Who is Jesus?

[ 0 ] August 30, 2019 |
P. A. Thomas

P. A. Thomas

Christians seem to usually know and acknowledge Jesus as savior and Lord. This is absolutely right but often this limits our understanding of the eternal God the Son. This further limits our relationship with Jesus and His ownership and authority over us and our lives here and now. Many would enjoy using Him as a friend in need and someone there to take care of us when we choose to ask for it in prayer. We present our needs and aspirations earnestly to Jesus expecting Him to approve them and bless us with His extra grace, provisions and power. Some even may press Him to do things as they want, through ardent fasting and supplication. Many will use His name to get things done and even cover up their weaknesses and failures. Some may even tend to use it a magic word as if Jesus is bound to act on our orders satisfying our whims and fantasies. It may sound weird to state all this but if we think it over, we seem to do it as if that is the truth being a Christian. We tend to use Jesus for benefits we aspire to have here and now like healing, deliverance from bondage and difficulties, prosperity, honor and positions and a way of escape from social and family responsibilities.

I recently met a Pastor whose wife has decided to stay away from him and the family as she is being directed by the Spirit of God to do only God’s holy work running around believer’s houses and not taking responsibility of her husband and three young children. But he has to provide for her travel and expenses as a minister of God! Enoch could walk with God for 300 years and yet could have many children as stated in Genesis 5 while modern Christian ministers like her are too holy to take responsibility for a family life. They ignore their marriage pledge to be together, caring for each other until they part by death. They take God to be doing what they like to do and acting on their orders!

This was the thought of the Israelites in the Old Testament. Jehovah was their God and He was supposed to act on their behalf and for them. They tried to make Jehovah as the God of Israelites only and assumed He will take care of them just because He is their own God. Moses tried explaining against this concept in the early chapters of Deuteronomy (1-10). But they never understood it, rather even in the later times of Jeremiah and other prophets they assumed God will take care of them as they are the only people who know Him and hence God is bound to be on their side and protect them. They took proud of being the descendants of Abraham even when they were debating with Jesus in the later part of John 8. Jesus had to rebuke them saying that their lives expose them to be the children of the devil.

Apostle John presents Jesus to us in a very unambiguous and unchallengeable way. Later Peter and Paul supports the same through their letters. In John 1: 1-3, John presents Jesus as the God eternal who created everything. So Jesus is God the creator who owns the whole creation (Ref. Col. 1:15-19). God planned the whole creation to belong to Him as Jesus became the man Jesus, to be the second Adam in the place of the fallen Adam’s race who lost the dominion over the creation which God had entrusted man. He is reclaiming what God has given to man and make it theirs through the process of rebirth and abiding in Him (remember what Jesus taught in John 3 and 15). So we need to know Jesus as the creator God who in His grace reestablishes a God given status for the Church- His body (Eph. 1:23), to be God’s children, His possession and His Kingdom. Nothing less will satisfy God’s plan of redemption and His plans for us, the redeemed humanity. Anything less than this becomes a distortion of truth propagated and taught by the enemy a Christianized humanism.

Man has lost his real life as God’s children by the fall but continue to be the best of creatures as he was made in God’s image with God-given attributes and capabilities. The image became distorted as explained in Romans 1 and man has become incapable of fulfilling God’s mission (Gen 1:26-28) on earth as he is dead unto God and disconnected (Eph. 2:1-3). This is death from the life which God has breathed into man in Gen. 2:7. So it has become necessary for that life to re-given to make anew humanity. So God sent His son to be the life of man on earth. John 1:4,5 & 9, explains that life as light as light exposes death within and brings in recognition of a new life. So Jesus is the Life of man who is dead in sin. Therefore who ever accepts Jesus become alive and retake the lost status as the rightful children of God (John 1:11,12). God has provided life for dead humanity but it is man’s choice to accept or reject that life. This is explained further in John3:36. The great declaration in john 3:15-17 affirms this truth. Jesus goes on to teach on this in John 5 (24,25,40,51,53,54); 6 (27,33,35,48); 8:12; 10 (10,28); 14:6; and 17 (2,3).

