Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:1-7)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. John1:1.
I will first of all thank our Father in Heaven and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for restoring unto me, the unction to carry on with this work. We will in this post have a look at the first in our classifications of who Jesus Christ is with regards to His Nature, His Pre-Existence and how He fits into the eternal purpose of the Master Planner.
THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST
In looking at the nature of Christ, we will be looking later on at what our society in this 21st century is saying about Him and obviously, but firstly in the past from when he lived here on earth. One of the joys of reading through the Gospels is the theatrics (comical in a sense) they present, most especially when Jesus Christ is perceived to be blasphemous whenever He makes statements that point to His nature and His pre-existence; one would not be wrong to guess that some of the Pharisees and Sadducees of His time actually left their house to the synagogues with stones in their pockets with the strong anticipation that there would surely be an opportunity for them to use the stones when (to them) Jesus “blasphemes” by claiming that He is God.
There were concerted efforts by the authorities of His days and even more astonishingly, the religious leaders of His people to quash His significance; some of these instances were before He died on the cross (example in John chapter 9) and just after He died when the fruits of His death at the cross of Calvary began to be manifested in His disciples:
“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it”. Act 4:5-14
The religious leaders, in their hypocrisy decided that the trend must be stopped:
“But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done”. Act 4:15-21
Jesus Christ, during His life here on earth had to constantly tell and remind the people who He was despite all the signs and wonders that He did at the time. One would have taught that while He did all the miracles and preached the powerful word of God all over the provinces around His home town, His own people would have realised who He was but they seemed to have more doubt about Him than the outsiders:
“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief”. (Matt. 13:54-58)
“And they were offended in him” how did they become offended in Him? Matthew Henry commented:
Another thing they upbraided him with, was, the meanness of his relations; "He is the son of Mary; his brethren and sisters are here with us; we know his family and kindred;" and therefore, though they were astonished at his doctrine (v. 2), yet they were offended at his person (v. 3), were prejudiced against him, and looked upon him with contempt; and for that reason would not receive his doctrine, though ever so well recommended. May we think that if they had not known his pedigree, but he had dropped among them from the clouds, without father, without mother, and without descent, they would have entertained him with any more respect? Truly, no; for in Judea, where this was not know, that was made an objection against him (Jn. 9:29); As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. Obstinate unbelief will never want excuses.
Mark describes how He felt about the same incidence
“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching”. Mark 6:5-6
Insomuch that they were astonished, and said, "Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?" Though astonished, they doubted His source; they doubted His source because they did not realise what the prophets had foretold them with regards to what the life of the coming Messiah would be like. If the ordinary people were not learned enough to realise this, the religious leaders definitely did as they must have seen it in the following passages of the Torah (old testament of the bible):
Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:3; Genesis 17:19; Numbers 24:17; Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 11:10; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Ezekiel 37:24; Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:25-27; Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:25; Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 72:9; 72:10, 15; Isaiah 60:3; Jeremiah 31:15; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1; ;Malachi 4:5-6; Psalm 2:7; Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 9:1-2; Psalm 78:2-4; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Psalm 69:9; Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 42:2-3; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:1; Isaiah 61:1-2; Isaiah 53:12; Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 63:14; Jeremiah 6:16; Isaiah 53:3; Isaiah 8:14; Isaiah 28:16; Psalm 118:22; Psalm 110:4; Zechariah 9:9; Malachi 3:1; Psalm 8:2; Isaiah 53:1; Zechariah 13:7; Psalm 41:9; Psalm 55:12-13; Zechariah 13:6; Zechariah 11:12; Zechariah 11:13; Psalm 35:11; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 50:6; Isaiah 53:5; Psalm 35:19; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 53:12; Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 22:16; Psalm 22:7-8;Psalm 69:9;Psalm 109:25; Psalm 69:21; Psalm 109:4; Isaiah 53:12; Psalm 22:17-18; Psalm 22:1; Psalm 31:5; Psalm 38:11; Psalm 34:20; Zechariah 12:10; Amos 8:9; Isaiah 53:9; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 49:15; Psalm 118:17l; Isaiah 44:3l Joel 2:28; Isaiah 55:3-4; Jeremiah 31:31; Psalm 68:18; Psalm 110:1; Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 65:1
Please see Prophecies of Jesus Christ as Messiah for A comprehensive write-up on these prophecies and their fulfilment.
