WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?

 

July 18, 2019

 

Who is Jesus? Some people say He was a prophet like any other prophet…a man who represented God. Some say He is just one of many religious leaders who started a religion. Some people even say He is an alien who came in peace to show us a better way. Jesus Christ is none of those things. He is, was, and always will be God. If someone who’s searching for answers would come to you and ask about Jesus, could you give an informed answer? This is an important question and one that every Christian needs to know the answer to. The simple answer is that He is God. It’s very important that you understand this truth. It’s so important that Jesus once directly asked His disciples who people said He was. They had answers just like we hear today. Then He made it personal. “And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” Mark 8:29. At that time, Peter had the right words but didn’t really understand. Do you really understand who Jesus is, or do you just repeat what someone told you? Through His earthly mother Mary, Jesus was fully human and made it possible for Him to qualify as our kinsman. Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit, but she was just a human woman. Because He was conceived by Holy Spirit, He was fully God and His blood was untainted by Adam’s sin. That means only His blood, which He shed on the cross, takes away our sin. He is our Creator and our Kinsman Redeemer. Some lost souls would have us believe that Jesus is the brother of Satan or that Jesus is really Michael the archangel. Those are lies. Don’t be confused by nicely dressed people who knock on your door and try to confuse you. If you know the Biblical truth then you won’t be deceived.

 

It may be difficult for a new believer to understand the importance of Jesus being fully human and fully God, but it’s the foundational truth to the Christian faith. Blood sacrifice was always a sin offering, but only pagans who worshipped demons sacrificed humans…quite often it was babies who were sacrificed. When God Almighty instituted His Law, only the blood of an animal was shed as a cover for sin, never human blood. That offering could never take the sin away, but it was only a temporary covering. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4. Spilling blood is ugly, but so is sin. When Jesus was crucified, the torture was horrendous. He knew what He would face when He stepped into His creation to offer His own blood to atone for our sin. Only His blood could take sin away and lift the curse of death and He shed it willingly.”By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10. There’s no other way for us to be forgiven of our sin except through faith in the once for all sacrifice of Jesus. He freely offered Himself, but that free gift has to be accepted in order for us to find salvation through Him.

 

Many naysayers say that if Jesus was God He would have declared it. This is an issue of understanding. When He walked the shores of Galilee, He hadn’t come to force people to believe, but to reveal the agape love of God. He wasn’t a warrior who would destroy the enemy in the way the Jewish people had hoped. The enemy was destroyed at the cross. Jesus will return as the longed-for Warrior, but that event is still future. Jesus did, in fact, make it clear that He was God. When a Pharisee named Nicodemus came to Him asking questions, Jesus told him. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. That’s such a beloved verse but too often it’s quoted without really understanding what Jesus said. He declared His divinity to Nicodemus, who became a believer. Later He declared the truth to another group of Pharisees when He told them that He existed before Abraham and that they needed to believe in His deity in order to find eternal life. Those Pharisees thought they knew and served God, but the dialog they had with Jesus revealed that they were truly ignorant of God’s truth. Their ignorance would keep them from eternal life. “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:24. Jesus asserted that He was God in the flesh and that He was the one who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14. The Pharisees knew that Jesus had declared “I AM GOD” and quite an argument followed. “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” John 8:59. Stoning was the penalty for blasphemy and they understood Jesus had declared Himself to be God. John records many instances when Jesus declared that He was God in the flesh. “…I am the bread of life…” John 6:35. “… I am the light of the world…” John 8:12. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved…” John 10:9. “I am the good shepherd…” John 10:11. “I am the resurrection, and the life…” John 11:25.  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father , but by me.” John 14:6. “…I am the vine, ye are the branches…” John 15:5. It’s so important to study Scripture in order to understand what you profess. Just reading the words of Scripture will be a great comfort, but studying will help you know why you believe.

 

The men who first followed Jesus struggled to understand who He was. They were Jewish men who weren’t scholars. They were fishermen and tax collectors who had been told what to believe by the teachers of the day. They knew that the Messiah would come, but they had to learn a deeper truth. The Messiah was walking with them! Peter had said the words that Jesus was the Christ but had been caught up in the emotion of the moment. He wasn’t grounded upon that truth yet. That grounding would come later after Jesus’ resurrection. The other disciples also struggled to understand the truth about Jesus. When the time drew near when Jesus would be crucified, He spoke earnestly with those men who followed Him. He told them about mansions that He was going to prepare for them and that He would return and receive them into eternity. “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” John 14:4. Thomas was confused and asked how to know the way. Jesus told Him that He was the only way to eternal life. Then Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father and that would satisfy them. “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father.” John 14:9. It’s not wrong to ask questions…that’s how we get answers. Even those closest to Jesus had questions. They had Jesus right there with them and asked Him directly what they wanted to know. Today when we have questions we have resources. First, pray. Ask Jesus to show you the answers then let the Holy Spirit lead you. Scripture holds the answers. There are many sound Bible teachers today who can help you find the truth but beware of false teachers. When you are given an answer, be sure to compare it to Scripture. God’s word never changes, so always use Scripture as truth.

 

When John wrote his Gospel he began by making it clear that Jesus was God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4. The Word, of course, is Jesus. John is very clear that Jesus existed before any of creation, and in fact, created everything. He’s also very clear that Jesus was God incarnate. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. John must have been in awe when he finally realized that he had spent time walking and talking with God. Jesus chose John to clearly reveal His deity, and also to dictate the Book of Revelation. Because John understood who Jesus was, Jesus was able to reveal more truth to him. Four times in the Revelation Jesus referred to Himself as the Alpha and Omega. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8. In English, we might say “A and Z” instead of Alpha and Omega. We know that there is nothing before the “A” and nothing after the “Z”. Jesus has always existed and will always exist. His death, burial, and resurrection give us the only way that we can live eternally with Him. That’s a gift from God Almighty, but He won’t force it upon anybody. You have a choice. Accept His gift and live eternally with Him, or reject that gift and spend eternity in the lake of fire. If you choose to accept His sacrifice as the atonement for your sin, then you need to get to know Him. Talk to Him, ask questions, and seek answers. Repent of your sin and begin living for Him rather than for yourself.

 

Who do you say that Jesus is? I say He is God and my Redeemer. I believe it and have trusted Him with my eternity. Have you?

 

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

 

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

 

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