Who is Jesus? Wow, talk about a profoundly important question!
There are a lot more people who “believe in Jesus” than there are those who know what Jesus actually claimed about himself. Many think he was a great moral teacher, a prophet, or a wise Rabbi. Some think a legend, a myth, or a contrivance. Still others that he was one of many gods, or one of many roads to God. That Jesus straightforwardly and clearly attacked these notions is of little consequence to those who will not invest the time to read the Gospels and weigh the evidence for his claims.
Jesus had to fulfill hundreds of Old Testament prophecies written centuries before he appeared on earth, and live within the Mosaic law of the Torah. He had to submit to the cruelest punishment mankind could dish out, and to top it all off he had to rise from the dead. No small feat. When you think about it, he had to color between some extremely tight lines. Lee Strobel calls this framework the “unmistakable fingerprint of the Christ.” Only Jesus was man enough for the job—that was the whole point.
He did it all willingly—to prove the depth and breadth of God’s love for us. Jesus claimed that if you couldn’t believe in him, you should believe in the miracles he performed as proof of his authority. (How’s that for putting it on the line?) He claimed that he is one with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. So what keeps us from moving from believing in Jesus to trusting in Jesus? Often it’s suppositional beliefs.
There are the arrogants—those who believe ultimately that each of us should decide what is right and wrong in our own heart, and live our lives accordingly (as long as we don’t hurt anybody else). If they disagree with the teachings of Jesus, then Jesus isn’t valid for them. They consider the question of who gets to make the rules and set the standards, and conclude that it should be them.
Skeptics are close cousins to the arrogants—if it’s not within the realm of their experience it cannot be true. To be knowable truth must appear between where they stand and the horizon, no further. On this basis it would be impossible to weigh the evidence of a miracle, unless you had experienced the miracle yourself.
And there are the indignants—people who are angry at God for allowing evil and suffering in this world. If they or someone they know has been dealt a harsh reality, their reaction is to be angry with God, or to insist that a loving God cannot allow evil and suffering, therefore God does not exist.
And then there are the fatalists—people who just shrug off their conscience and think “whatever, it doesn’t really matter.” They’re intellectually or emotionally tired, or lazy, and just don’t want to think because thinking requires energy and effort. Many of them just want to enjoy (or endure) life with a blind eye.
But being a ‘Christian’ doesn’t guarantee the right answer either. How many believers see Jesus as the means to a more prosperous life? Or fail to realize that Jesus calls us to fight—with kindness, humility, compassion and love—even when we don’t want to? Or fail to realize just how far we fall short of God’s standard of perfection, particularly when it comes to living a God-centered life?
Here’s a clear video synopsis of what Jesus himself said about his identity (click on the play button when you get to the website). How we appreciate the answer to “Who is Jesus?” is incredibly important to us and the world around us. As Mart DeHann suggests at the conclusion of the video, and as we stated in our About page, do your homework and draw your own conclusions. Enjoy!