Who Is Jesus?

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Isaiah 53:8-11  He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.  9  And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.  10  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.  11  He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.

Luke 1:26-35  Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,  27  to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary.  28  And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"  29  But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.  30  Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.  32  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  33  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."  34  Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"  35  And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Colossians 1:15-22  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  16  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.  17  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.  18  And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.  19  For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,  20  and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.  21  And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled  22  in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—

Hebrews 5:5-9  So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU."  6  As He also says in another place: "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK";  7  who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,  8  though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.  9  And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

This is not a complete study; there are infinite questions regarding the question “Who is Jesus”, but this article will present some of what the scripture says concerning a few concepts of the Son of God.

Who is Jesus Not?

Often one of the best ways to understand reality is to consider the untrue. Let it be known at the very beginning that there have been and are many false Jesus’ throughout history and today. We cannot completely examine every false thing that has been said about Jesus, but there are some that are important to mention.

MYTH – Many today say that Jesus Christ is just a myth, nothing more than Richard (the lionhearted king of the roundtable of old English folklore), Robin Hood (who helped the poor by taking from the rich), Paul Bunyan (a hero in American Folklore), Manasa in Bangladesh (a Hindu goddess, whose epic love story involves Lakhindar and his father, and involves death, resurrection, and snake bites), or the Judge Rabbit (who dishes out fair sentences in ancient Khmer [Cambodia]). Is the Son of God nothing more than myth and legend, nothing more than children’s fairy tales? There are an abundance of credible eyewitness testimonies affirming that Jesus walked the earth: Luke 7:19 “And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, "Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?" and 1 Corinthians 15:6 “After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.”

One may argue that Jesus’ friends are not reliable sources because these are records from people who are members of His “fan club”, but even Jesus’ enemies bore witness to His existence. Josephus, a noted historian who never became a Christian and always opposed Christianity, said “And there arose about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed we should call him a man; for he was a doer of marvelous deeds, a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure…” Josephus continues his discussion about Jesus in the book Antiquities, but it is clear and crucial to note that Josephus recognized that Jesus as a living man, more than just a myth or legend. We, too, must realize that Jesus Christ is much more than myth or legend, and it is wrong to place the Son of God alongside other “gods and goddesses” and demand equality.

JUST A MAN - Sometimes men have the mistaken idea that Jesus is just a man. They forget that He is divine. Some have even said that Jesus never claimed to be God. Although we don’t have a record of Him saying the words, “I am God,” Jesus did give some clear indications of His divinity.

For example, in John 10:30, Jesus said, “The Father and I are one.” The people who heard Him say that began taking up stones to kill Him. Why would they stone Him? They believed He was blasphemous because He was claiming to be God (John 10:33). On another occasion Jesus said “before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). The people there also took up stones to stone Him because the name I AM is the personal name of God in the Old Testament. Furthermore, possibly the most notable passage of all, John stated in John 1:1-3,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made… And the Word became 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”. Again, at His trial before the high priest just before His crucifixion, the high priest asked Jesus directly “… ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ Jesus said, ‘I am…’” (Mark 14:61-62).

More indirectly, Jesus often put Himself in the position of God by doing things only God had a right to do, such as forgive sins. People worshipped Him, and He did not discourage them from doing so. Thomas, the skeptical disciple, called Him “…My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Jesus did not contradict Thomas. There is no question that Jesus thought of Himself as God, and the New Testament clearly presents Him as the divine Son of God.

Who is Jesus in Prophesy?

More than 450 prophecies in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God chose to reveal events still to come and to show His power and omniscience through prophesies. Isaiah 48:5  says “Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, 'My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.’” We obviously do not have space or time to list every prophecy from scripture, much less discuss them all; However, I’d like to look at few notable prophesies:

Prophecies from Isaiah 53

Isaiah 53:1-2 “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?   For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him...” (Continue reading the entire 53rd chapter in Isaiah for a full picture). This chapter in Isaiah is about the Servant of the Lord. What we do see in this chapter from Isaiah is that the Servant is an individual. Isaiah describes how He was despised, rejected, and bore the iniquity for all of us. Isaiah 53:5 says “…He was wounded [pierced through] for our transgressions…”. This prophesy is fulfilled in Luke 23:33 “…there they crucified Him…” and John 19:34 “…one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear…”. Isaiah 53:5 continues “…He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” The fulfillment of this can be found in 1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree… by whose stripes you were healed.”

Prophecies from Psalms 22

Psalms 22:1 “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?”Jesus said these exact words on the cross (see Matthew 27:46). They express His grief as He bore our sins. Although having the sins of all humanity placed on Him gave humanity the ability to obey the gospel and be free from sin, it also caused Him to be rejected by the Father (God) for a short time.Psalms 22:7 “All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head…”Jesus was literally scorned, mocked, and despised by the crowds surrounding Him on the cross at His crucifixion. Luke 23:35-36 says “…even the rulers with them sneered, saying ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself is He is the Christ, the chosen of God.’ The soldiers also mocked him…”. Even a criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus mocked Him (Luke 23:39). Psalms 22:14-15 “I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death.”Like water, Jesus’ blood on the cross “poured out” of His body. Also, it is a fact that crucifixion pulls the bones and the body out of joint; this happened to Jesus. Blood and water burst out of Jesus’ side when the soldier pierced His side with a spear (John 19:34). Medical doctors will remark that the mixture of blood and water is an indication that His heart had blown up inside His chest. Psalms 22:16 “For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet;”Jesus was encircled by people who hated Him; they mocked Him and were glad to watch Him suffer and die. They pierced His hands and feet, and when they nailed Him to the cross just as David said, they fulfilled prophecy (John 19:15-18).

