JESUS: WHO IS HE?
Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
After 9/11 everyone was talking about God. I was thrilled to hear that God’s name was being invoked other than used in swearing. I would see different groups of people gathering together in public forums talking about God. I was thrilled that God was back in the public forum again. However, I soon noticed that on the same platform of people talking about God were Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. I then began to wonder what God they were talking about.
Never once did I hear the name of Jesus. As a matter of fact, it seems that people hate the name of Jesus. If you talk about God people are somewhat civil until you mention the name of “Jesus” and then they seem to go ballistic. In thinking about reformation this brings us to a very important question: Who is Jesus?
When witnessing to Muslims one of the big hang-ups they have is what do we mean by calling Jesus the Son of God. For the Muslim it is blasphemous, because they think we are saying that God had an immoral affair with Mary and through it God’s Son was born that we call Jesus.
What does the Scripture say? I would like to mention several important things:
First, we know that John calls Jesus the Word of God. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It takes a breath to speak a word. Some who work with our Muslim friends say that what they mean by calling Jesus the Son of God is that He is the Breath of God.
However, we are told in Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.” This means that He is the expressed image of God. If we could take a photograph of God it would be Jesus. If we want to know what God is like then we can look at Jesus. If we want to know what God would do then we can look at what Jesus did. Like the writer of the book of Hebrews says: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
Another aspect that we need to look at regarding Jesus is found in John’s gospel. When Jesus was being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked the soldiers, “Who is it you want?” (John 18:4) They replied, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied: ‘I am.’ With that utterance they fell down backwards.
What happened? What were the dynamics involved here. When the soldiers came to Jesus to arrest Him they were asking for Jesus, but when Jesus answered them He reverted back to His Old Testament name, “I AM.” When He uttered those all-powerful words they fell down backwards.
When we look at this what we see coming out is that the Name of God is “I AM,” but He does business down here on earth as “Jesus.” Who is Jesus? He is God, the Creator, upholder of all things and by Him all things exist.
Is it not humbling to think that this God became a man, dwelt among us and tasted death for all men. Think about how the Author of life tasted death, the Ruler and Sustainer of all things come into this world as a little baby needing the complete care and nourishment of an earthly mother. This is our God – this is our Jesus. He deserves all of our worship as we ”fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
In Matthew 16 Jesus asked His disciples who people said that He was. They came back and said that he was one of the prophets. Basically, this is what we hear today, but then Jesus asked these 12 men (who had been with Him for almost 3 years) who they thought He was. Peter’s bold declaration was: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16
Reformation brings us back to the realization of who Jesus really is.