Who is Jesus?
There was no doubt that Jesus was a very remarkable person. He claimed to be the Son of God, fully united with the Father and having previously lived with Him in heaven. He claimed to know the Father intimately and claimed to be the only person who could lead people to heaven. He said that those who believed in Him would not be condemned, but those who refused to believe were condemned already. In many ways, His words and miracles proved that He was God in a human body. The cross and resurrection were to prove that He was the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world.
And yet His critics continued to ask Him, "Who are you?" What more could He say? He had already claimed His divine identity. But because they were not willing to accept His authority, it made no sense to them. Neither did they understand when He was speaking about Father God. So He pointed them forward to His crucifixion as the reason for His life. He spoke with quiet assurance that He and the Father were working together. It mattered to Jesus that the Father was pleased even if the religious leaders were not. However, not everybody disbelieved. Many of the people who heard Him that day put their trust in Him.
It is the same in our age. Those who refuse to believe can neither understand the identity of Jesus nor the character of God. But there are many who are willing to listen to Jesus and believe who He claimed to be. And so Jesus continues to polarise opinions; not that human judgement can ever change His identity, but what people believe about Him will determine their destiny. In our responsibility to spread the gospel of Jesus, it is most important to focus on His identity - otherwise He just becomes yet another remarkable teacher, but He is far more. He is the Saviour of the world, the judge of all people, the Creator God and the friend of sinners. The more we let people know who Jesus is, the more some of them will be drawn to Him and put their trust in Him.
© Dr Paul Adams