Regardless of the many beliefs and theories surrounding Jesus, it is undeniable that he greatly influenced today’s world, from festivals celebrating his birth and death to the continued embrace of his teachings. Let’s delve into who Jesus really is.
What Did Jesus Do and Say on Earth?
Jesus’ life was extraordinary because of his many miracles, his incredible teaching and his claim to be God appearing in human form.
He raised people from the dead, made the blind see, healed the broken and sick, supernaturally fed 5000 people, calmed the storm, and walked on water. His miracles showed his restoring power over creation, life, and death.
Jesus’ teaching and wisdom was ground-breaking. His golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated, and other teachings are often referenced to this day. He instructed people on issues such as murder, adultery, divorce, loving your enemies, giving to the needy, prayer, worry, and judging others.
“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law" (Matthew 7:28-29).
Is Jesus God?
Jesus wasn’t merely a good teacher and spiritual leader, he claimed to be God. In fact, the Jewish people at the time accused him, saying, “you, a mere man, claim to be god” (John 10:33). It was because of this claim that they killed him. However, his life does back up his claim, 1 Peter 2:22 says “He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth.” Every person has done bad things, only God can be without sin. Jesus’ miracles and perfect life show that he was God in human form.
Three possibilities stem from his claim of being God. If the claims were false, he either knew it and was a liar or he didn’t know it and he was a lunatic. Or the claims are true, then it’s up to us whether we accept or deny it. Do you think hundreds of people would have followed a liar or lunatic then, let alone the many who still follow him two thousand years later?
Is Jesus the only way to God?
There are many different religions and belief systems in the world today, so how do we reconcile Jesus saying “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6)?
The Bible says that the consequence for our sin is death, so though we deserve to be cut off from God, in his love God sent Jesus to live a perfect life and pay the penalty for our sins by dying on the cross. Through Jesus alone, God has bridged the gap that separates us from him and provided a way for us to be forgiven and therefore restored to relationship with him. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
His life on earth - though two thousand years ago - means everything for us today! He’s the only way to know God because he’s the only one who hasn’t sinned and could take that punishment in our place.
There is a story of a young woman in court for breaking the law; she would have to go to jail because she could not pay the fine. Then something amazing happened - the judge walked down to the dock where she was standing, took out his cheque book, and wrote her a cheque for her fine. She was free to go... Why? Because the judge was her father.
Being the judge, he couldn’t have ignored her crime just because he loved her; he would not be just if he did that. But he couldn't deny his love for his daughter, which prompted him to make the payment that she couldn't so that she would not be separated from him in jail. In the same way, God’s perfect justice requires him to punish our sin, but he chose to pay the penalty for our sin through Jesus’ willing death on the cross, as a display of his perfect love. In doing so, God demonstrates both his love and justice in action so that we can be in relationship with him.
So the question must be asked: Who do you say Jesus is?
Read John Chapters 9-11 in the Bible.
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