Thursday, December 22, 2016

Who Is Jesus Christ?

Who is Jesus Christ?  The common answer in the world at large is that He is a great moral teacher.  But this will not do.  Anyone who said the kind of things that Jesus said would have to be one of four things.  Either He was a legend so blown out of proportion by His followers that it is impossible to figure out what He actually said and did, one the greatest con men who put forth one of the greatest swindles of all time, a madman with an incredible case of megalomania, or exactly who He said He was--God come in the flesh, who came to deliver us from our sins (Matthew 7:21-23, 11:27; John 8:58, 10:30; 14:9). Now some will take refuge in option one, that He was a legend, but is this plausible.  It is still possible after 2600 years to read Confucius or Buddha and see that they were human moral philosophers, however much some of their followers may have added things later.  Are we therefore to believe that Jesus' followers, in at most 100-200 years (probably more like 20 or 30), so completely distorted who Jesus said He was and what He did as to be unrecognizable. And if Jesus is who He said He was, then eternal life comes from trusting in Him (John 3:16-19). 

But to those of us who already believe this, I have this challenge--do we live our lives in the light of it.  The God of heaven who calls the stars by name (Isaiah 40:26) and holds all things together (Colossians 1:17) became a human being (John 1:1,14) to redeem us from our sins (Colossians 1:13, 14). The synagogue in Capernaum is still there (see picture above).  The walls have been rebuilt, but the floor is thought to date from Jesus' day.  The point I am trying to make is that this are not some strange story set in some fantasy land--a better version of "The Lord of the Rings" or "Star Wars". God Himself was at this synagogue (Luke 4:31), praised the man who built it for his faith (Luke 7:1-10), and nearby raised a widow's son (Luke 7:11-17).  God walked among us in real historical places that He might make us His people to be with Him forever.  Have we lost the wonder of this?  Has it become old hat, a nice story, a source of practical moral advice, or a vague religious feeling?  If Jesus is who He claimed be, He should be the Lord over all our life, not just on Sunday morning but throughout the week.  Also, if we know this great truth, we need to be willing tell others who desperately need to know it. Who do we say that He is (Luke 9:20)?  And does our life reflect it?

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