WHO IS JESUS?
Check out this clip from Alpha: The Film Series / Session 2: Who is Jesus? The information on this page was adpapted from the information between 13:10-22:30
There’s all kinds of evidence that Jesus of Nazareth existed: the New Testament stands absolutely and unapproachably alone amongst ancient prose writings and no secular historian would disagree with that conclusion. But who was he? A Teacher? A Prophet? What do we know?
1 – Jesus was fully human.
He could be tired, hungry, he could suffer pain. He had human emotions: love, joy, sadness. He had human experiences: birth, growing up, education, temptation, work, bereavement, suffering, rejection, death. Many would say: “Yes Jesus was a human being….but he was only a human being…..a great religious teacher, perhaps, but no more than that ……just human.” It’s true that Jesus did not go around saying “I am God.” But when one looks at all that he did claim and teach, there is little doubt that he was conscious of being a man who’s identity was God
2 – Jesus’ teaching centred on Himself.
Most good religious teachers point away from themselves and to God. They say, “Don’t look at me! Look at God.” Jesus, in pointing to God, pointed to himself. …in other words he was saying that it’s through him that we encounter God. Three leading psychologists of the 20th century have all recognised this. Jung said that people are hungry for security. Alder: People are hungry for significance. Freud: People are hungry for love.
In every human heart there is a hunger. Jesus said: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35). Many people are walking around today in depression, disillusionment, despair….for many it’s like an emotional darkness. Jesus said : “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12). Many today are fearful of death. We try to avoid talking about it. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” (John 11:25). Many are dissatisfied with materialism. And they’re searching for some kind of spiritual reality or. Jesus said, “I am the way…”
To those searching for some kind of value system, Jesus said: “…I am the truth…” Many ask, “What is the point of life? What’s its meaning? What is its purpose?” Jesus said: “…I am the life.” Others in the past have said, “That’s the way. That’s the truth. That’s the life.” Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6a)
Many are burdened by worries and guilt. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Many are not sure what they should be doing with their lives. What kind of model should we be following? The traditional models that people have often followed are now breaking down. Who should we follow? Jesus said “Follow me.” (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; John 10:26)
3 – Jesus claimed to be the unique Son of God: God made human.
Jesus said to receive him was to receive God. (John 13:20)
He said to welcome him was to welcome God. (Matthew 10:40)
He said, to have seen him was to have seen God. (John 14:9)
An interviewer asked the rock-star Bono: Christ has his rank among the world’s great thinkers. “But Son of God, isn’t that far fetched?” Bono replied, “No it’s not far fetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christian story always goes like this: he was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy. But actually Christ doesn’t allow you that. He doesn’t let you off that hook. Christ says ‘I am God incarnate’. So what you are left with is either Christ was who he said he was, or a complete nutcase. I’m not joking here – the idea that the entire course of civilisation for over half the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside down by a nutcase, for me that’s far fetched.”
*Adapted from Alpha: The Film Series / Session 2 – Who is Jesus?*
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