Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Who Is Jesus", A Closer Look by Rick Sons

Who Is Jesus?

Who is Jesus? Scripture refers to Jesus in many different ways. Scripture teaches that Jesus was a prophet. John 1:1 says “the Word was God” and John 1:14 says “the Word became flesh” so Jesus is the Word. Isaiah 9:6 states, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Matthew 1:23 declares, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.” Immanuel means “God with us;” this fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14. The titles “Messiah” (from a Hebrew word) and “Christ” (from a Greek word) both mean “Anointed One.” Is Yeshua (Hebrew for “Jesus”) really the promised Messiah of Israel?

Jesus also said He is the “Door to Heaven” in John 10:9. In John 14:6 He expands on that thought: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but though me.” Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is the Bread of Life. He’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life. According to the religious leaders Jesus was a liar and a lunatic. Mark records for us a debate in the Temple between Jesus and the religious leaders, who were intent on exposing Jesus as a pretender.

Jesus is the Son of...
The Son of Mary
Mark 6:3 – “Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?”

The Son of Joseph
John 6:42 – “They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?’”

The Son of God
John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” The common understanding is that “Son of God” implies His deity. Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son. God did not mate with Mary and produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). Jesus is God’s Son in that He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:35 declares, “The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, so the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.’” The first human that God created, Adam, is called a “son of God.” Luke 3:38 similarly, the Bible teaches that Jesus was created by God. So Jesus is also called a “Son of God” (John 1:49). God created Jesus before he created Adam. Regarding Jesus, the apostle Paul wrote: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15). Jesus’ life began long before he was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

The Son of Man
The common understanding is that “Son of Man” implies Jesus’ humanity. Jesus is referred to as the “Son of Man” 88 times in the New Testament. A first meaning of the phrase “Son of Man” is as a reference to the prophecy of Daniel 7:13-14, “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.” A second meaning of the phrase “Son of Man” is that Jesus was truly a human being. God called the prophet Ezekiel “son of man” 93 times. God was simply calling Ezekiel a human being. A son of a man is a man. Jesus was fully God (John 1:1), but He was also a human being (John 1:14). We must acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. Yes, Jesus was the Son of God – He was in His essence, God. Yes, Jesus was also the Son of Man – He was in His essence, human. In summary, the phrase “Son of Man” indicates that Jesus is the Messiah and that He is truly a human being.

The Son of David
17 verses in the New Testament describe Jesus as the “Son of David.” But the question arises, how could Jesus be the Son of David if David lived approximately 1,000 years before Jesus? Jesus (the Messiah) was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the seed of David (2 Samuel 7:12–16). Jesus is the promised Messiah, which means He had to be of the lineage of David. The book of Matthew gives the genealogical proof that Jesus, in His humanity, was a direct descendant of Abraham and David through Joseph, Jesus’ legal father. The genealogy in Luke traces Jesus’ lineage through His mother, Mary. Jesus is a descendant of David by adoption through Joseph and by blood through Mary. “As to his earthly life [Christ Jesus] was a descendant of David” (Romans 1:3).  When people referred to Jesus as the Son of David, they meant that He was the long-awaited Deliverer and the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. Jesus was addressed as “Lord, thou son of David” several times by people who, by faith, were seeking mercy or healing. One example is the woman from Mark 6, whose daughter was being tormented by a demon. The title of honor people gave Him declared their faith in Him. Calling Him “Lord” expressed that they understood His deity, dominion, and power. Calling Him “Son of David” expressed their faith that He was the Messiah.

So who is Jesus and can he be all the things listed above? The answer is YES, taking out the belief of the religious leaders. At one point, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do others say that I am?” (Mark 8:27). A variety of responses followed, just as the same question would elicit a range of answers today: some would say that Jesus was a great moral influence, a philosopher, a man worthy of emulation; others consider Him a fraud or a menace to society. For me the answer to this question is simply this, Jesus is both man and God. He was man in that he was tired and slept in a boat with his disciples, yet he was God in that he calmed the sea. He was a man in that he thirsted and went to the well for water, yet he was God as he saved the soul of the sinful woman at the well. He was a man and he got hungry, yet he was God and fed 5000 with just five loaves and two fish. He was man in that he bitterly cried when his friend Lazarus died, yet he was God as he commanded that Lazarus be raised and walk. He was man in that he was four days late in getting to Lazarus before he died, yet he was God in that even at being four days late, he got there just in time. He was man when he cleared the temple of the moneychangers and animal-sellers; He showed great emotion and anger (Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18, John 2:13-22). Jesus’ emotion was described as “zeal” for God’s house, yet he was God in that His anger had the proper result. Jesus’ anger had the inevitable consequence of Godly action. Jesus’ anger, as with all His emotions, was held in check by the Word of God; thus, Jesus’ response was always to accomplish God’s will. He was man in that He suffered unbearable pain and bled and died on a cross, yet He was God and He had power over death and He arose to live forever.

Who is Jesus? Jesus is _______________ (an unfinished sentence). How would you fill in the blank?

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