The Jews surrounded Him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If You are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” – John 10:13 CSB
Who is Jesus? If you’re reading this, you probably have your own opinion about who He is. Some say that He was a good teacher. Some say that He lived a life that was worthy of imitating, that He was a good example. Others say that Jesus is an angel, they believe that Jesus was Michael the archangel in the flesh. Some believe that Jesus is the living God others believe that He is a god among many. Does it matter what we believe? Faith can only be as strong as the object it is based upon, and if someone’s faith is based on a lie or deception, that faith cannot save him. May we have hearts like Daniel when he prayed:
Just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of Yahweh our God by turning from our iniquities and paying attention to your truth. – Daniel 9:13 CSB (emphasis mine)
May we put the utmost importance on paying attention to God’s truth as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. I encourage you to test my words with the words of God and that you would humbly submit to His word for it is true. You may walk away from this with your mind unchanged but I pray that none of us would ever read and consider God’s word and truth and walk away unchanged. I understand how frightening it feels to consider that what you believe (and have possibly believed for most of your life) could be a lie, I’ve been there in my faith and it was a terribly unsettling place to be but I believed then and still do today that the truth is more important than what I believe or want to believe. So, even in fear of what I might find I set out to find the truth.
In this three part series, I am going to focus on Jesus: Who the Scriptures say He is, who He said that He was, and who His followers believed Him to be. If we do not get our understanding of who Jesus is from the Scriptures than the Jesus we know will not be the Jesus of the Bible.
Let’s start with the first time Jesus is mentioned in the Scriptures, please turn with me to Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Now, if you read this verse, I can understand how you might say, “But, Jesus isn’t even mentioned here, it says ‘God’ created the heavens and the earth,” and you would be correct. But, the Scriptures contain much more than this verse do they not? Let’s consider what some other Scriptures say about God the creator. Some incredibly beautiful verses about the creation of the world and the identity of Christ can be found in the first chapter of the book of John.
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1 CSB (emphasis mine) I wasn’t a big fan of math in school but I understand the concept of using something say, “x” in place of a number, for example, “3”. You could say if 2+x=5 Then “x” =3. In John 1:1, John is telling us that “the Word” = God. Okay, moving on to verses 2-3, “He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.” (again, emphasis mine) That is extremely clear. All things were created through Him (the Word/God), and apart from Him, not even one thing was created. To translate, God, the Word created literally everything in existence and He Himself is not a created being. If your Bible reads this verse (and John 1:1) differently, I pray that you would deeply study the Scriptures concerning these two verses. You can find an incredible amount of free information on the Greek words used here, YouTube video’s over these verses, etc. Ignorance is not bliss if it takes God’s truth and changes it to a lie. Remember that our faith is only as strong as the truth it stands upon on judgment day. A lie cannot save us and neither will ignorance.
Okay, jumping ahead a couple of verses let’s look at John 1:10-14 CSB,
“He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, and yet the world did not recognize Him. He came to his own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (emphasis mine)
Oh, there is so much beauty in these verses! The world was created through Him (God) and yet the humans He created did not recognize Him. He (the God who created the nation of Israel) came to His own people (the Jews) and yet they did not receive Him. The Word (God) became flesh, Jesus, and dwelt among us, as the one and only Son from the Father. Such beauty. To review, “the Word” = God = Jesus. Now let’s read John 1:18 CSB, “No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side —He has revealed Him.” (emphasis mine)
Let’s turn to the beloved book of Colossians. Speaking about Christ Paul said, “He is the image of the invisible God the firstborn over all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven, and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things and by Him, all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:15-17 CSB (emphasis mine)
Colossians confirms what was said in John chapter 1. He is the Creator, the image of the invisible God, all things were created both by Him and for Him and He is before all things (eternal, not a created being). I’ve got to be honest, this is me trying to keep this short so moving on to other Scriptures. The writer of the book of Hebrews said that the Father says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you established the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands; they will perish, but you remain. They will all wear out like clothing; you will roll them up like a cloak, and they will be changed like clothing. But you are the same, and your years will never end.” – from Hebrews 1:10-12 CSB This is a direct quote of a passionate prayer to Yahweh from Psalm 102:25-27! Do I find studying the Bible exciting… yes, I do.
To summarize what we’ve read so far. God is the Creator of all things, Jesus is God, and He is not a created being. He is eternal, existing before any created thing and the source and sustainer of all His creation. Jesus, the Word, the Son of God, God in the flesh, the Creator of all creation is not an angel, He is not a created being, He is the eternal and everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).