Who is Jesus?
Who is Jesus? Everyone seems to have their own opinion of who Jesus is, or was, depending on your foundational beliefs. But here's a thought--who is Phil Lilley?
He's a person, a guy. He has certain physical traits, intellect, personality characteristics, beliefs. He is what he is, nothing else.
Phil lives in a fairly small community and has varying relationships with many people there. He is close friends to some and they know him well. Some are acquaintances and know only a small part of him. And there's some that only see him occasionally and know about his business and what he does in the community. The form their opinion of him by what they see and hear about him.
So, does Phil molt into a different person according to the person who's thinking about him? Or does he have multi-faceted personalities depending on the relationship he has with his peers, with his neighbors?
Jesus was a man who lived in the Middle East a little over 2000 years ago. This is a documented fact. He was Jewish. He was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth the son of a carpenter. He led a normal life, we assume, because nothing was noticed, nothing was written about him until he was of the age of 30 when he started standing out as someone special.
Back to Lilley. If someone believed Phil to be a easy going guy who would party with the best and would change his morals, his foundational beliefs for someone who believed differently because he's loving and doesn't want to offend anyone, would that be necessarily true? If someone believed Phil was African American or Hispanic, would that change his ethnicity? If you believed he was Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim, would that make it true?
We find that this is the case many times when you ask people, who is Jesus? Is he what people make him out to be or does he have distinct characteristics, like Phil? Is Jesus changed by the whims of time, differing civilizations, tribes or religions? How can he be?
So, who is Jesus?
Today we have the best opportunity to learn who Jesus is with the efforts of ministries translating the Bible into remote languages, and the by reading the many English translations offered to the English speaking world. The issue for most of us is simple--do we really want to know who Jesus really is and to what ends will we apply ourselves to learn.
I'm going to make this a series of blog posts, dealing with who Jesus is in the Bible as well as who he is in our lives today. This is the initial post.