Friday, August 7, 2020

Who is Jesus Christ?

Who is Jesus Christ? Even Jesus asked his disciples the same question, as this is the ultimate question one should answer, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" (Matthew 16:13). Your eternal life depends on how you answer this question. 


Islam calls Jesus a mere prophet, less important than the prophet Mohammed. Hindus consider him as a guru (a moral teacher) or as one of the millions of gods they worship. 


Once, I attended a party. The host, who is a Christian, when addressing the guests, told his Hindu friends, you should at least consider Jesus as a teacher. Although his intentions were good, I was shocked to hear that. What good is it going to do if his friends believe Jesus as a mere teacher? In fact, it will stop them from thinking about Jesus beyond a guru. 

The disciples answered Jesus and said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." (Matthew 16:14). These are all typical Jewish answers from antiquity. People come up with all kinds of answers these days.


Jesus asked the disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15). Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16).  


Jesus replied, "And I tell you, you are Peter (Πέτρος Petros ), and (καί kai; but/and)  on this Rock (πέτρα petra) I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Now the important question is, what is the Rock upon which Jesus is going to build His Church? Clearly, Jesus was using a play on words here. Simon, you are a Petros (a piece of Rock), but upon this Petra (a boulder, a feminine usage of a much bigger rock, or cliff), I will build my Church. Logically if you think, Jesus asked a direct question, "But who do you say that I am?" After he got a correct response from Peter, Jesus said, upon this (response) Rock, I will build my Church. 


The response Peter gave is, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16). This is the response on which God is going to build his Church. When you are saved, you become a part of His Church. How are you saved? "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved... ( Acts 16:31). "...If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). The saved are the members of the Church. Whether the response about Jesus or Jesus himself is the Rock does not make much difference, as the response acknowledges Jesus is the Son of the Living God. 


Some people erroneously think that Jesus told Peter that Jesus is building his Church upon Peter (Petros -a piece of Rock). Thus, some Roman Catholics believe Peter was the first Pope. 


Paul writes about pre-incarnate Christ, "...For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). Clearly, the Rock is the pre-incarnate Christ in the Old Testament. "You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth..." (Deuteronomy 32:18). Psalmist writes about God as "He only is my rock and my salvation..." (Ps. 28:1, Ps. 62:2).


How are you going to answer the question Jesus asked? Are you going to say, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God?"  


If you cannot say that, you are calling him a liar. Apostle John writes, "Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also (1 John 2:22-23).



My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly lean on Jesus' name.  

     On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and share this article with your friends.

 Click here to read my previous article on “How can a loving God send someone to hell?”



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