Do we live in a modern world that still professes Jesus? Do you believe He was at the beginning with God? Is He the firstborn from the dead? Is He the Messiah? Some people say he is the King of kings. But who is Jesus to you? If you cannot answer this question with confidence it is doubtful that you will ever experience Him for yourself. Christians have a deep-seated admiration for Jesus. But what if I told you that the mental image that Christians have of Jesus does not identify with what God says about Him, what would you say? For example, in American culture, Jesus is a blond-haired, blue-eyed white man. That leaves us to question, was Jesus the only white Nazarene in Israel?
Who is Jesus and Why Are Christians So Fascinated by Him?
Christians affectionately accepted Jesus as the Son of God. But here is what many people perceive about the man called Jesus. He was born in a manger in the modest town of Nazareth. His father’s name was Joseph, and his mother’s name was Mary. He declared His Father was God. Religious leaders falsely accused him of blasphemy and nailed Him to a cross. In addition to this, God supposedly raised Him from the dead, and His followers claim to have seen him after His resurrection.
But who is Jesus really, and why are Christians so fascinated by Him? How can we know for sure who Jesus is? To know this extraordinary man, we need to exercise extraordinary faith to know him, So let’s turn now to the Bible to form a correct mental image of Jesus.
What the Bible says about Jesus
Who is Jesus? The Bible answers every question ever raised about Jesus. It also gives us a clear and precise mental picture to help us answer the question Who is Jesus? I, along with many other Christians, doubt that He was the only blue-eyed, blond hair, Israeli white man. However, his physical features have no value for salvation. God wrote everything we need to know about Jesus in the Bible. If it is not in the Bible it is purely speculation. When asking the question, “Who is Jesus?” here are some major facts about Jesus that every Christian should know.
Jesus was at the beginning with God
One question people ask me all the time is, “Was Jesus with God in the beginning?” Before God created the universe, the angels, or anything, Jesus was within the beginning with God. John’s gospel affirms that Jesus was there at the beginning with God. He writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2).
Word of God
Jesus is the Word of God in bodily form. The Book of Revelation describes the risen Lord just as He is in heaven right now. Added to that, the disciple John writes, “I saw a white horse in heaven. And the One sitting on the horse has the name Faithful and True. He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and His name is The Word of God” (Revelation 19:11-13).
Translated from the Greek language, “Word” is logos, and it means: something said, including the thought, or basically, translation of thought. But why is the Greek translation significant? The language of Revelation is Greek. Therefore, to understand the text in its entirety, we must interpret it from its original language. As used in Revelation, Word is a title of Jesus.
Lamb of God
Christians hold to their faith that Jesus is the Lamb of God. John writes, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus is the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin. Isaiah prophesied the coming of Christ as a guilt offering (Isaiah 53:10). The blood of God’s spotless Lamb has redeemed us. (1 Peter 1:18-19).
The Son of God
Jesus is God’s Son in the sense that He is God incarnate in human form (John 1:1,14). Although God created us in His image, God is not like us. God did not have to procreate to have a son in the same manner as a flesh and blood man does. Jesus was not born, nor did He have a beginning. Like His Father, Jesus always was. “He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2). Jesus is God’s only begotten Son (John 3:16). The Holy Spirit conceived Him in the Virgin Mary’s womb (Luke 1:35). At Jesus’ baptism, people there heard God’s voice say, “This is My Beloved Son, He pleases Me” (Matthew 3:17).
Son of Man
Jesus referred to Himself as “the Son of Man.” In Matthew chapter 8 we see Jesus introducing Himself for the first time. “Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, ‘Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head’ ” (Matthew 8:19-20).
Who is Jesus according to genetics? Luke answers this question when he traced Jesus’ bloodline from His earthly father Joseph, all the way back to Adam. Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years old. He was supposedly Joseph’s son, Adam’s son, and ultimately God’s son (Luke 3:23-38).
Jesus Is Our High Priest
A priest is a mediator between God and His people. The high priest is the chief of the priests who minister under his authority. As it relates to the Jewish religion, only the high priest could enter into the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement. But before he could enter, he had to make the required sacrifice for Himself for his cleansing. Once cleansed, the high priest could then offer sacrifices for the people (Leviticus 16). Being Chief of all priests, Jesus is our Faithful and Merciful High Priest (Hebrews 2:17). Jesus is our once-for-a sacrifice (Hebrews 10:1-18).
God uses the analogy of the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep to describe the kind of relationship He has with us. The word of God describes people as sheep that have no shepherd (Matthew 9:36), and as sheep have gone astray (1 Peter 2:25). Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Wisdom of God
The Bible has a lot to say about wisdom. The Bible says that wisdom begins to manifests when we reverence God (Proverbs 1:7). It tells us that wisdom has more value than rubies (Proverbs 8:11). The Bible also tells us that Jesus is the wisdom of God to the church. But to both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God’s power and wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24).
As a Christian, I believe that Christ is our righteousness, for He alone is the reason that we are justified to God. The scriptures tell us that we are justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law (Romans 3:28). But we must take in all scripture and not just one verse. When we read further, we see that our justification is not by faith alone. If we say that justification is by faith alone, we perceive our justification as a reward for having faith.
It is because of Christ that we are justified. For the Bible teaches, Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and we are in Him, and if we seek glory, let us seek glory in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
Bread of Life
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst ” (John 6:35). But exactly what did He mean? Bread is a type of food, and food is necessary to sustain life. Jesus is both making a claim to His deity, and He is saying that He is the bread which gives life, sustains it, and completely satisfies one’s every desire.
Firstborn from the Dead
When asking the question, “Who is Jesus?” it is important to note that the Bible refers to Jesus as the firstborn from the dead. The Greek word for “firstborn” that John uses is prōtotokos, It has reference to birth order—the first child born. This concept has great significance in the Old Testament, in which the firstborn son inherited his father’s place as head of the family, receiving the father’s blessing and a double portion of the inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17).
The New Testament calls Jesus prōtotokos, or “firstborn” numerous times:
- For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined, conforming them to His Son’s image, that they might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29).
- Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15).
- He is the head of the body, the church; the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent (Colossians 1:18).
- When God brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all God’s angels worship him” (Hebrews 1:6).
Jesus is the firstborn from the dead, as He is the first fruits of those Christians who have fallen asleep. “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:20).
King of kings
The Bible uses the phrase “King of kings” six times. Three times it refers to the King of Babylon. In Ezra 7:12 the phrase refers to Artaxerxes, King of Babylon; In Ezekiel 26:7, and Daniel 2:37 it has reference to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Three times the Bible calls Jesus King of kings: 1 Timothy 6:14-15, speaks of both, God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God the Father will bring about in His own time. King of kings refers to Jesus in Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:16.
The first three instances refer to the mightiest kings of the earth. But the fourth instance refers to God the Father as the mightiest King in the universe. Why does the Bible call Jesus the King of kings? It is because Jesus is all-powerful. When God raised Him from death, He sat down at God’s right hand. He is far above all principality and power and might and dominion, not only in this age but in the age to come (Ephesians 1:20-21). He is King of kings because, In the end, He will return to the earth to judge the world (Revelation 19:11-16), for the Father will not judge anyone, but the Son will judge all (John 5:22).
Jesus is God
Although Jesus said He was one with God, He didn’t say He was God. For example, He said, “I and My Father are One” (John 10:30), and “…before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). However, the Bible makes it very clear that Jesus is God. Genesis 1:1 states that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Jesus is the “Word of God“. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Thereby we understand that Jesus is God.
Now that you know what the Bible says about Jesus only you can answer the most important question of all: Who is Jesus to you?