Who is Jesus in Relation to God?

Many today believe that Jesus Christ is the same being as God the Father. I would like to demonstrate very briefly that, while we do not agree with the Catholic doctrines of the Trinity, we do believe in the Biblical doctrine of the Godhead. In other words, all three persons of the Godhead are co-equal and eternal. Early in the dawning hours of creation, we find God speaking to Himself saying, “… ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’" (Genesis 1:26). God says, “Let us…”. This is a plural pronoun; God is speaking among Himself. This correlates with John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” In these verses in John, we see the Word working with God and being God, yet being subject to God in creation.

There are many things from this passage that we learn: Jesus is not the same as the Father, yet He is not a created being. Jesus is an eternal being and is equal to the Father; however, we learn in Hebrews 5:8 that Jesus was obedient to the Father: “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered”. Likewise, we see more of Jesus’ obedience to the Father in John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” and in John 15:10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love”.

Furthermore, we learn from 1 Corinthians 11:3 that there is a difference in the chain of authority: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” We see that they are both eternal, both God, and both should be worshipped; however, it appears from scripture that God is over Christ in authority.

Additionally, perfect harmony and accord exists between the Godhead at all times: John 10:30 “I and My Father are one” and 1 John 5:7-8 “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one”.

Again, John 1:1 reads “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. There are three important things in this passage about Jesus and the Father: 1) Jesus was “In the beginning…”—He was present at creation. Jesus had always existed eternally with God. 2) Jesus is distinct from the Father—He was “…with…” God. 3) Jesus is the same as God in nature—He “was God”.

Who is Jesus in Relation to the Universe?

The broad expanse that is our universe did not just happen, though there are many different “scientific” ways of “explaining” how the stars and moons and planets came to be. However, the inspired Words of the Bible say that God created in the Universe and all therein. Christians should, likewise, believe that God is their creator. Colossians 1:16 “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” John 1:3 “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

What sets biblical Christianity apart from other world religions? It is the nature, the power, and the divinity of Jesus Christ. In Islam, Jesus was a messenger of God, but not the Son of God. In many cults, the deity of Jesus Christ is done away with, and, in many world religions and personal views, Jesus is just another wise teacher. But the Bible says that all things were created by Him and for Him.

The mystery of the Godhead is revealed in Scripture. In the Bible, both God the Father and Jesus are called Shepherd, Judge, and Savior. Both are called the Pierced One (Zechariah 12:10). Christ is the exact representation of God the Father, having the same nature (Hebrews 1:3). There is some sense in which everything the Father does, the Son and Spirit also do and vice versa. They are always in perfect agreement at every moment, and all three equal only One God (Deuteronomy 6:4). Knowing that Christ is God and has all the attributes of God aids our understanding of Jesus as the Creator of the universe and all therein.

Who is Jesus in Relation to the Church?

Jesus Christ is the head of the church, and we have assurance through scripture that our head, Jesus Christ, does not change. He is always the same: Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever."

Christ is the only ruling head over His Church. No human possesses the right to take that position. Christ is the head of the church because the church is His body. Colossians 1:18 says "And he is the head of the body, the church…". Ephesians 1:22-23 similarly says "And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Spiritually speaking, the Church is the Body of Christ. This symbolism is by no accident. In a body, we see unity and harmony. If unity and harmony are not found, we see disease and death. In our body, it is our head that governs and rules the rest of the body. Without our heads, the body could not function. Also, it is by our head on our body that others recognize us. The rest of my body might and often does change, but my head never changes. It is my identifier. I can lose an arm or leg and still exist, but I cannot lose my head and live. This symbolism is very strong, and we must recognize the power that God has given to the head of the church - Jesus Christ.

This symbolism goes even further; Christ only possesses one body. Since the body is the church, then Christ is the head of only one church. He cannot be the head of multiple bodies. Paul says this very clearly: "There is one body…" (Ephesians 4:4). If there is only one body, and that body is the Church, then Christ is the head of His own body, not someone else's. If Christ is not your only head, then you cannot claim to be a part of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.

Christians are members of the Body of Christ, or the Church. The scriptures teach this fact. The following scriptures are very clear on this matter. They speak of one body, not many. They speak of Christians as being individual members within that body, working together for the good of the whole body. Just like our own body, it has many, many different parts or members, yet each part works for the good of the whole. If not, then our bodies are filled with disease.

Ephesians 5:30 "For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones."Romans 12:4-5 "For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” I Corinthians 12:12 "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are on body, so also is Christ.”

With Christ as the Head, He then governs and rules the body. We must be followers of Him and not the teachings of men. If we follow some other head than Christ, then we are members of a different body. To follow some other head than Christ causes our religion to be vain and empty.

Who is Jesus in Relation to Salvation?

It may come as some surprise to you, but I believe that John 14:6 is one of the most important verses in the Bible. It reads, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus describes the way to the Father. There is no exception to this rule; if one is to dwell in the presence of God, he/she must go through Jesus Christ: John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” and 2 John 1:9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son”.

Many today would have you believe that all you must do is confess Christ; however, that is nowhere to be found in the scripture. We are to abide in the doctrine of Christ. We want to know what Jesus says about Salvation. What man or man-made organizations say is unimportant. There is no doubt that one must come to Christ for Salvation; remember, Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" and Hebrews 12:2 “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.

Following the plan of salvation that Jesus outlined, we must, through Him and His sacrifice, confess (Matthew 10:32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven”), repent (Luke 13:5 “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish"), and be buried in baptism (Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen”)

So, as the head of the church, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the one to who we owe our allegiance. In order for us to be added into His church, we must confess Him, and we must obey His doctrine. May God Bless His Word.

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