Who Is This Man?
In the next two lessons we will try to answer this question: "Who is this man, Jesus?" This is a very important question. It was asked many times while Jesus was on
earth, and was often asked in the twenty centuries since that time.
We read for instance that Jesus once crossed the lake when a sudden storm arose. The huge waves spilled over into their boat, and it started to fill up with water. Jesus commanded the wind and the waves to be still, and immediately a great calm followed his words. Then his disciples were very afraid and said to one another,
"Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
We need to learn some more about this Jesus, who changed lives so many years ago, and still changes lives today. Who is this man? Why should we trust in him?
1. He Fulfilled the Old Testament Prophecies
As we have seen in the previous lesson, God has given wonderful promises about Jesus throughout the Old Testament. All the prophecies were fulfilled in the smallest detail, right from the town where he would be born (Micah 5:2 and Matthew 2:6) up to the way he
would die (Deuteronomy 21:23 and Galatians 3:13) and also that he would rise again from the dead (Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:31). Jesus once spoke to the Jews who refused to believe in him, and said,
"You study the Scriptures,
because you think in them you will find eternal life.
And these very Scriptures speak about me!"
Or another occasion Jesus read a passage from Isaiah 61 and said,
"This passage of Scripture has come true today
as you heard it being read."
2. He Did Miracles
As Jesus went about in this world, he did one miracle (impossible deed) after the other. If you already have a Bible, or even one of the Gospels (a small portion of the Bible that tells about the life of Jesus Christ), you should try to read this history in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Jesus healed many incurably sick people. Lame people could walk. Blind persons could see.
Deaf persons could hear and speak. We even read of three occasions that Jesus made dead people live again! Many times Jesus freed people who were under the control of evil spirits (read for example Matthew 8 and 9). Jesus also demonstrated his supernatural powers and authority by miracles such as feeding more than 5 000 people with just five small loaves of bread and two fishes (Matthew 14). He had control over the stormy wind and waves. No other person, before or after him, could do this.
And Jesus said:
"The things I do by my Father's authority speak on my behalf." (John 10:25)
3. He Taught with Authority
While Jesus went about doing good, he also revealed the love and will of God by teaching. Do read the depth of his teaching as we find it in the gospels. In Matthew, Chapters 5 to 7, we find "The Sermon on the Mount". We read that the crowd was amazed by the way he taught, because he taught with authority:
When his enemies sent a number of soldiers to arrest him, they returned empty-handed. When they were asked why they did not carry out their orders, they said,
"Nobody has ever talked like this man!"
Jesus was born in a stable (Luke 2:7); he was brought up by poor parents; he was a humble carpenter (Mark 6:3); he did not have powerful men to back him; his followers were despised fishermen and tax collectors; he never wrote a book; he was
crucified with ordinary criminals (Luke 23:33); and yet he could say,
"Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away."
Today his teachings are loved and taught all over the world, and translated into more languages than any other book ever written!
4. He Was a Perfect, Sinless Man
Jesus was the only exception to the rule that all humans are sinners, with sinful hearts. This is a big claim,
but compare his life honestly to any other leader who ever lived. All other leaders became conscious of their imperfection as they grew in holiness. Jesus lived a life of complete purity. He could challenge his enemies and say,
"Which one of you can prove that I am guilty of sin?"
Not one of them could. Jesus is the only man who could say,
"The ruler of this world (Satan) ... has no power over me."
This was not only his own testimony, but also that of the people who knew him well, and who lived with him day by day. The apostle John writes,
"You know that Christ appeared in order to take away sins,
and that there is no sin in him."
(1 John 3:5.)
We read the following about Jesus in the letter to the Hebrews:
"Our High Priest is not one
who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses.
On the contrary, we have a High Priest
who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin."
It is very important that we know this, because this is why he could pay the debts of sin for others. He had no sin himself. Nobody else can say this.
5. He Claimed to Be the Only True Way
Jesus Christ was and is completely different from all other religious leaders. He claimed for himself an authority that no one else had. Listen to some of his words:
"I am the gate. Whoever comes in by me will be saved."
"I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
"I am the way, the truth and the life;
no one goes to the Father except by me.
What was the secret of this Man called Jesus Christ? He did not say that he would show the way. He said he was the way. Who was this Man who called himself "Son
of God" and "Son of man"? Please do not be too quick in giving your answer. The Bible book of Proverbs has a verse that says,
"Listen before you answer.
If you don't you are being stupid..."
In our next lesson there is more to be learnt about Jesus.
Test Yourself No. 11
Answer the following questions and then compare your answers to the answers you find by clicking on this button: [answers]
1. Name the five main things that we learn about Jesus in this lesson.
2. How would you explain this if Christ is "just another path to climb the same mountain"?