|WHO IS HE, ANYWAY?|
by Marsha Jordan
June 2, 2006
Category: Christian Living
|HERE WAS A time in my life when I wrestled with the question, "Who is this Jesus, anyway?" The Bible book of Acts, which details events that transpired after Jesus died, states "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts of the Apostles 4:12)|
That sentence has the potential to start wars. In the first century, those who taught it were tortured and killed, and it continues to stir up opposition today.
Some people believe Jesus was a good man, or a great teacher, or a prophet of God. Which is it? Or was he more than all these? To answer this question, I recently read through the gospel written by John.
WHAT OTHERS SAID ABOUT HIM:
The book of John tells us that John the Baptist believed Jesus was the "son of God' and "the one from Heaven." The first eighteen verses of the book describe Jesus as the "creator of all things," the "one and only son of God," the one "who existed from the beginning," the one who is "full of truth," and the one who was "with God and was God." Verse 14 says that Jesus "became flesh," indicating that he had existed previously as more than a mere man.
WHAT HE CLAIMED ABOUT HIMSELF:
Jesus made several claims in his own words regarding who he was. In the third chapter of John, Jesus calls himself "the one who came from heaven" and "God's only Son." In the fourth chapter, he refers to himself as the "gift of God." In chapter six, he stated that he was "the bread of life" that "came from heaven." In chapter eight, he called himself the "light of the world." In chapter ten, he compared himself to the "narrow gate that leads to life" and the "good shepherd." In that chapter, he also stated that he "and the Father are one." In the fourteenth chapter, Jesus described himself as "the way, the truth, and the life," and he said that "No one comes to the Father except through me." He also instructed that everyone should obey whatever he commanded. In chapter fifteen, Jesus compared us to branches that remain alive only by staying connected with him, "the true vine."
In the fourth chapter of John, a woman told Jesus, "I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming." Jesus told her, "I am he."
In chapter eight, Jesus told the people, "If you do not believe I am the one I claim to be, you will die in your sins." And he told them, "Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day. Before Abraham was born, I AM." This indicates that Jesus existed eternally.
He told the Jewish people that their scriptures testified about him, yet they did not believe what Moses had written about him. (John 5:39, 40) When the Jews gathered around Jesus (John 10) and asked, "If you are the Christ, tell us plainly," Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe me."
The Bible says there is no other name that will cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess that He is Lord. Jesus was not just another teacher. He was the son of God sent on a mission to teach his brothers about truth and heaven. But more importantly, He was sent to die in order to save us - all of us. Young, old, rich, poor, educated, ignorant. Every one. That means you. He died for you. Are you living for Him?
WHAT A BROTHER
Reading the gospel of John gave me a fresh insight into who Jesus is. I hope my attitude will always be like that of the boy in the following story:
TO BE LIKE HIM:
It was the day after Christmas and the man parked his car to pick up the morning paper. He noticed a dirty, poorly dressed boy, looking at his car. Seeing the boy eyeing the car, he reminded himself to be quick or he might be missing a hubcap when he returned. He came out of the store with his paper under his arm and just as he opened the door to the car, the boy asked, "Mister, how much would a new car like this cost?" Mr. Greene responded, "I really don't know; my brother gave me this car as a gift." The ragged little boy looked unbelievingly at the car and then, with a look of wonder in his eyes, said, "Gee, I wish I could be a brother like that."
Additional Thought To Ponder
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6 & 7)
Marsha Jordan is a disabled grandmother, author, and shower singer who began her writing career on the bathroom walls of St. Joseph's Catholic Elementary School. Now her writing appears in restrooms throughout the country. Jordan has two boys, ages 30 and 55. She's been married to the 55 year old for 31 years.
She's been held captive for a quarter of a century In the north woods of Wisconsin where she shares an empty nest with her rocket scientist husband and their badly behaved toy poodle, King Louie who rules the household with an iron paw.
After her grandson was badly burned, Jordan created The HUGS and HOPE Foundation, a nonprofit charity devoted to cheering critically ill and injured children.
Jordan's inspirational and humorous essays are available in her new book, "Hugs, Hope, and Peanut Butter." The book is illustrated with drawings by kids who are battling for life.
More columns by Marsha Jordan