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WHO IS THIS MAN CALLED JESUS?



Christ was a controversial character. He was being talked about. Some people saw that Jesus was a prophet, others that He was a great teacher and religious leader. Some, who felt their authority was being undermined by him, dismissed Him as a devil.

Jesus once asked some of His followers, “ Who do men say I am?” After listening to their replies, He pointedly asked, “ Who do you say I am?” It’s a good question and deserves a good answer. The answer to that question determines our whole eternity.

His life story was written by eye witnesses. As we read these records of what Jesus saw and did, we find that Christ was:


1. The Man of God, and we should receive Him.

Jesus was a real man. He had a body like any other man. He knew what it was to be tired, hungry, thirsty, lonely and tempted. He experienced every temptation which we endure, yet, He never sinned. He was pure, holy and undefiled. People say, “Practice what you preach”, but Jesus preached what he practised! His words and his works were perfectly consistent. He is not a hypocrite. There is no sham or shame in Him.

He was mocked and hounded by his enemies. He remained fearless under constant criticism. He remained meek under scrutiny and cross-examination. He was bold yet gentle; firm, yet totally loving. He was moved with compassion when He was with hungry crowds, or grieving relatives. The common people heard him gladly.

I once read of a prison chaplain who approached the governor of the jail with an unusual request. Wanting to understand just what it felt like to be a prisoner, he asked to live in a prison cell, eat prison food and wear prisoner’s uniform. It was an experiment in identifying with the less fortunate. Christ was fully aware of all that humans experience, but when He came to this earth, He was identifying Himself with ordinary humanity.

By any standard, Christ was tough. He worked as a carpenter, spent time with rugged fishermen, walked long distances on hills and mountains, fasted for forty days, prayed through whole nights and eventually was beaten and crucified. He was a Man amongst men. He said that He had come into the world to seek and to save those who were lost.

The Bible says of Jesus: “ He came unto His own and His own did not receive Him, but to as many received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God. “ God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, and as the Man of God, we should receive Him.

2. The Son of God, and we should hear him.

So many voices are calling for our attention. God once spoke from heaven to Jesus’ followers, “ This is my beloved Son, hear Him.” The Bible teaches that Jesus is fully man and fully God. (In one conversation, Christ described Himself as both the Son of God and the Son of Man ( John 5v 25&27). God became a man in the person of Christ.

The Old Testament, written before Jesus was born, prophesied: “ For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. “ John, in his Gospel biography of Jesus, wrote: “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.....and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Before our conception, we did not exist. It was not so with Christ. He said of Himself, “ Before Abraham was, I am”, and yet Abraham had lived centuries before Jesus was born into our world. Praying to his Father-God, Christ said, “ And now, O Father, glorify Me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was.” Christ is from everlasting to everlasting, but for thirty years, He walked in human form on this Earth.

When Christ came into this world, God was, in effect, dressing Himself in humanity. God was big enough to become as small as the tiny seed implanted in Mary’s virgin womb in Nazareth, to be born nine months later and laid in the manger of Bethlehem. God had stepped on to the stage of this world, to play a part which would take centre stage in the history of our world.

Christ had power which only God possesses. he was able to still the storm, walk on water, feed the thousands, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, cleansing to the leprous, strength to the paralysed, and life to the dead.

He spoke as no one else was able to do. The authority for all He said, was His own, not the quotations of others. We read in the Bible, “ In Him was no sin”, “He did no sin”, “ He knew no sin” and “ He was without sin”. There was silence when Jesus asked, “Which one of you convicts me of sin?”

Christ came to reveal God to us, to provide an example for us, to die as a sacrifice for us, and to destroy the works of the devil for us. he came for us! In all he did He was fulfilling Old Testament prophecies, so that there could be no doubt that He was indeed the one promised by God as the Saviour of the world.

If Jesus is not God, then frankly God is guilty of misleading us and encouraging us to transfer our attention from the Creator to the creature, because the Bible tells us to look to Christ, to follow Him, to imitate Him, to trust Him and even to worship Him.

Jesus is the Son of God and as such we should hear Him.

3. The Lamb of God, and we should look to Him.

Before Jesus came, a person who felt conscious of sin and wanted forgiveness, had to sacrifice a lamb. It was to be young, male and without a blemish. The Jewish priest would lay it on an altar and there it would be slain.

Every lamb sacrifice was a picture of the coming Christ who would come to this earth and be slain. he was called, “ The Lamb of God” for he was to “take away the sin of the world”

Whereas we are born to live, Christ was born to die. We are born “in sin”. He was born as the Saviour. When He was crucified between two thieves, He carried on Himself the wrongdoing of the world. Christ laid down His life, bearing our sin in His body. He was made sin for us. He died, the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God. He died bearing on himself our guilt.

Ed. Scott was a cynical journalist sent to report on a Billy Graham Crusade in the USA. Just before the sermon, a soloist sang some words written by the converted slave trader John Newton:

I saw One hanging on a tree, In agony and blood; He fixed His languid eyes on me, As near His cross I stood.

Sure, never till my latest breath, Can I forget that look; It seemed to charge me with His death, Tho’ not a word He spoke.

My conscience felt and owned the guilt, And punged me in despair, I saw my sins His blood has split, And helped to nail Him there.

Alas, I know not what I did, But now my tears are vain, Where shall my trembling soul be hid, For I the Lord have slain?

Oh, can it be, upon a tree, The Saviour died for me? My soul is thrilled, my heart is filled, To think He died for me.

TO think He died for me!

Ed. Scott could not rid of the thought that Christ had died for him.

Before Billy Graham’s sermon began, the cynic had trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. The Lord Jesus Christ had come into the world with the express mission of going to the cross to die for our sins. Jesus paid the penalty as an innocent substitute sacrificed for the wrong and rottenness of us all.

Jesus is the Lamb of God to whom we should look.

4. He is the Way to God, and we should come to Him.

Christ is unique. he stands alone in the history of the world as the only one who can bring a person, no matter how bad, to God.

Jesus said, “ I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.” The Bible says, “ There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” and “There is no other name under heaven, given amongst men, whereby we must be saved.”

Christ did not stand on the shoreline of humanity advising and moralising, but left heaven on history’s greatest ever mission - to rescue men and women to bring us to God.

Early in the 1950’s Boris Nicholayevich kornfeld, a Jewish doctor, was sentenced to a Russian concentration camp as punishment for his dissident activities. he soon was made prison surgeon, which was a most difficult task in such sparse conditions. A kindly inmate spoke to him about Christ and eventually led him to a personal trust in the Lord Jesus.

This led to greater problems because, as a Christian, he could no longer participate in some of the dishonest schemes of the prison hospital. Those in charge were angered by him. The situation came to a head when Boris Kornfeld caught an orderly stealing bread from a patient dying of malnutrition. When he reported this, everyone knew that he would not live long.

A new, young patient with a melon-shaped head, empty eyes and a childlike expression was brought very ill, to the hospital. Dr. Kornfeld witnessed to him about the crucified, risen Christ. The next day, the doctor’s head was crushed with a mallet, but his testimony lived on, and eventually changed the life of that young man, who survived the illness and the concentration camp. That young man’s name was Alexander Solzchenitsyn.

Whatever background or circumstance, there is only one way to God. We are too small to reach a big God, and too sinful to reach a holy God. But, He has come to reach and rescue us.

Do you know Him? Have you come to a time in your life, when turning from sin, you have trusted the true and living God?

Jesus who died for you, rose again from the dead. The Living Christ will welcome you as His own, if you will turn from your sin and trust Him, asking Him to forgive you and live in your heart and life.

Christ can be yours today and forever. Trust him now.


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