Who is Jesus? (Part 2)
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Key verses: John 1:1-14; 8:58; 10:30; 14:6; 20:28; 2 Peter 1:1
Key personalities: God as the Trinity, Jesus, and us.
Timeline: The God of Eternity entered as a Man, being fully God and fully Man, and walked among us. He lived in our place, died for our sins and gives us an undeserved eternal life as well as life now.
Key Happenings: Jesus is Eternal! So, we can Trust in God.
Jesus Christ is the Word, the eternal, always-existing, One and only true God who created everything and gave us life. He is the life source and reason for the universe Who has already defeated darkness. John, Chapters 1 and 8 tell us He is not a god; but, THE ONE TRUE GOD! Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, became a man and lived amongst us. We have a call to a personal relationship--unity with conviction with Christ--and, it is a command to step up to faith, step up our response to the call of God with trust in Him through times of danger and fear. This is a depiction of a righteous person's proper dependence upon Jesus as He is exemplified. He is our Sanctuary. He is the Eternal God on whom we can rely and not only give our lives to, but also live our lives for (2 Sam. 2:3; Isa. 8:17; 28:16; Psalm 118:22; Isa. 8:14-18; 28:16; John 1;8; 13:36; Heb. 2:13).
Jesus gives us real Truth and is Truth! I tell you the truth/truly, truly. Meaning "I am" and "I have God's Truth". This is not some theoretical truth. This is not manipulated truth or a man's faulty reasoning. This is not a relative truth. This is not a manufactured and skewed truth that promotes some agenda. This is the truth. Jesus brings us real, effectual Truth (Matt. 5:18; John 3:1-15; Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:1-8; 2 Tim. 2:15; James 1:18)
Be saved. Only Christ can guarantee and give salvation to those who would receive His gift and trust in Him. Christ's most amazing and wondrous gift is imputed to us, so our most inward being is transformed and renewed! Without this, we cannot be justified or do any good (John 3:15-16, 36; 14:6; 17:2-6, 24; Acts 16:31; Rom. 8:18-30; 10:9-10; 1 Pet. 1:1)!
Two of the primary foundations of the Gospel Message are who Jesus is and what He did on the cross for us.
Jesus is the Holy and Sovereign LORD! Here is another boldface declaration that He is the One, True, Living Lord God of the universe who condescends into humanity to give us mercy, guidance, and salvation from a caring, loving, nurturing, yet Most Holy and Sovereign LORD. Jesus challenged these pious and fraudulent religious leaders while revealing His power and compassion to those who are faithful. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lovingly leads those whose trust and faith are in Him. This is in contrast to the false and prideful leaders who were thieves and who would steal what God has for us and manipulate people to their own will. Christ leads us into His wondrous fold; the pious frauds lead to despair (John 10:22-42).
Are you the Christ? This is the essential question all of humanity must ask and answer. The Disciples, by this time, knew; but, the vast majority could not decide, because of various speculations and desires that were in the way (Matt. 16:16; 26:5; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20; John 6:69).
- The Message of the Gospel had been clearly given; it was their fear of conviction and pride or of the establishment that was in the way (John 1: 49; 4:26; 8:28, 58; 9:37).
- Jesus is trustworthy so we can be "faith-worthy," begging the question why did you not look and listen (John 5:36; 14:11; 15:24)?
- Do not believe. They closed their eyes and minds and refused to have faith even with irrefutable and clear evidence at hand. They either did not think and thus misunderstood or else refused to think because of pride and used the information against Jesus to get rid of Him (John 14:26; 18:29-35; Col. 3:1-3).
Jesus was accused of Blasphemy. This was a major crime, punishable by death. It could mean pronouncing oneself as divine, inviting others to worship other gods, or it could be an insult to God's honor (Num. 15:30). The penalty for such an act of forgiving sins was death (Lev. 24:10-23). Jesus obviously was not guilty of this or any offence. The real blasphemy is to reject Jesus' offer of His saving grace--refusing His salvation and refusing to repent are sure signs a person is not saved (John 16:8; Rom. 10:9-10).
