Many people have asked, “Just who is Jesus Christ?” A copy of U. S. News and World Report ran a cover a few years ago with an artist’s depiction of Jesus and the title “The Jesus Code—America Is Rethinking the Messiah Again.”
About that time, a major TV network aired a documentary titled “The Search for Jesus,” featuring “scholars” who pooled their ignorance. As these men attempted to examine the Lord Jesus Christ, it was about as informational as a group of blindfolded men in a cave with a jug full of lightning bugs trying to examine the noonday sun. The reason they didn’t find Him was…they were looking in the wrong place.
Bryant Gumbel once interviewed Larry King on national television, and at the close of the interview, he asked a very pertinent question: “Larry, if you could meet God and ask Him one question, what would it be?” Larry King said, “I would ask Him if He has a Son.” I hope Larry learns the answer to that question.
A 1994 issue of Life magazine has the cover “Jesus—Who Was He?” That’s the wrong question. They should be asking, “Jesus—Who IS He?” The world will never answer the sin question until they answer the Son question: Who is Jesus?
John Blanchard estimated that of all the people who have ever lived in recorded history, about 30 billion have lived on planet Earth. Of those billions, only a handful have risen to such prominence that they could have affected and effected human history. Among that handful, one name stands out above all: Jesus Christ.
No other person has ever attracted such attention, devotion, criticism, adoration, and opposition as Jesus Christ. He is the focal point of all theological discussions. Philosophers and historians have studied Him. He lived in the flesh about 2,000 years ago in the small country of Israel. Yet for centuries His birthday divided the years into “B.C.” and “A.D.”
You can look at your watch at any time, and millions of people will be studying His word. His ministry lasted only three brief years, yet His message travels around the world by radio and television. He had no formal education, yet His life caused the founding of more colleges, seminaries and universities than any other. Multiplied thousands of schools, hospitals and orphanages have been built in the name of Jesus Christ.
To explain Him is impossible. To ignore Him is disastrous. To refuse Him is fatal. My speech is too limited to describe Him, my human mind too finite to comprehend Him, my heart too small to contain all the love that the Lord Jesus has.
To know the answer to “Who is Jesus?” we must go to the divinely inspired Word of God. Philippians 2:6-11 is a wonderful place to begin, because of all we learn about the Lord Jesus in this passage.
Jesus Is the Supernatural Son of God
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God : But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. Phil 2:6-7.
We see in this passage the virgin birth. The infinite became an infant, a fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son...”
Do you find it hard to believe Jesus was born of a virgin? You’re not the first one. The first person was Mary herself. She asked, “How can this be?” The angel answered, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37.
If you admit that God created the first man out of nothing, don’t you think God could bring a baby into this world through a virgin?
If you don’t believe in the virgin birth, you’ve got some character problems.
Jesus Is Therefore the Sinless Son of God
And, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient... (v.8)
He was the obedient Son of God. Not one time did Jesus ever transgress the Father’s will. He said, “I do always those things that please Him” (John 8:29). God the Father said of Him,
“This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17 and 17:5)
Satan unleashed all the artillery of hell against the Lord Jesus Christ but never once got Jesus to sin. Satan has no trophies he can hang on his wall where Jesus ever sinned. Jesus said,
“The prince of this world [Satan] comes, but he finds nothing in Me.” (John 14:30)
Jesus is the Sovereign Son of God
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God... (v.6).
Or, “thought not equality with God a thing to be grasped.” The Amplified Bible fully explains the truths in this verse:
Who, although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes—the entire nature of deity], did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it];
He is God in the flesh. It’s important to understand Jesus is not only the Son of God, but He is God the Son. The Muslims, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and our Jewish friends—all do not believe it.
They ask, “By whose authority does He make this claim?” You can tell them, “By Jehovah God’s authority.” See Hebrews 1:8. Jehovah is speaking:
“But unto the Son He [Jehovah] saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever...”
God calls His Son “God.” He is God the Son. He says it through the prophet Isaiah,
“…the mighty God, the everlasting Father...” (Isaiah 9:6)
He is the sovereign Son of God.
One time the Pharisees were arguing with the Lord Jesus Christ. Sneering at Jesus’ birth, they boasted that they had Abraham for their father: “We know about your birth—you’re illegitimate. We’re not. Don’t give us ‘virgin birth.’” Then Jesus said something that rocked them back on their heels.
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56)
They said, “Wait a minute. Abraham’s been dead for centuries. You’re not 50 years old. How can you say ‘Abraham saw my day’?” Then Jesus answered them—don’t miss this—“Before Abraham was, I AM.”
Jesus purposefully uses the most holy name the Jews had for Jehovah, the name “I AM,” the sacred name for the self-existing Almighty. At that moment they “took up stones to stone Him,” because He clearly stated He is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father.
When Moses was about to confront Pharaoh and deliver God’s people, he asked God what he should say. God said to Moses, “Tell them I AM sent you.” Not “I was.” Not “I will be.” Just “I AM—there never was a time when I was not. I will always be. I am the great I AM.”
Jesus was never created. He is the great I AM. If you take away the deity of Jesus Christ, Christianity collapses like a house of cards. Friend, Jesus is God in human flesh. This is not incidental. It is fundamental. Jesus is the supernatural Son of God, born of a virgin. Being the supernatural Son of God, He is the sinless Son of God. And being the supernatural, sinless Son of God, He is the sovereign Son of God. He is God in human flesh. No wonder they wanted to stone Him when He said this.
I hear people on TV talk about “Jesus, the philosopher.” You don’t just admire Him as a great philosopher. He is Almighty God. You don’t just tip the hat to Jesus Christ; you bow the knee.
Jesus Is the Sacrificial Son of God
But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (v. 7-8)
In Acts 20:28, Paul says something to the pastors of the church at Ephesus:
“Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers [now listen to this next phrase], to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.
Jesus became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. This one, Jesus Christ, the sovereign, sinless, supernatural Son of God, born of a virgin, was totally, completely obedient. Not only the Son of God, but God the Son.
You say, “That’s a mystery to me.” It may be a mystery to you, but it is a fact.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
Great is the mystery…God manifested in the flesh.
Jesus Is the Surviving Son of God
Death could not hold Him. He rose from the dead.
Wherefore, God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. (v. 9)
The grave could not hold Him because He’s both the Lord of life and death. He said,
“No man taketh My life from Me; I lay it down of Myself I have the power to lay it down and I have power to take it up again.” (John 10:18)
He survives the ages. He’s not somewhere in a tomb. The Bible says He’s able to save unto the uttermost those that come unto God by Him, because He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Listen to me, friend. You have a date with deity. You’re going to meet Jesus Christ. He is inescapable, unavoidable, inevitable.
Why Christmas? Because of Calvary. Christmas is to make Calvary possible. Luke 19:10—
“For the Son of Man [that is, God in human flesh, the Son of man] is come to seek and to save that which is lost.”
What are your thoughts on new age thinking? Is there a choice in pro-choice? Is evolution fact or fiction? Does character matter to you? How has tolerance been affected by society? Pastor Adrian Rogers deals with difficult questions head on in this collection on current issues.