (Isaiah 9:2).
Life without Christ is like groping in the darkness. Jesus said: “I am the Light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
“I am the Gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved.” (John 10:7, 9) Jesus also said, in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
“I am the Good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
“I am the Way and the Truth.” (John 14:6) Who else can you trust? Who else can you believe? Athletes use drugs and steroids. Politicians and religious people are being accused or convicted for sex and other crimes. Where can someone go for the truth?
Jesus said: “I am the way and truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).
“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
Many are afflicted by fear of the future and death. Life without the hope of life after death would be a tragedy (a play that has a high purpose and a sad ending).
Who is Jesus to you ? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the only true Light, the only Truth and the only Life?
The world has become a society of short-sighted, selfish and materialistic individuals, ready to give almost anything, including their soul, in order to get more money and pleasure.
Jesus said: “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26) But Jesus did not stop there. He also said: “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
The little baby in the manger was not just a little baby who became a great man or a wise teacher. The child who was born in a manger in Bethlehem and was named “Jesus” is “Immanuel—God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)
Jesus is the “Alpha and Omega.” “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:3)
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian