Tag Archives: Who is Jesus

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Who is Jesus?

John 10:14-15  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

You don’t need to know them, you just need to know Him.  Many Christians spend a lot of time on learning to discern spirits so that when the time comes they’ll know who it is that speaks to them.  The best thing we can do though, is learn to hear the voice of Jesus.

The Good Shepherd said that those who are of His flock know His voice, that all the rest are strangers and we’ll know not to listen to them.  The more time spent with Jesus, the more we’ll know His voice.  We won’t need to practice knowing other voices so as not to listen to them, we just won’t listen to them because they’re not Him.

Only one died for His flock.  Jesus laid down His life for us, the Son of God sacrificing Himself that those who belong to Him would know life.  He laid down His life on His own authority and He took it back up on His own authority.  That’s a voice worth listening to.

Jesus, the perfect Jonah

Who is Jesus?

Matthew 12:41  The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

The story of Jonah is one of redemption.  The prophet was sent to a people that God wanted to reach with His message.  Jonah’s dislike of the people caused him to initially refuse the assignment.  But as we know, he eventually did go and the people did receive God’s message of repentance through Jonah.  Despite their turning their hearts toward God, however, Jonah still refused to love these people.

Contrast this with the story of Jesus, who obediently went to the people God wanted to reach.  Unlike the Ninevites, these people rejected Jesus’ message and did not turn toward God.  And here, unlike Jonah, Jesus chose to love them anyway.  He came out of His love and He remained in His love.  Then, in the ultimate act of love, He died for those who had rejected Him.

Jesus was the perfect missionary.  He lived out a perfect life as an example and spoke with authority.  Though the people rejected Him, He fulfilled the call of Jonah, making Him the perfect Jonah.

Jesus, the perfect Moses

Who is Jesus?

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Long ago, God handed down the Law through His servant Moses.  We know the Ten Commandments but many more rules and regulations were established for God’s people – to show them how to be holy.  If one could keep all of the Law, they could be righteous.  The problem is, no one can keep all of the Law.  The Law does not have the power to enable us to do what it says.  It can guide, but its power ends there.

That’s where Jesus comes in.  He fulfills the Law because He’s perfect, but He also sets us free from the Law so that we don’t have to live under its burden.  Because He is righteous, we can be righteous through Him instead of through keeping the Law.  In Him we have forgiveness for the times we haven’t kept the Law because only one who has perfectly kept it has any right to grant that forgiveness.

His grace makes us free to obey out of love instead of obligation.  In fact, the more we understand His grace the more we want to obey.  The Law shows us sanctification, Jesus empowers us to achieve it.  He is the fulfillment of Moses’ calling – the perfect Moses.

Jesus, the perfect Adam

Who is Jesus?

Romans 5:18  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

Adam, the first created man, was made to glorify God.  In everything he did from having dominion over the earth to naming every animal created, Adam was meant to be an image-bearer of God.  He was created in the image of God.

As you know, the story goes that Adam didn’t succeed at being perfect, holy, or righteous.  He, along with the first woman, Eve, introduced sin into the world.  They changed the whole story.  No longer could mankind live in harmony, in perfect communion with God.  The direct link between God and man was broken.

But Jesus also bears the image of God.  He wasn’t created, like Adam, He’s always been.  But where Adam fell short , Jesus succeeded perfectly.  Death came through Adam because he brought sin to humanity, but life came through Christ because He defeated sin and brought righteousness to humanity.

We needed one who had lived a perfect life free from sin to be our perfect sacrificial atonement for the forgiveness of our sins.  Jesus is that one, the one perfect image-bearer of God.  Because of Him, the image of God is us has been restored.  He is the fulfillment of Adam’s calling – the perfect Adam.

Jesus, the high priest

Who is Jesus?

Hebrews 5:5  So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,“You are my Son, today I have begotten you”

In the days of the Old Testament priests, a sacrifice was made on behalf of the people by the High Priest.  This would atone for their sins for the period of one year.  In this way the priest brought God and man together.

Jesus is the perfect High Priest because He serves as both the priest and the sacrifice.  He brings God and man together by the shedding of His own blood, not that of an animal.  The sacrifice of this perfect Lamb is once and for all, not just to atone for a limited period of time.

Jesus didn’t appoint Himself to the position of High Priest, but He’s the only one who can fill the role perfectly.  Unlike all other High Priests who had to offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as those of the people, Jesus can atone for our sins by offering His own life in the place of ours.  And that’s just what He did.

