Who is Jesus?

Everyone has an opinion about this question. Some say He is the Archangel Michael, some say, an extremely good man, some say, an advanced medium in the sixth sphere, or just a prophet but not God, or one god among many gods.

 

Interesting facts about Jesus and the Bible:
Old and New Testament Prophecies of Jesus
Some of Jesus’ Miracles and Healing

By the way, this question is a good one to strike up a conversation with people. Why talk about the weather when bringing up this subject will get personal very fast. I had a man upset once with why I kept using the Bible as my authority. He didn’t seem to think it was fair since he couldn’t claim any references to his opinions. I said Jesus said I could use the Bible concerning who He was. The Old Testament talked about Jesus just as the New Testament, that’s why I use them, because Jesus did. If Jesus used the scriptures to tell people about Himself then He has given them (Scriptures) His stamp of approval.

(Luke 24:25-27 NKJV) Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! {26} “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” {27} And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

 If we check on what Jesus said concerning Himself we will find He didn’t claim any of the opinions stated above. Since my opinion carries no greater weight than anyone else, I’ll use what Jesus said about himself for my authority.

 1. One God

 Jesus being God said there was only one God. (This means no other Gods.)

(Mark 12:29 NKJV) Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.

People who are polytheists will say Jesus didn’t mean there is only one God, just that several Gods are “one in purpose” The Bible doesn’t leave that open to us for debate either. He meant “one God period”.

(Mark 12:32 NKJV) So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.

If there was more than one God Jesus had the opportunity to correct the man right here. They were both in agreement with the scripture Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy chapter 6. They agreed there is only one God and no others.

2. Jesus claimed to be Jehovah God.

Jesus made this claim several times. My favorite was in His argument with the Jews after He told them their father was the devil. So He already had them steaming and now He says He is Jehovah God.

I told you He had them heated, read this;

(John 8:52-53 NKJV) Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ {53} “Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You make Yourself out to be?”

Now it’s important to notice that they ask Jesus who He is.

(John 8:58 NKJV) Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Jesus used the Yahwistic term that he used from the burning bush in Exodus chapter 3. (Exo 3:14 NKJV) And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

Jesus used a name for himself that would be very familiar to the Jews. Jesus was claiming to be the God who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. They would need to make a decision here at this point. They would be forced to fall at His feet and worship Him or stone Him for blasphemy.

Now some people will disagree with me and say “Jesus wasn’t calling himself God here by saying I AM”. Jesus was just saying that He existed at the time of Abraham but He didn’t call himself God or did the Jews regard this as a declaration of Deity.

Well Jesus did intend to use a name that pronounced Himself as Jehovah God. Jesus slipped from their grasp. They intended to stone Him if you read the rest of the chapter. The religious Jews lose him for a chapter and then they find Him again. They are still carrying stones to kill Him. Jesus asks them on what grounds they have to stone Him. This is very important; they understood exactly that Jesus called Himself God. Let’s let the Jews speak for themselves.

(John 10:33 NKJV) The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

There is no getting around the meaning of this passage. Jesus calls himself God and the Jews know he called himself God. They decide to stone Him rather than fall at His feet.

If we think about some of the things Jesus said you could see a religious person being forced to make a decision regarding who Jesus was. Also you can see they would need to accept Him as God or what C. S. Lewis said “a demon of hell”. Think of this following statement by Christ.

(Mat 7:21-23 NKJV) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. {22} “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ {23} “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Jesus is saying on judgment day they will answer to Him. Again He is saying He is God. He said this in His Sermon on the Mount. The religious Pharisees’ would have had a month long heartburn over this proclamation.

I’ve been asked before-“Why spend so much time defining who Jesus is”?