Peter calls Jesus as the prince of life (Acts 3:15) and Paul teaches on Jesus as life for us in Romans 5 (10,17,21); 6 (4,23); 2 Cor 4 (10,11); Ephesians 2 (1-10); Colossians 3:4 and 2 Timothy 1:1. Apostle John takes it on vividly in 1 John 1:2 and 5 (11,12,20) while Jude mentions it in 1:21. Going through passages will make it important to accept and acknowledge Jesus as our life and hence without Him we are dead and disconnected to God, Jesus the creator. So we do not exist independently as Christians trying to use Jesus’ name to sanctify us and achieve things and status we do not have. We are in Him and Him in us (Read Jesus prayer- His mission report to His Father in John 17) through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is not helping us to be better Christians but lives in us to make us alive. Holy Spirit is indwelling in us to build us into the image of Christ (Rom 8:29) and sanctify us but we are not able to enjoy the freedom of that life in Him as we are constrained by the competition of our old human nature and our worldly aspirations.

We do not need to live a life controlled and monitored by external elements like the family, local church, society, parents, teachers and pastors before whom we try to become better people. We need to learn to live controlled by the indwelling Holy Spirit, who prompts, corrects, enables and empowers us to live a God-pleasing life (2 Corinthians 15:9). It is a Spirit directed, Spirit guided, Spirit enabled life, and that is life in Christ. In Romans 12:1-2, Paul advises us to be dead unto sin and live unto God, and for that to be living sacrifices surrendering our body and mind (soul) unconditionally to the active operation and activation of the Indwelling Holy Spirit. This is often hindered by a life trying to live in conformity to the world and compromising the Spirit’s activity within with outward religious and pious activities.

To fully understand the above truth in experience, we need to know Jesus as our owner and Lord. He has bought us with His life blood. As we are born of God by instilling new life from Jesus, our life; He owns us as He bought us from the old owner/s- Satan, the World and the Sin. So we do not belong anymore to the kingdom of Satan where he rules, the world to which we had been attached by bodily birth and the nature of sin we had inherited from the fallen Adam. We are made righteous, holy and the people of God’s Kingdom (1 Peter 2:9) . We need to grow into the fullness of these in our life and experience through the in-working of indwelling Holy Spirit as explained above. John starts on this truth in john 1:11,12 and Paul reminds us the cost and implications of it in 2 Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 2:20,21; Philippians 1:20,21 and Colossians 3:1-4.

So Jesus is the Creator God, Jesus is man’s Life and Jesus is the Owner/Lord of the redeemed children of God. We need to know Him as such and give Him due honor and worship. In Phil. 3:10 Paul says he wants to know Jesus more beyond what he has already known, so how much more we need to?

 

Who is Jesus to me?

Jesus is my Creator God who came down to seek me and save me – the Christ, the Messiah. He was separated/anointed to be Christ/Messiah for the task of redemption of the fallen, dead humanity even before the creation actually occurred, but in God’s foreknowledge- 1 Peter 1:20. It was God’s plan of love for His creation and done in His time to separate a people for Himself (1 Pet 2:9) from the enemies (Rom 5:10) and fallen dead sinners (Eph 2:1-3). In God’s own time He was revealed as a man born in Bethlehem named Jesus, to call unto Him the foreknown people of God (1 Cor 2:7, Eph 1:4 and Tit 1:2). It was God’s love for the humanity expressed through His Son. So He is my life who enlivens me out of death and alienation, to be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:18,19).

So Jesus is my savior/redeemer. He came as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world, the whole humanity ( Jn 1:29). He died on our behalf on the cross to take away our sins, shame and guilt and makes us right with God- righteous, when we were God’s enemies drowned in sin (Rom 5:10) and absolutely powerless to do anything to save ourselves from our plight of death and alienation from the Creator and His purposes (Rom 8:3). We have also received immeasurable privileges in Him through His act of redemption, for us to cash on, practice and enjoy (Col 1:9-14). This is the hope laid up for us in heaven to be appropriated here and now in Christ (Col 1:1-8). He was the firstborn and the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15). Image implying the character and attributes of God, to revitalize the image of God in man which had become dormant and inactive in the fallen dead man. So Jesus has redeemed us from the lost state of a living soul (Gen 2:7) being dead before God, now back into life. He has saved us from alienation and eternal death into reconciliation with God and an inheritance in eternal life.

Jesus is the revealer of my unseen God. Jesus visibly revealed the invisible God and His character through His earthly life and actions (Jn 1:18). In John 14:6-10, He explained that to His disciples who were still not able to contain in their understanding that mystery of an invisible God, in the body of a person who like them, lives, travels, eats and sleeps with them. Only when they received the abiding Holy Spirit, they could immediately unfold the wisdom of God in revealing Himself in a man. This is the testimony of the apostles (Jn 1:14, 1 Jn 1:1,2). Are we able to affirm with them that we have seen and known God in Jesus or are we still in a state of confusion like Philip and others in John 14? This is the challenge before us. We usually try to live and preach a second hand message which we do not experience. God is to be experienced and enjoyed and His fellowship is sweet. This is why Jesus spent hours alone with His father while He was on this earth. He was not praying as we do, asking for this and that, but was resting and enjoying His father and having a sweet conversation of what is happening. We are called to be His followers.