Jesus, the friend

Who is Jesus?

John 15:15  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Can Jesus really be your friend?  The Creator of the universe, your BFF?  Well, it all depends really.  The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that we do not get to decide if we’re friends of Jesus.  He chooses us, not the other way around (John 15:16).

Secondly, there are stipulations to being a friend of God.  “If you do what I command you,” He says (John 15:14).  With Christ we don’t get a genie in a bottle who we can manipulate to get what we want.  We get a loving God who cares about us but expects us to give our lives to Him.

Are you a friend of God?  Is your whole life His?  You don’t get to take your ball and go home in this friendship if you don’t like what you’re hearing.  If the Lord of all chose you as His friend, you’re never going to be apart from Him.  In good times and in bad, He’s by your side.  When you need Him, He’s there.  When you fall, He’ll pick you up.  And best of all, He gave His life for you.  There’s no greater love than that (John 15:13).

Jesus, the redeemer

Who is Jesus?

Colossians 1:13-14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

You and I were once under the wrath of God, helpless to free ourselves from the state we found ourselves in.  We were enemies of God and we never could have done anything to appease Him.  It was beyond our ability to reach out to Him.

But God, in an act of amazing grace, reached out to us.  He extended His hand in peace by offering His Son to die in our place.  His perfect, sinless Son became our sin and paid the price we owed.  And He set us free.  He redeemed us.  Do you understand the term redeemer?  Do you realize the weight it carries?

A redeemer is one who buys something or someone back, say out of slavery or bondage for example.  An Old Testament picture of the redeemer concept is given in the book of Ruth when Boaz redeems Ruth out of her widowhood.  Jesus became our Redeemer which means He purchased us at a price.  Now we belong to Him.  We’re His.  But belonging to Christ is where true freedom is found.  It’s in Him that we really find life.

No one can ever take us away from our Redeemer.  Once Jesus has paid the price for you, you’re His, once and for all.  We can never lose Him and He’ll never leave us.

Jesus, the mediator

Who is Jesus?

1 Timothy 2:5-6  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

In the course of human history, many attempts have been made to reach God.  People have built towers to get to heaven, invented superstitions, taken part in religious practices, called on saints, and all other sorts of things that fail to bridge the gap between God and man.

The thing is, God is holy and we’re sinful.  We can’t get into His presence in our current state.  Only someone who’s lived a perfect life can get to God.  Because Jesus is fully God and yet lived an earthly life free from sin as a fully human man, He’s the only acceptable bridge between us and God.

When we pray, our words would fall on deaf ears were it not for Jesus petitioning on our behalf.  Because His righteousness has been imparted on us, God hears us when we call out to Him.  We don’t pray to Jesus, we pray through Him and He takes it to the Father.  Without Him, we’d have no way and no chance.

 

Jesus, the teacher

Who is Jesus?

John 13:15  For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Many people, even non-Christians, would say that Jesus was a good teacher.  From the sermon on the mount to His parables, people love Jesus the teacher.  But His best lessons weren’t what He talked about, no not at all.  His best lessons were taught through His example.

Jesus taught His disciples many things (thereby teaching us also as we can read about these lessons), but the one time He actually said that He was showing an example of something they should emulate was when He washed their feet.  The one thing Jesus said to copy Him on was when He acted as a servant, showing love even to His enemy.

All of His other teachings draw from the truth that He showed by this act – he who wants to be first has to be last.  The leader must be the servant.  With that in mind, the other teachings seem to have a theme.

Jesus didn’t just lecture about love, He taught it through acting it out.  He went so far as to demonstrate ultimate love by dying on a cross to set captives free.  That is a teacher worth learning from.

Jesus, the heir

Who is Jesus?

Hebrews 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

Jesus is not just a man, not an angel, not even a god.  He’s THE God, heir to all things, worthy of all praise and even the worship of the angels.  All things have been granted to Him.  Just as a firstborn son gets an inheritance, God’s Son gets the inheritance of all inheritances.

A never-ending kingdom is His, and all that’s in it.  His throne will know no end.  He upholds the universe by the word of His power.  This is His role as heir.  All power and authority is His.  This is a mighty thing, but Jesus shares it with us.

When we become children of God through faith in Christ, we become coheirs with Him (Romans 8:17).  What He has, we have.  Power and authority are ours in HIs name and for His will.  There’s nothing that isn’t His and He doesn’t keep it all to Himself.  We have access to the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ.