Who is Jesus?
"Whom do men say that I am?" Mark 8:27(b)
Who is Jesus Christ? That is the perennial question. Jesus himself made many claims and said he was The Messiah of Israel. He made even bolder claims which many today, especially in much of Christendom, have a hard time accepting. Jesus Left no room for maneuver. He claimed quite forcefully to be God manifested in the Flesh. He said that he would come again to judge sin and all unrighteousness. Any man who made the claims that Jesus made must either be who he said he was or insane. Jesus claimed the He and he alone was the true path to God. He claimed that anyone who rejected him rejected God Himself. Jesus made some fantastic claims. Subsequent to his resurrection, and the spread of Christianity over the past 2000 years in spite of horrible and unspeakable persecution the religion remains. Jewish prophetic scriptures so beautifully fulfilled in Christ were initially believed by many Jews living in Palestine during and after the ministry of Jesus on Earth. Christianity flourished to such a degree that the only global organization that can truly trace its heritage back to the mighty Roman Empire is the Roman Catholic Church. Christianity has certanly been a potent force in western history and the person and work of Jesus Christ on the Cross should be looked at by any serious and fair-minded person as the most unique person who ever lived. This man who had no home, and for all we can tell, was not rich by the worlds standards changed the world. Jesus healed the sick, gave hope to the hopeless, taught men to respect and love one another and gave his life as a sacrifice for many. Yet he was viciously attacked by the religious people of his time and was eventually murdered.
Jesus, however was far from a lightweight or a pansy. He spent the first part of his life as a carpenter. He worked hard, but even harder as a teacher of God's word and ways. He had little patience with the religious hypocrites of his day and did his best to expose their hypocrisies to the common people. Jesus called the religious leader of his time (the Pharisees) a brood of vipers (a breed of snakes). Here is a small sample of some of Jesus less well known sayings.
From Matthew 23:
Verse 13: But woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven
against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye
them that are entering to go in.
These words hold special meaning not only to the religious hypocrites of Jesus day but for those that profess a walk with Christ today, yet are more concerned with the filthy lucre they get from their ministries than in feeding God s flock. One of the only times it was recorded that Jesus became angry and physically violent was when he had to clean out the temple from those that bought and sold (Matt 21:12). Jesus was hardly a meek and humble man when it came to honoring God and ensuring that others did so. He was indeed 'jealousy for the name of God' manifest in the flesh. Yet these passages that dealt with the religious leprosy that clung so tightly to the religious life of ancient Israel is rarely dealt with in terms of the so-called churches today. Jesus was quite a stickler for holiness and did not care one whit for religious show and play-acting.
Despite the harsh nature of some of his words Jesus was full of love and compassion, especially, though certainly not exclusively on the poor, the sick and the brokenhearted. Jesus targeted his message of love and grace towards those whom society had forgotten and despised, though any who heard and believed his message of forgiveness and righteousness could receive God s grace freely. The truth is that Jesus loves people and will continue to do so. Yet Jesus is jealous over his message. He absolutely loathes those who pervert and change the simple message of the gospel. Jesus also told his true followers that they would be persecuted, some would have to give their lives in order to hold their faith. This has been the fate of many of Jesus' followers. The persecution passages, as I like to call them, are largely ignored in the American Apostate Churches. While Christ s gift is free to all who will accept it he makes it known that the world and yes The devil will make every attempt to steal that gift away. The world will hate you if you are saved. The Apostate Churches want and work hard to get the world to love them, largely succeeding.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - 1 John 2:15
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. - John 15:18
So the message of Christ is a hard message, much more difficult than you hear in the modern Churches. Today the Church wants to be accepted and loved by the world. Controversial teachings which could bring ridicule, persecution and or reduce Church revenues are simply ignored. Jesus made it clear that there is no heaven without the cross. That cross is a dying to ones self and accepting God s plan for ones life, even if it means severe persecution or death. This is the whole of the gospel message and the essence of the demands of Christ upon his church. Jesus came to die, and in his death and resurrection he offered his life as a ransom for the many. He peached love and righteousness and demanded (not suggested) that his followers do the same... and woe to the religious hypocrite.
Who is Jesus? He is the son of God and embodies all of Gods love and righteousness; his holiness and judgment in the flesh. He is a fearsome judge or valiant savior, depending wholly on your choices. He died, was resurrected and will come again in great power and glory. But just before that, a time of enormous trouble will come to pass on the earth. A Global system of Governance will be installed that will blaspheme the God of Heaven and will be supported by a religious system that will contain most of the major denominations of the day. Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem man from their sins. Sins. This is a bad world today and no one wants to discuss this aspect of humanity's true state. Christ did not come to 'awaken' or 'elevate' mans consciousness, he did not come to bring peace to an evil world[i], he did not come to solve the worlds political conundrums and conflicts. He came to redeem individual people from their individual sins and sinfulness, should they as individuals choose to accept such redemption. Christ is the savior of mankind. He is also mankind’s judge and the person who will condemn billions upon billions of souls into eternal fire. In this sense, Christ is a point of contention to the world as a whole. The primary reason for this is because of the key work of Christ when he came to earth 2000 years ago. That being the need for a sinful (evil, selfish, cruel, adulterous, arrogant, perverted) mankind to be redeemed and saved from sin. The requirement for mankind to be redeemed is first and foremost to acknowledge ones own sinfulness and inability to redeem oneself through any individual or collective effort. It means to plead guilty before God’s celestial court and fall upon its mercy. It means that each and every man woman and child must come to a realization of his or her decrepit spiritual state and then seek salvation in the name of Jesus Christ via the atoning work he performed on the cross.
Jesus is looking for a holy and righteous people. Where are his people today? Where would Jesus feel comfortable today if he were to return to earth? I would hazard a guess that if Jesus came back and preached like he did 2000 years ago, he would be handed up by the pastors and priests of today as a revolutionary, terrorist and a hate monger.
Things haven't changed much at all have they?
[i] Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.