“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
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