January 11, 2013
Who is Jesus?
Views from the streets
Ordinary people on the streets of New York City, Denver, and Nashville were asked a simple question: What do you know about Jesus?Answers…
- “He’s a white guy with a beard.”
- “A friend of mine from Puerto Rico.”
- “The Son of God.”
- “Definitely not the guy who cuts my lawn.”
- “He was jewish.”
- “Lord and Savior.”
- “I don’t know, but I think he’s really important.”
Jesus asked a similar question to His followers, “Who do people say I am?”
“Some say, ‘John the Baptizer,’” they said. “Others say, ‘Elijah.’ Still others say, ‘one of the prophets.’”
He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”
Peter gave the answer: “You are the Christ, the Messiah.” Mark 8:28-29 (MSG)
What other Bible people said,
Angels: He’s the Savior, the King of kings. Luke 2:11
John the Baptist: He’s the Lamb of God. John 1:29
Peter: He’s the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16
John the Apostle: He gives us a relationship with God. John 1:10-13
Nathanael: He is the Son of God. John 1:49
Blind man: All I know is that I was blind, but now I see. John 9:25
The crowd: He comes in the name of the Lord…King. John 12:13
Peter: He saves us. Acts 3:13-15
Paul: He’s bigger than life. Colossians 1:15-20
The God of Heaven: He’s my Son. Matthew 3:17
This is the ultimate question of Christianity…”Who is Jesus?”
Watch the Gospel of John movie and nail down your answer.
The Gospels only tell part of the Jesus story and much of the four journal styled writings tell the same stories and repeat the same teachings, although from four different perspectives. When you get right down to it, we only have a condensed selection of the conversations and teachings. The good news is that we have exactly what God wants us to have and that makes the four Gospels extra special. They contain words worth remembering.
Despite his short life walking the roads from Jericho to Caesarea Philippi, Jesus changed the world.
Jesus came to introduce us to our Creator-God wrapped in human skin. He visit provided a reset button for humankind.
Since the beginning, generation after generation have perpetually rejected God. Even church people have learned to live like He is a concept or an illusion. All of us, in our own way, have rebelled, opted to BE our own God. We want to call the shots, living on our own. Our focus continues to be self: self-righteousness, self-centeredness, self-glorifing, self-justifying, self-medicating, self-prepetuating, and self-obsessing.
We are not, however, designed to live by ourselves, for ourselves, we are made for relationship with our creator. Truth is, we are more than social organisms, we are spiritual beings trapped in physical bodies.
Jesus came to connect with the spiritual side, to rescue us from ourselves, from this broken world. He knew all about our rebellion, self-centeredness, and denial. And, He knew we would never be good enough, strong enough, pure enough to walk and talk with God; that’s why He came to earth, not to put us in our place, but to show us how to live like God intended, to live justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.
He introduced us to life beyond our brokenness, beyond ourselves.
It was His plan to take all our accumulated selfish-guilt with Him to the cross. He died there, so did our guilt.
In three days He rose from the dead, never to die again, and the Spirit invasion began. From resurrection day forward, the Holy Spirit has been empowering and transforming ordinary people into Jesus followers. Jesus provided an undeserved, but all-inclusive way back to God. All followers are invited.
It was a gift–not a reward, nor an entitlement–a gift. Without our help, the God of heaven broke through our focus on rights and control; He continues to surprise us, forgive us, and love us.
Our task: With faith in hand, accept His grace and follow His lead.