The answer is; if you are wrong about who Jesus is, then everything else is doesn’t even matter. Let me illustrate it this way; The Apostle Paul, when he was still Pharisee Saul, was lost and headed for eternity in hell. I’m sure he knew Jesus. The religious leaders watched Jesus very closely along with John the Baptist. I would have expected to see Saul listening to Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount. So there is no doubt that Saul believed in Jesus, he was forced to believe that he walked the streets of Jerusalem and taught in the synagogues. But Saul refused to believe that Jesus was God in human form, come to earth to die for our sins.

Actually the tables were turned. Instead of Jesus being the blasphemer for calling Himself God. Saul was the blasphemer for calling Jesus a man and demon possessed.

Years later after Saul believed in the real Jesus of the Bible, he said this;

(1 Tim 1:13-14 NKJV) although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. {14} And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

So we see that Saul was the blasphemer rather than Jesus. I have had people tell me that who Jesus or God is doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we believe with all our hearts and we will be OK. Well Saul is a perfect example of someone who believed with all his heart and knew he was right and righteous and he was dead wrong. Saul paid to be trained by Gamaliel, the greatest rabbi of Saul’s day. All that Saul was and all he believed was dung (in the Greek). He said so himself. Believing with all his heart and being very religious put him on a freight train to hell. Paul summed it up this way;

(Phil 3:4-8 NKJV) though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: {5} circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; {6} concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. {7} But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. {8} Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

So the knowledge of Christ puts us on solid footing. Without that foundation everything else we believe is worthless. This is why the Doctrine of Christ or “Who Jesus is” is so important.

3. Jesus is God because He was sinless.

Jesus did not have a sin nature because He was God.

(2 Cor 5:21 NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
(1 John 3:5 NKJV) And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

One reason there was no sin in Christ was because if there was you and I could not have access to heaven. The Lamb that takes away the sin of the world had to be spotless and sinless to take away our sins. If one sin was not paid for then we are condemned to hell forever.

This is a picture of Uzzah. Uzzah had good intentions. When the oxen stumbled and it looked like the ark would fall off the cart and hit the dirty ground, Uzzah reached up to steady the ark. Uzzah didn’t want a holy ark to come in contact with dirt or mud. God sees a sin stained hand as unacceptable to come in contact with what He regards as Holy. God struck Uzzah dead on the spot to get this law across to us. God will not tolerate sin in His presence. Uzzah was a good man, he had a good heart, he had good intentions, but he was still a sinner. Just as a sin stained hand can’t touch the Ark of the Covenant, our sin stained hands can not enter heaven. That is unless when a Holy God looks at us He sees the righteousness of His perfect and Holy, sinless Son.

4. Jesus is God because He is the creator of this Universe.

 Paul pretty well sums it up in his letter to the Colossian church.

(Col 1:14-17 NKJV) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. {15} He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. {16} For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. {17} And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

This could have stirred up some controversy in Paul’s day. Just think trying to tell someone that the guy who died on a cross and was killed created this universe.

The Apostle John also made the same declaration.

(John 1:1-3 NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was in the beginning with God. {3} All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

John substituted the name “Word” for Jesus above. This doesn’t mean much to we English speaking gentiles, but a Jew would see it differently. A Jew who knew our Old Testament would understand that John wasn’t just calling Jesus creator, but was also saying Jesus was there in Genesis. Here is how the reasoning worked. The Jews read Aramaic translations of the Bible. They were used to reading the Targums. In two of the Targums the name LORD is substituted 170 times in Onkelos and 300 times in Pseudo-Jonathan. A.C. Custance will give you more information in his book; “The Incarnation”

http://www.custance.org/old/incarnation/5ch1.html

The Jews knew there were times when God had direct dealings with people and yet to look at God or come in contact would bring death. But there were those times such as God walking in the Garden with Adam and Eve. Below is from A.C. Custance.

In the Targum of Onkelos it is used, for example, in Genesis 3:8, 10 and 24. In verse 8 the text reads, “And they heard the voice of the Word (memra) walking in the Garden in the cool of the day.”