One would have thought that the public debate in Israel during the days of Jesus Christ on earth (may be their “Question Time” as we have it here in England) would have been focused on most of these verses of the Torah that touched on the prophecies about the coming messiah; as there was so much agitation for the messiah that would save them from Roman oppression. While they waited in anticipation for this “emperor-like” fellow to show up, they must have neglected the faithfulness of the God of their Father Abraham, in bringing to pass some of these prophecies while Jesus was among them. If they had marked the fulfilment of each prophecy as it came to pass, they would have been led to thank and praise God for being true to His word, hence this colossal unbelief (that marvelled even Jesus Christ Himself) wouldn’t have set in.
“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them"
One could be led to think that these few sick folks that got healed could have believed but still have some doubts, because the passage tells us that unbelief was the cause of Him not doing mighty works in their midst. Not to forget that this was as I said earlier, a time that the Jews were going through oppression from the Romans and were eagerly anticipating the arrival of this ‘messiah’. These religious leaders, in instigating the people against Him, instead of actually pointing the people to what the Torah says about the coming messiah and leaving the people to make their own judgements with regards to who He really is; have a share in the blame for the people’s unbelief . As unbelief is a sin, they should have heeded Jesus' warning:
“AND [Jesus] said to His disciples, Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [[a]lowly in rank or influence]”. Luke 17:1-2 (Amp)
I want now, to go on to take a look at some of these pointers as to what the nature of the expected Messiah is and how Jesus is the Messiah. And to do this we will try to see if He fit into what a messiah should be.
The dictionary describes a “messiah” as “saviour or liberator” : somebody regarded as or claiming to be a saviour or liberator of a country, people, or the world.
“Saviour” (John 1:28-29; John 15:12-13; Romans 5:8).
To rescue somebody or something from harm or danger.
To conserve something or avoid wasting something or using something unnecessarily; protect or keep back, set aside something for later.
To collect items for later: to collect anything usually in order to do something with them later.
To spare somebody from something or from a situation or activity.
To preserve or treat something carefully or stop using it in order to keep it from being used up or worn out.
To redeem or free somebody from the consequences of sin.
“Liberator” ( Isaiah 53:12; Jeremiah 31:31; Hebrews 8:6-10)
To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from political or military control or from severe physical (also spiritual) constraint.
To set free or release a person, group, population, or country from traditional socially (also spiritual) imposed constraints such as those arising from stereotyping by race, sex, economic status, age etc.
So for Jesus to be the “saviour or liberator” of man we need to have some answers to the following questions:
a) IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?
b) IS JESUS EQUAL WITH GOD ?
c) IS JESUS EXISTING AS GOD ?
In our next post we be looking to see the answer to the question - IS JESUS MORE THAN MAN?
We remember, Lord Jesus, how many times you said to your disciples, "O ye of little faith." We hear these words again in our own hearts, Lord. Grant to us that we may have the courage to believe and to step out upon what we believe. Stir us up, Lord. Grant to us this ability to act on what we know. In Thy name, Amen.
You might say – "how do I; and Why do I have to know and experience this Jesus you are going on about" Here is why, when and how you can get to know Him.
Admit your spiritual need.
We all are sinners: nobody likes that title “SINNER”, but the bible says in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.
What is the result of sin?
In Romans 6:23 we read “The wages of sin is death…” in other words, every sin is another step towards death. One thing that we need to remember is that God never sends anyone to hell; one can send himself there by rejecting the truth.
Since we can never measure up to God’s standards by our own strength; God has reached out to mankind.
John 3:16-17. In Romans 5:8 we read, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. It is Jesus, after all, who is the source of life and light.
What must a person do to accept this gift?
Simply receive it! Matthew 11:28 states – “come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me” Jesus stands at the door of your heart and knocks, seeking entrance into your life to give you peace, change you for the best. John 1:12 says: “For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God”.
If you haven't already received Christ as your Saviour, don't put it off another day! Take time right now to invite Him into your life. Confess your sins. Receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. You might pray something like this:
Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Thank You for giving me eternal life. Help me to live my life in a way that pleases You, for whatever time You give me here on earth. I look forward to living forever in Heaven with You. Amen.