I mentioned in my last post that “The majority of people thought they were entirely good enough (for heaven) on their own.”
This has been the most difficult thing about evangelism – apathy towards Jesus. Not a lot of people care.
Hence, we have a problem – We live in a society that is so casual about Jesus but so committed to themselves.
And it’s a problem because there exists a God who reigns. He holds all power and all authority, and he created us. He knows us and wants us to know him. And he has revealed himself.
God revealed himself to us through his word, and that Word appeared in flesh and lived among men. His name is Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. – John 1:1, 14
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. – Hebrews 1:3
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created… – Colossians 1:15-16a
Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:1b-2
- I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35
- I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. – John 8:12
- I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. – John 10:9
- I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – John 10:11
- I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies – John 11:25
- I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
- I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
But I’ve heard from a lot of people lately, this idea that God is who they want to believe him to be. Except our understanding of him has no actual bearing on who his character really is. “I Am who I am” God told Moses in the wilderness (Exodus 3:14).
We can know the truth of who this God actually is, because he told us. And he offers us a response – to come to him. To believe in him, follow him, enter through him, and remain in him. (John 6:35, 8:12, 10:9, 11:25, 14:6, 15:5)
I also realize it isn’t always so simple. God is complex, holy, supernatural. We will never be able to fully grasp the supremacy of who he is. But I was so convicted myself by a sermon recently that our primary issue isn’t knowledge or resource. Our issue is our treasure. We simply do not value Jesus as much as we value ourselves.
Yet if these last two posts are a highlight reel, illuminating our sinful condition against a God of endless glory, then we should see a tremendous gap. And if that gap reflected the whole story, then I’m not sure our response would matter much. We may as well stay casual about Jesus and committed to ourselves, because we’d never be able to reach him anyways.
Except he reached us. He loved his people so much that he chose to come down, chose to take the consequence of our sin and chose to credit us with his righteousness.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – John 1:12
And that changes everything.
We will never begin to see Jesus for the beauty and majesty that he is until we first respond to his invitation. Come. Believe. Follow. Enter through. Remain. He is the one worth our commitment to.
When we put our faith in Christ, he lifts us out of death and darkness and brings us into an eternity of life and light in himself. He brings us into his family. And he brings us into his kingdom, where he will reign forever and ever.
And that – that is not something for us to be casual about.
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
- Immanuel (Matthew 1:23)
- Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
- The Son of God (Luke 1:35)
- Teacher (John 1:38)
- The Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20)
- Brother (Hebrews 2:11)
- Friend (John 15:14)
- Messiah/Christ (John 1:41)
- Servant (Isaiah 42:1)
- Savior (Titus 1:4)
- Lord (Romans 6:23)
- God (John 1:1)
- King (John 18:37, Hebrews 1:8, Revelation 17:14)
- The Sacrifice (John 1:29, Hebrews 10:10, 1 John 1:2)
- Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5)
- Priest (Hebrews 4:14, 7:24)
Read: John – The whole book. It details who Jesus is and his seven “I Am” statements. Specifically John 1:1-18, 1:29-34, 18:36-37, 19:11 also point to who he is.
Philippians 2:9-11, Hebrews 1, 4:14-16, 1 John 1:1-4
Process: There is a lot of scripture included in this post! Take some time with it.
And be honest. Make a quick list of maybe 10 things that come to mind when you think of who Jesus is. Then, go through some scripture and write down 10 things about who Jesus says he is. How do the lists compare? Spend some time in prayer, asking God to continually correct your view of him, to help you overcome any unbelief.
Resources: Kid’s Devotional, I Am – 40 Reasons to Trust God