Lanterns: Who do You Say That I AM?

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Who do You Say That I AM?

Who do you say that I am?

Who do men say that I am (religious leaders)? Who do the multitudes say that I am (the people)? Who do you say that I am (personal)? There seem to be varying opinions today just like there were in Jesus’ time on this earth.

Mat 16:13-17 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that the Son of man is? 14 And they said, Some say John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15 He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.

These were the varying opinions of Jesus’ day when the religious leaders who should have known exactly who Jesus was, were asked. Also see Mark 8: 27-29 and Luke 9: 18-20.

Today's religions and cult-like quasi-Christian organizations have their own opinion of who Christ is. Some believe and teach that Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer (Satan). Another say’s that Jesus was the Arch Angel Michael or the first created being of God. Another believes Jesus to be a great prophet in a line of prophets, and to others, Jesus is one of the great spiritual masters. Buddhists believe that Jesus is the reincarnation of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha. I could go on, but why beleaguer the point? All the major world religions and "Christian" cults have an opinion of who Jesus Christ is or was.

Who do the multitudes say Jesus is today?

Most of what is said about Jesus today when people are not being disrespectful or vulgar is a variation on what the major religions say. Some people say he was a good man, a great teacher, a Jewish mystic, an itinerate rabbi, a great speaker, and one who encouraged others, one of the spiritual masters, or a prophet.

Before we ask the ultimate question, who do you say he is, it’s important to look at what Jesus said about Himself, and what the Bible says about Him.

Isaiah wrote of Jesus approximately 740 years before His birth:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Also look at these verses: Judg. 13: 17-20, Ps. 45: 1-7, Jer. 23: 5-8, Tit. 2: 13, Eph. 2: 13-18, Col. 1: 14-19, Heb. 13: 20-21.

Isaiah 9: 6 describes the one to come, the child to be born in terms equivalent to The Great I Am, not like God, but very God Himself as revealed in the second personality of the Trinity. 

In John 1: 1-3 Jesus is called the Word or Logos, God. He is also given credit for being the very creative power that brought all things into existence.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
John 1:3 All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In Revelation 19: 11-16 the Bible calls Jesus “Faithful and True.” It says He will in righteousness judge and make war. The writer also says His eyes are a flame of fire and that He has many crowns on His head, and that He has a name written that no man knows but Himself. This passage also says He is called The Word of God and that He is the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. See also Isa. 11: 1-10, Ps. 72, Dan. 2: 47.

Whether you want to believe the Bible or not, if you are intellectually honest in reading the scriptures, there is no doubt that the Bible says that Jesus Christ is God. In fact, Jesus invoked the “I AM” a couple of times in scripture. The reason this escapes many in the westernized church is that many do not read, or are mostly taught from the Old Testament, and therefore miss a lot of the richness of scripture. However,  it takes away from what Jesus said. Jesus literally said “I AM.”

It is the same with the next passage— if you will, notice the personal pronoun “he” is an add-in:

John 8:28-29 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am (he), and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 

This next passage plainly shows Jesus claim the term “I AM” for himself and shows that in the mind of the Jews, they knew exactly what He was saying for they take up stones to stone  Him for blasphemy. Notice the statement by Jesus:  John 8:56-59 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

We have seen what the world religions say about Jesus, what people say about Him, what the Bible says about Him, and what Jesus said about Himself. Now we come to the truth of the matter the defining moment--  Who do you say that Jesus is?

Does this matter? Won't just claiming the name of Jesus save a person no matter what they believe about Him? The answer is “no” for this reason— only the Son of Almighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the perfect sinless expression of God Himself-- the GREAT I AM has the power to save mankind from our destruction caused by sin. It is very important that we rightfully understand who He is.

The thing Jesus cannot be is of little importance.

 

Here is a quote from C.S. Lewis on the “Lord, Liar, or Lunatic” argument in Mere Christianity:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [that is, Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse…. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

We must all make a decision, but it has to be made here on this earth. What will I do with this man called Jesus? I hope you choose to repent from all sin and follow Him. His return is near. Keep looking up for our redemption is very close at hand.

God bless and Fair Well DTLSR.

Written by Dale Lumley

I am a 55 yr old Christian, Sgt. USMC DSGW. Patriot, Constitutional Originalist. Husband, Father.

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