The Jesus Question
Bible Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-6
There is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man Christ Jesus—1 Timothy 2:5.
So who is Jesus Christ? People through the ages have fought over that question-often with words, sometimes even with weapons. Why so much conflict over one individual? Why is it that his name, more than the name of any other religious leader, causes irritation? Why is it that you can talk about “God” and nobody minds, but as soon as you say “Jesus,” people often want to stop the conversation or get defensive?
How is Jesus different from the other religious leaders? Why don’t the names of Buddha, Muhammad, or Confucius upset people? Because the others didn’t claim to be God, but Jesus did.
It didn’t take long for people who knew Jesus to realize that he was making some astounding claims about himself. He claimed to be more than just a prophet or teacher --he obviously claimed to be God himself. He presented himself as the only way to a relationship with God the Father, the only source of forgiveness for sins, and the only way of salvation.
For many people, that’s too exclusive and too narrow to believe. Yet the issue isn’t what we think or believe, but rather who Jesus claimed to be. What does the New Testament tell us?
Jesus Christ is actually a name and a title. The name Jesus comes from the Greek form of the name Jeshua or Joshua, meaning “Jehovah-Savior” or “the Lord saves.”
The title Christ is derived from the Greek word for Messiah and means “anointed one.” The title Christ captures two offices --king and priest-- affirming Jesus as the promised priest and king of the Old Testament prophecies. That declaration is crucial to understanding Jesus and Christianity.
Jesus received honor and worship that only God should receive. In a confrontation with Satan, Jesus said, “You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him” (Matthew 4:10). Yet Jesus received worship as God (see Matthew 14:33; 28:9) and sometimes even demanded to be worshiped as God (see John 5 :23; also Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:8-14).
Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “the deity of Christ.” That phrase means he’s divine. He’s the Creator and Sustainer of the universe come to earth as a person, Jesus of Nazareth. He’s the God who created you. Jesus is your best friend, but he’s even more than a good friend. He’s God.
REFLECT: Explain it to a non-Christian friend: Who is Jesus?
PRAY: You can enjoy Jesus, relate to Jesus, learn from Jesus --but don’t forget to worship Jesus as God. Do that now as you pray.
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