“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Matthew 11:3
Of the most vital and central importance in our earthly existence is our concept of who Jesus Christ is. When John the Baptist sent his followers directly to Christ to confront him about who he was, they in fact asked a crucial and pivotal question: “Are you the Savior of the world, or shall we look for another?”
In spite of his physical and mental depression while he was in prison, John the Baptist did the right thing when he told his disciples to go at once to Jesus, to ask and see for themselves. In the same manner, we can go to the Gospels and consider Jesus Christ, his words, his miracles, his death on the cross, his resurrection from the dead, to see for ourselves whether we find our answer in Him, or keep on searching. And as we read the Bible, let us analyze and discover whether we come to recognize, as Martin Luther did, that “Christ is the key to Scripture”, that “everything must be understood in relation to Christ” (1).
The message of the gospel is the person of Jesus Christ Himself, and the astounding claim that He is the Son of God who came into this world and dwelt among us, and that there is “no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
“He is central, he is first, and if we are wrong about him, it does not make any difference, even if we are right everywhere else.” (2)
Part of the difficulties we confront about the person of Jesus Christ are aspects which cannot be understood in terms of abstract or philosophical reasoning. And if what the Bible tells us about him is true, then it transcends human intellect and comprehension. It comes to us as a revelation, an announcement of good news in a world beset with problems, sin, misery and death.
Hence, instead of trying to grasp, reason out and span the “infinities and the immensities” about what and who Christ is, let us be guided by what John the Baptist advised his followers: just go to Him, confront Him and learn about the many aspects to His nature and character as portrayed in each of the Gospels. We look at Him in the Bible, speak to Him in prayer, and consider the testimonies of other Christians. And when we do this, it may well be that we shall arrive at the same conclusion that many others in a similar quest have come before us:
They have considered Jesus and made the decision to look to no other: Jesus Christ is the incomparable One, the Son of God, the Savior and Light of the World, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
(1) Lectures on Romans in vol. 25 of Luther’s Works (1515; ET Concordia, 1972); Gloss on Rom. 1:5 (p.4)
(2) Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Heart of the Gospel, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1991, p. 13
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Heart of the Gospel, Crossway Books, Wheaton, Illinois,1991, pp. 11-25
John Stott, The Incomparable Christ, Intervarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, Illinois, pp. 15-42
*** Image courtesy of firepress
Jesus was, is and will forever be the one.
Good post! Jesus is the beginning and the end! I need him in between too… ~ Wendy
Thank you, Wendy, and I wholeheartedly agree! Dee
Dee, I think it is part our design. We are incapable of understanding, the same as we are incapable of understanding other mysteries of life, death, love, and truth. We cannot understand God because we are not God, and cannot imagine that which is simple through His eyes ~ through His love. Thus the reason for faith, leaving to God what is God’s. We do not need to comprehend the wonder that is Jesus Christ; we need only believe. If we open ourselves to His love, we’ll find the proof is all around us. I love this, Dee. As always, you touch our hearts with grace and truth. ~ Much love, Bobbie
Yes, Bobbie, humility leads to deep faith. I love what you say that if we open ourselves to God’s love, we will find the proof is all around us. Thank you, Bobbie for such words of light and wisdom. Love, Dee
What must it have been like to go up to Jesus, and ask such a question? The Word of God is written in a non nonsense fashion and often we miss the entire scene – we just go in for the facts and miss the entire picture. How did He turn to face them? who was standing around Him? He was never alone unless He took Himself away to pray. The prospect you propose – what John the Baptist did – is to confront, ask – but think about it – God. All the years, the kings and the prophets battles, wars, exile and then – I AM. I guess what I’m trying to say is that once He is asked, once you really want to know, the enormity of that “yes,” will sink in – really sink in, Jesus will sit down, break the bread, teach, save.
Wow, Sandra, your thoughtful comment is giving me goosebumps. How true that we often go through the Bible in a state of mental assent, but if we transport ourselves into the very scenes with Jesus, perhaps the ground we are standing on would tremble, and we ourselves would be shaken to the core. I am awestruck by what you say about the enormity of that “yes”, and the I AM — not perhaps, not maybe, but a definite “yes”, of how the Eternal One, entered time and dwelt among us. I love how you end your comment — “Jesus will sit down, break the bread, teach, save.” Thank you so much for your beautiful comment, Sandra!
Jesus had to deal with the element of doubt that they were struggling with (including His own cousin John – because, as He said, A prophet is not honored in his own country or his own house…because, well, his kinfolk know him too well. “Boy, I changed your diapers and wiped your snotty little nose! And now you’re calling yourself the Son of God?!? Get outta here!”) So, He told them, “What do your own eyes and ears tell you? You’re seeing and hearing people getting healed and delivered…what does that tell you? That the Kingdom of God is indeed at hand (Luke 11:20). Thanks, Dee, for reminding us that we just need to come to Him, to come to Him openly, and He will receive us – at whatever level we are.
That’s true, Lester. Yes, I can just imagine how his kinfolk must have doubted Jesus and His words. And yet, in spite of all the doubts of mankind, Jesus Christ remains the central figure in history, with millions upon millions of hearts transformed when they called on His Name and believed in Him as the Savior of their souls and of the world. Thank you, Lester, as always. Dee
Amen…I like your reference to Martin Luther….his stance against the Catholic Church and the Pope…was formed on his passion to look to Christ and his need to follow no other……thanks for the good read!
Yes, indeed, Christianity is about Christ and no other. Thank you so much for your comment!
Thank you for for emphasizing the need to recognize Christ as the only True Savior. I appreciated your statement: “They have considered Jesus and made the decision to look to no other: Jesus Christ is the incomparable One, the Son of God, the Savior and Light of the World, the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
AMEN! What a wonderful gift of grace to come to a recognition that Christ is our All. Wonderful posting. Thank yoiu again!
Yes, Amen! Truly it is a wonderful gift of grace to come to the place of recognition that Christ is everything to us. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! God bless you!
Amen! A great and inspiring post – thank you for posting it! God bless you.
Thank you so much. God bless you too!