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Who is Jesus Christ?

In a hot debate with a group of hostile religious leaders Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).

In their rush to react in emotional excitement they weren’t paying attention to what Jesus said so they concluded, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” (v. 57).

In response to their question Jesus made one of the most profound statements about His deity. “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM” (v. 58).

Who is this man? Is He God? Who is this “I AM”? Who is Jesus Christ?

Make no mistake Jesus was claiming to have existed before the Jewish patriarch Abraham was born. He was claiming an eternal preexistence—“Before Abraham was born, I am.”

When Jesus used the name “I AM” He was actually using the divine name by which the God of Israel had revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:13-14). God revealed Himself to Moses as “I am who I am.” “I AM” is the name for God that Jesus takes to Himself. With this name for deity He claimed to be Yahweh which is the very word for Jehovah or LORD.

The Jews listening to Jesus immediately recognized His claim to be God. The Jewish leaders knew what Jesus was saying. They clearly understood His speech. Because they were so inferioritied, they picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy.

This was not the only time Jesus directly or indirectly claimed to be God’s equal.

Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them" (Matt. 5:17). Everything Jesus taught when referring to the Old Testament related indirectly to His claim to deity. Luke 24:25-27, 45-47 makes this claim of Jesus quite clear.

When Jesus forgave sins, He was well aware that He was claiming to do what only Jehovah can do. As God, He claimed to be able to send the Holy Spirit of God to indwell His followers.

But Jesus even claimed a unique relationship with the heavenly Father. No Jew in Jesus' day ever spoke of God directly as "my Father.” Jesus clearly was the exception. He claimed an exclusive relationship to the Father.

“I and the Father are one” (Jn. 10:30). Because of His unique relationship with the Father, He taught His disciples to refer to the Father as “our Father who art in heaven.”

Moreover, Jesus equated a person’s attitude toward Himself as His attitude to God. To known Him was to know God the Father (Jn. 8:19; 14:9, 16-17). To look into the face of Jesus was to see God (Jn. 12:45; 14:9). To trust in Him was to believe in God (Jn. 12:44; 14:1). To reject Him is to reject God and His offer of eternal life (Jn. 15:23; 1 Jn. 4:15). To worship Him was to honor and worship God the Father (Jn. 5:23; 1 Jn. 4:2-3).

Ultimately your response to the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” determines where you will spend eternity.

If Jesus is God, He has a right to my allegiance. If not I can well afford to pay no attention to Him. But what if Jesus really is God? Then you cannot afford to be indifferent. He did not leave us with that option.

Will it be God in the flesh, or your own god?

If it is self you may gain the whole world, but you will lose your own soul in hell.

Have you responded, “My Lord and my God!”? Is He your Adonai! Elohim! Yahweh! Jehovah! LORD?

What do you choose to do with Jesus?

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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