Jesus is my elder Brother who is my role model. God has made Jesus a man to be the life of the dead humanity and their redeemer. But our calling is much more than that, as revealed in Rom 8:29. God has made us His children so as to make Jesus our predecessor who will bring us into the status of the children of God and show us how to live as God’s children. Jesus, as an obedient son, regularly listened to His Father, did what the Father wanted and made His goal to accomplish the purposes of God (Jn 4:34). He spoke only what God prompted Him to speak through the abiding Spirit and did only those things which the Father directed Him to do. His physical, moral, emotional and social life were fully transparent and fulfilling the laws of God given in the Old Testament. So he could declare with confidence that, “I have come to fulfill the law” (Mathew 5:15,17). He is the initiator and perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:2), and hence the only role model for a child of God here and now. In John 15 and 17 He has invited us to be the part of that heavenly family, one with the Father. The challenge is to ask ourselves, “Whom are we following?”

Jesus is my Lord and shepherd. John 10:1-14 is a great exposition our present relationship with Jesus in contrast all those false shepherds who demands our attention and attracts us into their ways. First of all, Jesus owns us as He has bought us, gave us His life and lives in us through His Spirit. This is why Paul declares in 2 Cor 5:15 that we do not have any right to live on our own. He further testifies His own experience in Galatians 2:20. This is the demanding concept behind asking a convert to accept Jesus as Lord- master, owner. We are surrendering ourselves with all our faculties- body, soul and spirit to Him who has become our rightful master. This what Paul admonishes in Rom 12:1,2. Jesus requires that of us in a willful, voluntary submission and a covenant of living together with Him. In effect and experience this becomes an ongoing experience and disciplined action in our daily Christian lives. This is why we need to listen to God every day in the Spirit through the Word and communicate with Him fervently in prayer. Our commitment and surrender will be expressed in our obedience and a disciplined life as per the revealed and known truth. He is the shepherd who has committed Himself to take care of us, feed us, heal us, protect us, teach us and guide us. So we do not and should not look into others for all this. Peter reminds us to humble ourselves and to take our anxieties and cares to Him (1 Pet 5:6,7) as He is committed to care for us.

Jesus is my Judge and King. I am accountable to God who created me, saved me, gave me life and gives everything I need here and now to live as His child. Man was made accountable at creation (Gen 1:26-28, 2:16,17). In Christ, as He owns us, we are bound to live a life pleasing to Him. Romans 12:2 exhorts us to seek and find His perfect will for our lives as we are recreated in Christ for works God has foreordained for us (Eph 2;10). So Paul says that we have to make it our life goal to please Him (2 Cor 5:9). We are also bound to present our life accounts before Him as Jesus will Judge us to confer awards and crowns when He comes according to how we have lived here (2 Cor 5:10-12; 2 Tim 4:1,8; Heb 10:30) and now. As I have received entrance into His Kingdom, Jesus has started ruling over my life. A Kingdom is known by three aspects. The presence of the King, the effective obedience to His laws and willful availability to fulfill his wishes/purposes. So Jesus demands His Kingdom rule over our daily lives, by experiencing His presence, sticking to His pattern and modes of life and being made available to accomplish His purposes in and through our lives.

Jesus is my bridegroom. For a bride the ultimate fulfilment is joining her bridegroom and establishing a life with him. We the Church is the chosen bride- the body of Christ, being prepared in righteousness and holiness to be a fitting Bride for the heavenly Bridegroom. Phil. 1:6 says that Holy Spirit is at work within each one of us with this good work of preparing us to be acceptable when He arrives. But we need to allow the Holy Spirit to mold and make us worthy by correcting, refining, teaching, guiding and training us. For this the Word is entrusted to the coaches in the churches (2 Tim 3:16,17). We need to discipline us in this process of listening, obeying and submitting so as to complete the process of salvation- remaking of our lives (Phil 2:12). When our bridegroom comes He will take us with Him into eternal glory and we will live with Him for ever and ever. That is the hope that motivates us to leap forward in the life of faith (Phil 3:12-14).

-P A Thomas

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