Jesus is the intimate, caring God who asks us to follow, who cares enough to listen and to communicate and commune with us, and who justly, calls us to obey. These powerful words of follow me can easily be hindered when we are too puffed up with ourselves so that the Word He sends to us cannot be seen; the faith to respond will never grow in the shallow soil of pride. Thus, we must, allow Him to lead us rather than people, trends, past predicaments, or future woes. He wants to keep us in His pen, partaking of His wonders and blessings and to better grow and be used for His glory and our benefit. God wants to keep you.
- The question is, Do you want to be kept? We can only leave the sheepfold by our own volition, by our willful choice to disobey and go astray. Even with this, He still calls us and wants to love and care for us. This is our motivation, by our gratitude for what He has done, to not only remain in Christ but also move forward in Him by a commitment of our will through our trust and for His glory (John 10).
- The generation of Isaiah and Jeremiah refused to listen or accept the Father's hand; thus, they did not recognize that sins and willful disobedience to God would lead them and the next two generations into captivity. Even though every prophecy of Isaiah came true, they denounced this current prophecy, and refused to listen. Jesus faced a similar situation. Many today do the same with the Gospel--and many Christians do the same with the Word (Isa. 6:9-10).
Jesus is the Only Way! Jesus is facing betrayal. He turns to His Disciples to comfort them and says; do not be afraid or troubled! Trust in God; trust in Me. He then gives them a picture of hope by showing them a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. In Heaven there will be many rooms in My Father's Home, one made up especially for each of you! I will prepare it personally and at the right time, I will come and get you and you will always be with Me. You will know all about it and how to get there. But, Thomas jumps in and says, "No, Lord; we do not know how or where to go!" Jesus comforts him with this startling revelation, "I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life! No one can come to the Father except through Me" (John 14:1-14)http://70030.netministry.com/apps/articles/default.asp?blogid=3803&view=post&articleid=67509&fldKeywords=&fldAuthor=&fldTopic=0!
I am the way and the truth and the life. This means Jesus is the way to the Father. Jesus is exclusive, the only living Temple, Beacon, and Gate to God! The "way" in Hebrew writings refers to the pursuit of righteousness as one journeys through the wilderness of the tough times of waiting and confusion--even suffering. It is a beacon, and we are to focus on Christ. Truth in this context means He fulfills the Law and teachings of the Old Testament. Life means there is no existence without Him and there is no salvation without His atonement, redemption, and grace. Christians were first called "the Way" (Ex. 16:33; Lev. 10:2; 16; Num. 17:5; Matt. 7:14; John 1:1-4, 14; 3:16-18; 5:26, 33; 11:25-26; 18:37; Acts 4:12; 9:2; 19:9, 23; Rom. 10:14-15; Eph. 2:8-9; Heb. 10:19-20;1 John 5:12).
- No one comes. There is only one True God, only One right way, and Jesus is that Only way and path to God, Heaven, and real righteousness! Our post is to realize that Jesus is God (Ex. 24:10; 33:18; Isa. 6:1; Ezek. 1:26-28; John 1:18; 14:21-22).
- I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me. This is a dynamic and dramatic expression of the Divinity of Jesus, that there is One True God, yet three distinct personalities--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--each sharing the same mutual, united, reciprocal indwelling essence. This is also a statement for the Trinity, for the Whole of Godhood expressed in this one passage (John 10:38; 17:21; 2 Cor. 13:14).
- Faith in me. This is not just knowledge of God; rather, it is an intimate connection that He first offers to us--a unity to us in His work for our redemption. All the blessings and wonder that we have and can have are locked up in Christ. He gives us the key of faith turned by our faith, commitment, and obedience.
