Meet
Jesus of Nazareth

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

Jesus loves you

Who is Jesus?

 

A Historical Person

Maybe you have never really thought about who Jesus is, or whether his claims have any implications for your life. After all, we're talking about a man who was born in the first century into an obscure Jewish carpenter's family. The basic facts of his life—where and when he lived, how he died—are all pretty well agreed upon. But what about the significance of his life and death? Was he a prophet? A teacher? Was he the Son of God, or just an unusually gifted man? And for that matter, who did he think he was? For all the questions, though, everyone seems to agree on one thing: Jesus was an extraordinary person.

An Extraordinary Person

Without a doubt, in his day there was something about Jesus that caught people's attention. Over and over Jesus said things that left his contemporaries amazed at his wisdom, and even confronted them in ways that left them fumbling around for a way to make sense of it all. (Matthew 22:22)

"Many who heard him were astonished, saying, 'What is the wisdom given to him?' ... and 'How are such mighty works done by his hands?" (Mark 6:2)

Then there were the miracles. Hundreds and hundreds of people saw with their own eyes Jesus do things that no human being should be able to do. He healed people from sickness; he made water instantly turn into fine-tasting wine; he told lame people to walk again, and they did; he stood on the prow of a boat and told the ocean to be quiet—and it did; he stood in front of the tomb of a man who had been dead for four days and called to him to come back to life—and the man heard him, stood up and walked out of the tomb (Matthew 8:24-27; 9:6-7; John 2:1-11; 11:38-44).

With every one of his miracles and in every one of his sermons, Jesus was making and backing up claims about himself that no human being had ever made before—claims that he was God.

God

On a number of occasions Jesus took a name for himself exclusively used for God, the present "I AM" (John 8:48-58), which brought to mind the ancient and famous name of Israel's almighty God (Exodus 3:14).

Prophesies that Jesus claimed to fulfill pointed to his deity. The people of Israel were looking forward to a king occupying the centuries-vacant throne. One prophet described this king as "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:6-7). The people of that day would have seen that this promised King did not sound like just another man who would sit on the throne and then die. They would have heard their God promising that he himself would come and be their king.

Jesus also asserted his identity as, "the Son of God". It wasn't just a royal title; it was also a claim that Jesus was equal to God in status and character and honor. John explains: "This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because ... he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:18).

One of Us

Christians call the reality that God became human—the incarnation. The Bible tells us that Jesus got hungry, he got thirsty, he got tired, and he even got sleepy. He did things with a deeply human tenderness, compassion and love (Matthew 15:32, Mark 6:34; John 11:33-36). He not only was human; he showed us what God intended humanity to be all along.

Jesus was identifying with us, becoming one with us so that he could represent us in life and death. When Adam, the first man, sinned, he did so as the representative of all who would come after him (Genesis 3:1-15). "One trespass led to condemnation for all men" (Romans 5:18). Jesus would let God's sentence of death—his righteous wrath against sinners—fall on him. So Jesus allowed one of his own disciples to betray him to the Roman authorities who sentenced him to be crucified. In Jesus's death on the cross, all the sin of God's people was placed on him. Jesus died for them. He died in their place. There's only one thing that would lead the Son of God to do this: he deeply loves us. "For God so loved the world," one biblical writer said, "that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

But Jesus did not remain dead. When some disciples entered Jesus' tomb two days later, "they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here" (Mark 15:5-6).

Alive

Through Jesus's resurrection from the dead, something breathtakingly extraordinary happened. Everything he ever claimed for himself was vindicated. (1 Corinthians 15:14-19).

Only the resurrection had the power to turn his own followers—cowardly, skeptical men—into martyrs and eyewitnesses who were willing to stake everything on him for the sake of telling the world, "This man Jesus, was crucified, but now he is alive!"

The resurrection is the hinge on which all Christianity turns. It's the foundation on which everything else rests, the capstone that holds everything else about Christianity together.

Who do you say he is?

Maybe you're not ready to believe his claims. If so, what is holding you back? Once you identify those things, don't just walk away from them. Examine them. Pursue them. Find answers to your questions. Don't put this off. This is the most important question you'll ever consider!

Maybe you're ready to say, "I really do think Jesus is the Son of God. I know I'm a sinner and a rebel against God. I know I deserve death for that rebellion, and I know Jesus can save me." If so, then imply turn away from sin and trust Jesus, and rely on him to save you. And then—tell the world! This is who Jesus is. He is the One who saves people just like me, and just like you!

Adopted from "Who Is Jesus?"
By Greg Gilbert

How can I be saved?

Do you believe that you were created by a holy God? Do you believe that your sin (lying, stealing, lust, etc.) has caused an eternal separation between you and God that you cannot make right on your own?

Do you believe Jesus is who he says he is and did what the Bible says he did? Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God whom God sent to die on a cross in order to make right your relationship to God?

 

And finally, do you believe Jesus is alive today in heaven knocking on the door of your heart? 

If you believe this and your desire is to please God and be with him forever, simply ask Jesus to give you faith ... and put your trust in him. Ask Jesus to take complete control of your life—your mind and your heart and your will and your emotions—as you deny yourself and turn away from everything you know to be wrong. And by the power of God's Spirit within you, live your life the way Jesus lived his.

Salvation is simple because Jesus made it simple. He did all the work. All he asks you to do is to believe in him and love him by doing what he tells you to do.

If this is your heartfelt desire, pray to Jesus in words like these:

Jesus, I know I cannot save myself, and I know you have promised to save those who turn away from sin and put their faith in you alone. I trust you to forgive my sins and give me eternal life. Thank you for dying in my place to make my salvation possible. By the power of your Spirit, I will determine to love and follow you all the days of my life. Amen.

If you've done that, then a whole life of getting to know Jesus lies ahead, beginning right now! If you were saved by Jesus today, will you let us know? We would love to hear from you and celebrate with you in your decision to follow Jesus.

I have decided to follow Jesus!

Thanks for submitting!