In the modern world, we take for granted that everybody has heard of Jesus. Especially with the rise of television and Internet, such that even the enemies of the gospel spread His name unwittingly. However, few people – even among Christians – seem to really know Jesus (in terms of His nature, personality and mission)! This page is a brief about Jesus Christ, and is informed by the very voluminous book called The Bible. The Bible is the third witness of God, after nature (Rom 1:19-20) and our own spirit (which testifies as our conscience; Romans 2:15 and 8:16). There is no excuse for ignorance. James says “even the devils believe and tremble” (Jam 2:19; consider also Mark 3:11).
Here is what the Bible says about Jesus:
Jesus as the Son of God (John 1:34; Mark 1:1) – His sonship
Jesus as the Teacher (John 3:2; Mark 1:22) – His understanding and leadership
People can usually wrap their heads around Jesus being all these things, but when it comes to recognising and worshipping Jesus as God, they struggle. This is especially because the Bible also says about God that:
He is a jealous God (Ex 20:5; 34:14)
If Jesus also talks about God (and repeatedly refers to Him as His Father) how can He also be God? Can He birth Himself? And who ran the world all the days He was dead and in Hades? In fact, can God die? How can God be everywhere, when for 33 years, He was a person born of a woman, growing up in a small town, and living and working in a specific locality? These are the unaswered questions that turn people away from following. But Jesus is used to people being offended by Him. Consider His controversial teaching about being the bread that came down from Heaven, and asking His disciples to eat His flesh. The Bible records that most of His disciples turned back at that point (John 6:66).
The thing about God is that He answers to no one but Himself! He is not constrained by our understanding. When people thought the world was flat, it didn’t stop the world from being round. We have only begun to understand this world, how can we fathom its Creator? Apart from Him, we would have no understanding of anything. We only understand what He makes plain to us (Matt 13:11; 13). Moses, who is said to have written the first five books of the Bible, recounted by inspiration how the world was made and wrote that in the beginning God said “let US make man in OUR own image” (Gen 1:26)! How alarming is that?!! ‘Our’ and not ‘my’. And besides, who was He talking to, if nothing and no one existed at that time besides Himself? This implies multiple Personalities.
John, a disciple and Apostle of Jesus, also shares his revelation in John 1, saying that: ‘in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v1). He refers to the Word as the first entity, being next to God, but also being God… He then refers to the Word as a person saying “all things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (v3). He later testifies that in this Person “was life; and the life was the light of men” (v4). Now we learn that the Word of God was personified in a Him who was also refered to as the ‘Light of men’. Then John goes on to say “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not” (v10). Finally, a connection is made to the Man known as Jesus, as the Word that became flesh, which came down to Earth as the Light of men, and dwelt amongst us (v14). HE is the same One who was with God from the beginning (v2), by which all things were made. John’s and Moses’ revelations agree about the multi-facetted deity of God, even though Moses was not as explicit.
You might be thinking, why do I need to understand all these things before I accept what Jesus did for me? Truth is, you don’t have to!! There is no one living on Earth who fully comprehends this relationship, often taught in Christianity as the Trinity (God the Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit). All you need to do is accept the Word of God (in the teachings of Jesus), just as the formless world received the spoken Word and took form; and you shall be born again (1 Pet 1:23). When you listen to His words, and you let it into your heart and you believe and then act on that belief by following Him (doing what the Word says), the Holy Spirit (which God will send to you as both His seal and His witness, John 14:23, 26) will open your eyes and teach you the rest. But be careful, the word is like a seed that the devil wants to pluck from your heart (Matt 13:19), so that you won’t bear fruit.
If you try to approach it backward by filling your head with theology first, you may never come to know Him, unlike the person who learns by practice (i.e. obedience; read Matthew 7:24-27). Jesus said, “if anyone obeys My teachings, they will know whether it is of God or not” (John 7:17). He also said: “if you continue in my teaching, you are truly my disciples then you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32)! What a remarkable promise. It takes incredible trust and faith to accept anyone at their word, but no one else makes this type of promise. Not only that, He promises to give all who accept Him the coveted eternal life…(John 10:28). Most people are afraid of dying, but death and judgment is assured for everyone (Heb 9:27). However, for those who receive Jesus, they receive unto themselves life after death. Without Jesus, there is only death and judgment (John 14:6).
Jesus once told His disciples what eternal life really means. I think this answer reveals the depths of the Person of Christ. He said: ‘and this is eternal life, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent’ (John 17:3). When that struck me one day, I understood that it will take an eternity to know Jesus, but also that knowing Him is life, and not only that, it is life sustaining… We will live forever to know Him and because we know Him. May you get to know Jesus!
To continue on this theme, please read A LOVING GOD