The Aramaic word for LORD or Word is memra. So when John said “and the Word was God”, He was saying the man Jesus who this book is about created the universe and walked in the garden with Adam. So when Jesus said before Abraham was I AM, John takes us to a greater level yet of who Jesus is.

Since Jesus is above and outside of the idea of “TIME”, he had the ability as God to have relationships and appear to people in what we call or understand as pre-incarnate appearances of Christ. We call these “Theoponies”. Like the one above as Christ in the Burning bush talking to Moses. The Name Christ has given to himself is as a messenger; The Angel of the LORD”.

I asked a Rabbi friend one time who the Angel of the LORD was and He replied “it must be God because of what the scriptures say and yet people were allowed to live when they came in the presence of God”. This is like Peter, James and John being in Jesus presence and living to tell about it. Jesus veiled His glory before and after His incarnation; otherwise no one could look at Him and live.

Let’s look at a theopony.

(Judg 13:10-11 NKJV) Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, “Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!” {11} So Manoah arose and followed his wife. When he came to the Man, he said to Him, “Are You the Man who spoke to this woman?” And He said, “I am.”

Here we see God takes on the appearance of a man and uses the

“I am” term or name. Read Philippians chapter two on this same subject as Christ taking on the appearance of a man and servant. Next we see that this person is the Angel of the LORD.

(Judg 13:12-16 NKJV) Manoah said, “Now let Your words come to pass! What will be the boy’s rule of life, and his work?” {13} So the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful. {14} “She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe.” {15} Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, “Please let us detain You, and we will prepare a young goat for You.” {16} And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, “Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD.” (For Manoah did not know He was the Angel of the LORD.)

Now the parents of Samson are told to make an offering to the LORD. (The Man standing in front of them) Next they decide they have seen God face to face and death is the consequence.

(Judg 13:20-22 NKJV) “It happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar; the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell on their faces to the ground. {21} When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He was the Angel of the LORD. {22} And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!”

Samson’s mother knew they would already be dead if God was going to kill them.

(Judg 13:23 NKJV) But his wife said to him, “If the LORD had desired to kill us, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and a grain offering from our hands, nor would He have shown us all these things, nor would He have told us such things as these at this time.”

An Angel is a messenger and the Lord Jesus is a messenger in the Old Testament as well as the new. There are more theoponies in the Old Testament. I would suggest a study I did a few years back. Find every passage in the Old Testament that mentions The Angel of the LORD or The Angel of God. Not “an” Angel but “THE” Angel. Make yourself a chart. At the heads of the columns have pertinent information, such as the reference, the name, the place, what His message was, whom He spoke to, and what He reveals about His nature, power and other names. You may find other things to add to the columns. I found some very interesting things from the study. You will get far more out of it by your own study than listening to what I have to say.

To conclude this discussion; Jesus is God because He is sinless and satisfied God’s judgment for sin. Jesus is the Creator. He created a universe 30 billion light years across with just a word. He also designed DNA, gave properties to light, and matter, time and space, etc, etc…

He transcends time and space. He brought reconciliation to us. We can stand in the presence of God only due to Him and His sacrifice for us.

 

References (NLT)

  1. Jesus is Human. Jesus became our supreme example as God in human form (see Philippians 2:5-11).
  2. Jesus is Divine. Even though Jesus became human, he still remained God (see
    Colossians 1:15-20).
  3. Jesus had a Specific Mission to Accomplish. Jesus came to save humankind from sin (see Luke 4:16-21).
  4. Jesus made the Ultimate Sacrifice. Jesus endured tremendous pain so that we could enjoy eternity with him (see 1 Peter 2:24).
  5. Jesus has Great Power to Transform People. Jesus can change the most unlikely person into one of the most powerful witnesses on is behalf (see Acts 4:13).
  6. Jesus has an Eternal Dominion. Jesus’ Kingdom extends beyond the boundaries of space and time (see Revelation 1:4-8).
 

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