Top 101 Theological Questions: #3 Who Is Jesus?

Recently a study of sorts was done to find the 101 most asked theological questions into Google and those findings were published. This will be a systematic running through of each question, one blog post at a time, dealing with each question from a Biblical basis. Hopefully in a concise yet clear way. You can find the list of questions right here!

For the sake of this piece, I won’t argue for the historicity of Jesus. That is a well established fact by historians. There are but a handful of people that believe that Jesus didn’t exist, they are called Jesus Mythicists and they have been repeatedly shown to be in error in this regard. If you’re looking at reading more about Jesus as a historical figure, there are plenty of books out there, you can also check out James Bishop’s stuff right here.

 

So Who is Jesus

Okay, so Jesus is a real person, from real time and space. You can go to the areas He lived in, you can go walk around the same places He did. Experience the same dry wind, the same hot sun, the same cold winter. But He’s so much more than that. See, Jesus. He is the answer to the scientist who wants to know what is behind it all. He is the answer to the mother crying in the night at the loss of her child. He is the answer to the family who has lost it all. He is the answer to the student who has been put on academic probation and has no money. You must realise, the gospel writers, wrote a fair bit after Jesus walked with them, so they had a long time to reflect on who Jesus is.

When you read Mark’s gospel account, you’ll notice a theme of Jesus as being the King of God’s Kingdom, because that’s who He is. When you read Matthew’s gospel account, you’ll notice how Jesus is the end point of the whole Bible story, because that’s who He is. When you read Luke’s gospel account, you’ll notice that Jesus is the ultimate fulfilment of the Old Testament and God’s promises and prophecies, because that’s who He is.

When you read John’s gospel account, you’ll be struck by how different it is. While the other authors take a more biographical approach, John has had a very long time to reflect. We date John’s gospel as the latest written to still be reliable, and John writes at the end that his goal was to convince his readers that Jesus was the Christ (the promised redeeming king), and the Son of God (John 20:30-31).

Paul comes into the story after Jesus has already died, risen and ascended and, after being a murderous enemy of the church, became one of His greatest servants. Paul authored most of the New Testament so it’s worth taking his view of Jesus into account. For Paul, Jesus was more than just a human man who performed miracles and was the Messiah. There’s a useful tool for understanding the Bible where, when you read something in the New Testament, it quotes the Old Testament or uses its phrases, you should read the particular Old Testament passage it comes from, the parts above and before (I’ll explain this in greater detail in a separate post).

So here’s a passage for us to consider:

“To me every knee shall bow,
every tongue shall swear allegiance.”
Isaiah 45:23
That particular passage is where God is speaking, it’s worth reading from Isaiah 45:14-25 (a section) in which God is speaking of Himself as a saviour for His people. If you’re wondering why that verse is familiar, look at how Paul describes Jesus in one of his letters:
“…so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…”
Philippians 2:10-11
Do you see the link there? Paul is saying, albeit sneakily, that Jesus is God Himself. Indeed, that was John’s point as well, so it’s not a foreign concept either. By attributing that same phrase from Yahweh the God of Israel to Jesus of Nazareth, Paul is saying that Jesus, the man, was God in the flesh.
Where To From Here?
If you’re still not convinced or maybe a bit confused, might I suggest reading one of the gospels for yourself to start? My favourite one to read is John but all 4 are great reads (heh). It would be worth your while to look up The Bible Project on YouTube, and search some of their videos for what you are most interested in. They are excellent researchers and they do great videos about the Bible, the gospel, Jesus, sin, death, life, Holiness, God, etc. All of that.

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