Who is Jesus? People have asked this question throughout the ages. As I mediated on what my answer would be, I found myself reflecting on Jesus’ time here on earth. I examined the Gospels and the perspectives of those whom he walked among. Jesus is many things to different people depending on the lens.
To the Jews who rebelled against Gentile rule, Jesus was not the savior desired. He spoke of peace, brotherhood, forgiveness and love of your enemies. Jesus did not forcefully remove them from under Roman control. Through their lens, they felt betrayed by his words and actions. During his trial this was clear. The crowd vehemently cried out, “Not this man, but Barabbas.” Pilate answered, “What then shall I do with Jesus?” The fierce cry immediately followed. “Let him be crucified.”
»Num 24:17 ~ I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
The Pharisees were protectors of the Mosaic laws, Jesus was a just a man with blasphemous ways. He kept company with sinners, whores, tax collectors and the like. Through their lens, Jesus would lead the people astray.
»Hebrews 7: 11, 12 ~ If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? 12 ~ For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
The Sadducees honored tradition of religious practices and worship. Through their lens, Jesus often disregarded these things, he even performed healing on the Sabbath. Jesus and his disciples appeared to shun established ways.
»Matthew 15:2 ~ “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
»Mark 3:2 ~ Some of them were looking for reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would break the Sabbath.
The Elders were leaders in the community and held judgment over its behavior. Through their lens, Jesus was instructing the people in disconcerting ways. The crowds he drew did not sit well with the Elders. His popularity was a threat to their status within the community.
»John 9:28 ~ Then they hurled insult at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses!
*Him-Jesus gave sight with the placing of mud on his eyes*
The Chief Priests hailed from among members of the high priestly families; from their lens, Jesus was low in status, yet laid claims to heavenly treasures. How can he makes such claims? He was poor, nor was he grandly adorned as was King Solomon.
»John 9:29 ~ “We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”
»Mark 11:27-28 “By what authority are you doing these things?”
The scribes interpreted Jewish law. Jesus’ instructions challenged their area of expertise and threaten their influence among the people. Through the lens of the scribes, Law is established through the covenant made between Moses and God. Who was Jesus to instruct anything contrary to it?
»Luke 23:4a ~ But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching.
To the Roman Authority, Jesus on one hand was insignificant, yet one the other, his popularity, mass appeal and ability to draw huge crowds was a threat. The threat of large-scale rebellion was always of concern to the Romans. In the end, through their lens, Jesus was as they say all smoke and mirrors. For all his acclaimed powers, this Jesus could not even save himself from death on the cross. If he was all he claimed to be, in their eyes, surely he was powerful enough to prevent such a fate.
» Luke 24:26 ~ Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
» Hebrews 7:16 ~ one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.
I see Jesus as my source of strength, comfort and assurance in times of discord. To me he is a living testament of God’s love for me. He loves me more than any person can. Jesus loved me before I came to know him. He championed on my behalf to the Father from the cross asking him to forgive the wicked sins of the world who saw fit to crucify him. Jesus is my teacher and guide who left a blueprint (the Bible) on how to live my life to the glory of God . Jesus is the architect of my faith. He is my best friend who I share my deepest concerns and most cherish desires. I can talk with him anytime for he is never too busy and I can always reach him day or night. Jesus assures through the Holy Spirit what God deems best for me. Jesus never walks away from me when I am less than I am. He encourages me to be more than I dare be. Through my lens Jesus has my back and I could not ask for anything more.
My Prayer: Father Almighty, may I be a testament to your love, grace and mercy so that others through my words and actions will see and recognize you. Lord, may you help me see you clearly when sin smugs my faith and blurs my vision, I ask this in the name of Jesus whose death brought my salvation, Amen.
Scriptures say who Jesus is:
Hebrews 7:18-22 ~ The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19-(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. 20-And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21-but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’ 22-Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.