The biggest issue in the religious world today is: Who is Jesus? It seems like everyone has their own view.
Christian Science denies Christ as God and teaches that within each person is a light, “the Christ within,” that we just need to discover. Islam teaches that Jesus is a great prophet – even a miracle worker – but not God. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, and He was God’s first great creation. They also believe He’s the brother of Satan. Mormons teach that Jesus is one God in a pantheon of gods. And the God that we worship was once a man who became a god through His evolution and spiritual growth.
There are multiple views of who Jesus is now, and there were multiple views of who Jesus was when He was walking the earth too.
In chapter 8 of the book of Mark, Jesus asks a fundamental question of his followers: “Who do the people say that I am?”
“They replied, ‘Some think You’re John the Baptist, some think Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” (v. 27-28)
In Jesus’ own day, He had people thinking that He was anything from demon-possessed, to insane, to being a teacher, to the reincarnation of John the Baptist. The general population was divided in their opinion. Some thought Him to be Elijah and some an Old Testament prophet. The crowds following Jesus perceived Him to be a worker of miracles.
But none of them had it quite right.
Jesus is our Savior. And He is also King of kings, Lord of lords, and Judge of all mankind.
This is what he says about Himself: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13)
In the book of Revelation, Jesus reveals that He has been in existence before time and since the beginning of time. And He will still exist when time is over.
This means we can trust that regardless of terrorism and the economy, biopsy reports that come back positive, and all of the fears that we have, Jesus is a sovereign King who reigns over all of history.
Jesus made it clear who He is, so why does our view of Jesus matter?
Any genuine relationship begins with an accurate view of the other person.
When you think about dating or marrying someone, or going into business with someone, you have to know them in order to feel comfortable committing to a relationship with them.
Similarly, before Jesus’ disciples could really go out and represent Him to the world, He knew that they first had to really know who He was in their minds but also in their heart of hearts. They had to have an opportunity to really explore on their own: Who is this Jesus?
And you know what? We need to do the same thing today.
I don’t mean just intellectually agreeing with what we’ve been taught about Jesus from childhood. I’m talking about having an intellectual understanding, but also a volitional and a heart response of absolute conviction built on our own evaluation of who Jesus is – based on what He’s done, what He’s said, and on all of the Biblical and historical evidence over the last couple thousand years.
So what about you? Who do you think Jesus is, really?
To find out, maybe the bigger question that God is asking you is:
“Who do you say that I am, as evidenced by…
- Why do you do what you do?
- What/who do you trust?
- Where are you going with your life?
- How do you endure?
- How do you handle temptation?
- Where are your priorities?
- What are your purposes?
- And who is the lover of your soul?”
We need to answer these questions because when things get tough, every one of us has to trust and hope in something.
Is your hope in Jesus? Is He the One who gives you purpose in your life, or is it in something – or someone – else?
For more on how to discover a clearer picture of who Jesus is, check out Chip’s series Who Is Jesus, Really?
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip