“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. 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 the 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.”C.S. LEWIS IN MERE CHRISTIANITY
Who is Jesus?
Almost every religion agrees that Jesus was a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man. But is that all he was and is?
To best answer that question, it is good to listen to Jesus and his closest followers from the first century to see what they have to say about who he is. The Gospels in the Scriptures (i.e., the books called Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) tell the compelling story of Jesus. Read them for yourself. Don’t take the word of others about who Jesus is. Allow the Gospel accounts to shape you into a fuller understanding of the significance of Jesus’ life and the impact it can have on yours.
God, the Father is best revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Seeing Jesus’ life and ministry shows us what God is truly like. One of Jesus’ most famous statements came from a conversation with his first followers when they were wondering about his identity. He said to them,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6 NET translation of the Bible
This statement about himself encapsulates a lot about who he said he was.
Jesus, the Way
First, Jesus claims that he is the way to God the Father. Note that he refers to himself as the way, not a way to God. He sets himself apart. He does not equate himself with other religions or traditions. He puts himself in another category altogether. He could say this because he was the only person living in the history of the world that lived a perfectly sinless life as a human being while also being God in the flesh at the same time. This is mind-boggling but true. He is the best model to follow in how to be human. His life, as recorded in the Gospel accounts, shows us how to live in the way of Jesus.
He says he is the way to God, the only way. He is the promised Saviour of the world. He was the only person in the history of the world who lived a sinless life. Because of this, he could sacrifice himself in our place through his death on a Roman cross. In his bodily resurrection, Jesus demonstrated his powers over sin, death and the enemy of our souls, Satan. That incredible act of love gives everyone the opportunity to be liberated from the power of sin and death and the very forces of evil. Only Jesus could say he was the way to God
Jesus, the Truth
He is also the truth. Jesus says he is truth. Everything he does and says is right, true, and good. He is perfectly sincere in character, action and speech. All other truths need to be weighed next to him to see if they stand up. He is the standard of truth itself. Because of this, he is the only one who can measure up to the standards of a holy God. A holy God cannot stand the presence of sin. Because of this, we, broken humans, cannot stand before this holy God. We need someone perfect in truth to be our advocate and champion. Jesus does this for us.
Jesus, the Life
He is the life. In knowing him, we are filled up with true, abundant life. This life begins when we first acknowledge the gift of his salvation that he offers to all through his sacrificial death and his triumphant resurrection. The Holy Spirit, the active and real presence of the risen Jesus, is available to anyone who says ‘yes’ to complete surrender to Jesus. The Spirit draws us to Jesus, empowers us, is present with us and transforms us into looking more and more like Jesus. We can know true life here and now because of Jesus. Jesus modelled for us in his earthly life how to love God and others as ourselves. His way of doing life is one to emulate and grow into as we seek to live like Jesus in our context and our time in history.
Beyond what we receive in the here and now, we also can know hope and life beyond the grave. Just as Jesus was resurrected from the dead, those who receive Jesus’ forgiveness for their sins will also be raised to new life with God forever.
Jesus prayed for all people to know God and himself when he prayed,
“Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.”John 17:3
Seek Jesus out for yourself. Read about him in Scripture and learn firsthand what he and his earliest followers had to say about him—dialogue with someone who follows Jesus to learn more about how he impacts lives today. Come out to Glencairn and join us as we learn in community what it means to follow Jesus. Reach out with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org, and be prepared to find out that Jesus truly is the way, the truth and the life! You can also plan a visit to learn more about Jesus and what it means to follow him.