Beliefs and Practices of Christians - WHO IS JESUS CHRIST?
My dear friend, I am sure you now want to ask the question which many ask, and which is one of the most important questions in the world, namely, who is this great person whose history I have just briefly related you? Many large books have been written in answer to this questions, and though it is difficult to explain briefly who Jesus Christ is, I will now attempt to do so. Since the only entirely trustworthy information regarding this matter is found in the Holy Bible, I will depend on it alone for what I will not write.
From the accounts of the life of Jesus Christ which we have in the four Gospels we see that He was truly a man. Though he did not have a human father He was descended, through His mother Mary, from David the great prophet and king of Israel. He grew in body and spirit as other boys do. He ate food and slept. He worked as a carpenter, He grew weary, and was acquainted with all the joys and pains and sorrows that people experience in their life on this earth. He is, therefore, able to sympathize with us in all our human experiences. Since Jesus was a man He might have married and had children, but He did not do so. His decision was no doubt made in obedience to Gods' will for Him.
However, while Jesus was truly man, He was in some respects quite different from other men. As already explained, all men, even the prophets and holy men of old, have sometimes disobeyed God and are therefore sinners. But in all His life, Jesus never did or said, or thought, anything contrary to God's holy will. He is the only sinless man. Not only did He commit no sin, His will was perfectly one with the will of God. He is indeed the one Perfect Man who has ever lived on the earth.
The people who witnessed the deeds of Christ were amazed at His power. Once He met a man blind from his birth and give him sight. On another occasion, when a great storm was about to sink the little boat in which He and His apostles were crossing the Lake of Galilee, He commanded the wind and the waves, and the sea became calm. He called from the tomb a man named Lazarus who had been dead four days, and the dead man arose and walked out alive. And, most amazing of all, Jesus, having predicted that He would come to life and meet His disciples on the third day after His death did just that. What man other than Jesus has ever done such deeds as these? What man has risen from the dead and never did again? No one!!! Hence it is evidence that while Jesus was truly man, He was much greater than the greatest of men. who then is He?
As I previously stated, Jesus Himself claimed to be the son of God. Not only at His trial before the Jewish council but many times before that trial, Jesus made this high claim for Himself. Moreover, He usually referred to God as "my Father". Once, when He said: "I and my Father are one." His enemies wanted to throw stones at Him, for they thought He had spoken blasphemy. But we know that Jesus was not a liar or a blasphemer, for all that He said was true. We should remember that if anyone should say that Jesus not God's son He makes Jesus a liar, and if He is a liar no one should believe on Him. But Jesus, in claiming to be the Son of God, was only repeating what God had said, to Him in a voice from heaven at His baptism, which was: "Though art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased. In all the books written by the apostles of Jesus it is stated many times that Jesus is the Son of God, and all the Christians of the world have always believed this to be true. You, of course, understand that this term is used not in a physical but in a spiritual sense. It is evidence that God did not take a wife and have a son, for such a thing is utterly impossible and unthinkable.
In the Injil Jesus is also called the "Word of God". While the title "Son of God" expresses His closeness to and His oneness with God who is His true Father, the title "Word of God" tells us that it is through Jesus Christ that God speaks to men. It is thus written: "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 was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.....and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth: we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father." (John 1:1-14).
This means that God, who had previously revealed Himself through prophets and their books, finally revealed Himself perfectly in a perfect person. That person is much greater than a prophet, and is truly one with God. For this verse from the Injil tells us that that person is the Word of God, and the Son of God. He was from the beginning one with God, and through Him all things were created. then, at the appointed time, the Eternal Word of God put on the garment of humanity in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and became Jesus Christ. So we see that he had two natures, one divine and the other human. Jesus Christ is both man and God.
Those Jewish apostles who first believed on Jesus were strict monotheists, that is, they believed that God is One. However, after being with Jesus for more than two years, they became convinced that their Master was one with God. thus Peter confessed: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16). Also, Thomas, when he saw Jesus alive after His resurrection from the dead, cried out: "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). In both instances Jesus commended these apostles for their faith in Him, and to Thomas He said: "Have you believed because you have seen me? blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." (John 20:24-29). This blessedness is ours today if we believe that He is the Son of God.
Now I know you wish to ask, "How is it possible for Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and one with God since god is One?" This is indeed a mystery too great for our little minds to comprehend. Who can fully know the essence (zat), that is, the nature or character of God, except God Himself? But we must remember that God is almighty, and nothing, that is not contrary to His holy will, is impossible for Him. Moreover, we see in the world of nature, which God created, something which illustrates, though imperfectly, this great reality. Look at the sun in the heavens, it is so great and so hot that if it should come nearer to the earth we would all perish. And to the sun shed froth the sunlight, which is really one with itself, and, through it, lights and warms our earth. In a similar way our great God sends His Light, which is one with Himself, into our world to give us life. God calls that Light His Word and His Son. That Light became Jesus Christ, who said of Himself: "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). When we see the sunlight we see the sun, and likewise when we look at Jesus Christ we see God. Jesus once said: "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (that is, God). (John 14:9). Therefore, we Christians are sure that God Himself has come to us in His Son Jesus Christ.
My friend, does it seem strange to you that the Almighty God should come in this way to our earth to save sinful men? But, remember, God, who is so great, always acts in love, and in coming in Christ to our world He has perfectly revealed His divine love to us. No doubt you have heard the story of the good king who loved the people of his kingdom so much that he sometimes would put off his royal robes, dress as a poor man and go to the homes of the people to talk with them and help them. this is an inadequate illustration of how the Son of God, who was one with the Father, left His heavenly glory, came to earth and lived in poverty as a man to reveal to them God's love and bring them to Him. What amazing love was this!!
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