Yesterday my sermon asked “Who Is Jesus?” It is a simple and complex question at the same time. He was a Jew who lived 2000 years ago whose teaching about God’s love and how we live with one another is compelling. He is also the God-Man, the uniquely perfect Person who was “God, in flesh,” who came to save the world (and me!) from judgment and destruction. Have you thought about who Jesus is in your life? Have you wrestled with His claim to be “the Way, the Truth, the Life?”
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John tell us His story. Their accounts show us a Man who is also God, who lived – and died – and rose again – in a dusty out of the way place called Palestine, during a time when the Romans ruled. His timeless story has compelled people from every era, in every life situation – from primitive cultures in the Amazonian jungles to sophisticates in luxury Manhattan apartments – to accept God’s offer of grace and salvation. His sacrificial love displayed in His willingness to die on the Cross is a template for a life of service. Do you know Jesus?
When we read those ancient Gospels something amazing can happen. We turn to Him and we discover He is not a relic of the past, but a Friend for the present. He brings the good news of the love of God into our lives and His message is just as relevant in 2021 as it was in any past era.
Oh yes, it is a worthy effort for Christians to re-examine their understanding of the Gospel. Our ideas about Jesus get stirred into the revelation of the Truth about Him, corrupting the wonderfully timeless message. Yes, we desire to know Him in a way that is contemporary and fresh but there is no need to re-write the Bible or to do a “Jesus make over” that robs Him of His majesty and message.
Jesus is a controversial and shocking Individual. He said outrageous things, made claims that are stupendous! He provokes and prods, demanding our attention and devotion. We don’t do Him or the Gospel a service by trying to round off the edges. He meant to challenge the status quo. He meant to call us to change, to tell us that there is a Way back to the favor of our Father through Him.
In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes this:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.
Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse ….
You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
Paul was inspired to tell us that “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10, NIV) There it is, the key fact, Jesus is the God-Man, God Incarnate, Creator become part of His Creation, so that we can know the rich, full life for which God made us. Do you know Him?
Here’s a word from the Word. For many it is likely familiar. You might be tempted to run through it… but don’t! Ponder it, meditate on it, believe it – and the testimony it makes about Him. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:10-14, NKJV)
Bow yourself humbly before Him. Confess Him Lord. Receive Life!
Jesus Jesus Jesus
There’s just something about that name
Master Savior Jesus
Like a fragrance after the rain
Jesus Jesus Jesus
Let all heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms may all pass away
But there’s something about that name
Gloria Gaither | William J. Gaither © 1970 William J. Gaither, Inc. (Admin. by Gaither Copyright Management)
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