- Do whatever you ask. We are to identity with His purpose, plan, and call. To expand our faith and thinking so Christ is all and working in and through us. In Jewish teachings, God provided a call to His pious people and provided for all who serve God because of the intimate relationship they and we have. But, this is always in context to God's will and providence and never an excuse for us to abuse or consider as some kind of magic formula for success (Luke 11:1-13; John 15:16; 1 John 5:14).
We have eternity because of Jesus! The greatest carrot on a stick for us, Heaven, is that inheritance God is promising us beyond our scope of understanding. How incredibly wondrous this must be; our place and security is in Heaven to come and our joy can then be declared and lived out. This is also what we receive, our reward for all that we have done and endured for Christ and His children and the opportunities He gave us. This is what we look forward to, our dwelling with Christ, and what can also motivate us in the here and now (John 14).
John 14 has been greatly abused by many so-called pastors who read it out of context and inserted their own feelings as truth. This is not a guarantee or a give to get scheme or a get because you believe. Rather, this is an invitation to radical faith. We often get more than we want and have more than we need and do better in His will than ours. We are limited in thinking and power and He is not. God is not promoting Himself as a vending machine. He is saying we can trust in Him totally and completely with all we have now and for our future. He is not just preparing a place for us in eternity; He is preparing us for eternity, too! What we go through is not just about sin in an unfair world, it is the building up of faith and being that display beacon to a dimly lit world that needs His Light.
Key Takeaway: Without The Name we have nothing. In our trust and devotion to Christ as LORD, we are expressing the consistent name of God with reverence in prayer. This in Judaism referred to reverencing God without uttering His Holy Name Yahweh, to seek His glory and not one's own. We are to honor Christ and act in accordance to His call and commands, because in our daily life we are His ambassadors and product demonstrators, as we reflect His reputation. We are to never manipulate to get what we want or to satisfy our own desires for power and control which was considered the utmost of wickedness, because only God is to be in control and honored (Ex. 5:23; Deut. 18:5-7, 19-22; 1 Kings 18:24-32; 2 Kings 2:24; Psalm 9:2; 18:49; 118:10-11; Prov. 18:10; Jer. 14:14-15; John 2:23; 2 Cor. 5:20).
The Call to the Church? We are to give Glory to the Father. What we do in our lives and prayer echoes into eternity. To praise God for all He is doing and can do in my life is our priority out of our gratitude. To be conformed to His likeness, to perceive before we receive. The key to a successful Christian life, ministry, and church is prayer. There is no way around it (Psalm 2:7; John 12:41; Philip. 2:11).
Jesus is the only One who can lead us to God the Father. God is the One who led Israel then and the Church today; pastors and church leaders are responsible for their part of leadership as our Lord demonstrated (Num. 27:17; 2 Sam. 5:2).
Questions to Ponder
- What causes you to fear or fuss or fret or stress? Why do you? What happened? What should have or could have happened?
- How can knowing Who Christ is help you obey Him and His call and decrees better?
- How will you respond? What can you do to be better at giving back to God your gratitude for His creation as well as His promise of reward?
- How should someone who is filled with grace and truth treat other people?
- How do you show God's unfailing love and faithfulness? How can you do a better job at showing others that Christ is available to them?
- Jesus Christ is the One and only true God who created everything and gave us life. He is the life source and reason for the universe Who will defeat darkness. He is not a god, but The God!
- How do you feel about the fact that there is only One True God and only one right way to Him? Why has this caused so much controversy over the centuries?
- What does it mean to you to Trust in God? How do you respond when someone says, do not be afraid or troubled?
- What do you need to do to have peace and contentment, even when your situation does not offer or have it?
- The evidence has clearly been given; Jesus is trustworthy for us to be "faith-worthy," begging the question why do people not look and listen?
- How are false and prideful leaders actually thieves who steal what God has for us? What can your church do to help and warn its people in a loving way about those who are wolves within God's flock?
- What gets in the way of His leading in you? How can you be better at producing milk and meat and be a sacrifice of your praise and will to His glory?
© 2014 R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org