This is the first post of a series to describe some of Jesus’ attributes. It’s important to understand and know who Jesus is in order to develop a relationship with Him. Think of your closest friends. You know who they are and you understand their personalities, humor, quirks, etc. The same is true if you want to get closer to Jesus. You don’t just call a random stranger that you met at the mall or online your BFF.
Jesus is God. There are references to it all over scripture. Some are very direct and others are pretty subtle, but they are there. Probably one of the most direct mentions of this is in Matthew. Beginning in the very first chapter of the New Testament, we see that Mary is engaged to Joseph and that she was a virgin. An angel came to Joseph to give him the news that his fiancé was going to have a child that wasn’t his and that this child would be conceived by the Holy Spirit (part of the trinity with God and Jesus). “Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and they will name him Immanuel, this is translated “God is with us.” (Matt. 1:22-24) Joseph, being an honorable man and a faithful servant of God, married Mary even though he would be mocked and shamed publicly for her being pregnant before they were married. He named the child Jesus as he was instructed by the angel.
“Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13). “Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I Am.” (John 8:58). Here’s a couple more examples. In Titus, Paul is describing Jesus to the church in Crete. He specifically calls him “our great God and Savior..” Paul is the most prolific author in the New Testament and really helped to grow and teach the churches all around the Middle East and Mediterranean, so he is quite the authority. John quotes Jesus as saying that he was around before Abraham and that he is I Am, which is a name that God had used for himself. This is a term that appears over 300 times throughout the Bible, starting in Genesis and going all the way through Revelations. It seems to be God’s favorite way of describing Himself, and being described.
One of the foundational beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus is God. The Holy Trinity is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. They are all God and Jesus is the Son of God, making Him God. Now it’s easy to get carried away and put Jesus on such a high pedestal that we aren’t able to approach him in any meaningful way, because he can’t be associated with us mere mortals. But remember, He came here to save us from ourselves. He chose to live with us for 33 years and touch and change as many lives as He was able to. He shared God’s plans for our salvation with us, because He wants to meet us in heaven and in the New Jerusalem described in Revelations. He wants us to be there with Him. He has given us all a personal invitations and even provided the directions for us to get there.
You may be wondering why I keep saying “Jesus is.” Quite simply, Jesus is still alive and still king! Another foundational Christian belief is that Jesus was resurrected on the 3rd day. If He was resurrected, that means he is not dead and that He is alive. This is also very important to developing a relationship with Him. If you don’t believe that He is alive, then how can you possibly have a relationship. It would be very difficult to feel truly connected with a man that died more than 2000 years ago. But when we remember that He is alive and that He is with us through it all, it’s much easier to see Him as a true friend who is there through all of the good times and all of the terrible times. Even when we don’t seek Him, He is there with us.
Personally, I find it very reassuring to know and believe that Jesus is my king. I couldn’t imagine a king who could be more loving, compassionate or righteous. To think that He chose to suffer as He did and die for me, as much of a sinner and failure that I feel that I am. He chose me. He chose you. He wants to have a deep, personal and meaningful relationship with each and every one of us. That sounds way better than most of the kings through history that I’ve learned about.