Who Is Jesus Christ? Part I
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." "But what about you?" He asked. "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."1
Almost 2,000 years ago when Caesar Augustus was ruling the vast Roman Empire, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem in very humble circumstances. Until he was 30 he was virtually unknown.
However, during a brief three-year public ministry, His impact was such that it changed the world—including the change of our calendar from B.C. to A.D.
H.G. Wells, the famous historian, once said about Christ: "I am not a believer. But I must confess, as an historian, this penniless creature from Galilee is irresistibly the center of history."
No other person ever made the stupendous claims that Jesus did. He claimed to be the Son of God, the promised Jewish Messiah, and the only way to God for all mankind. He claimed to have power to forgive sins and to give people eternal life. Above all, He claimed to be God, saying, "I and the Father [God] are one.”2
Socrates once said, "Oh, that someone would arise, man or God, to show us God." Four hundred years later Christ came and claimed to be that person.
But was Jesus Christ the Son of God? If not, He would have been the greatest impostor who ever lived!
Lew Wallace, a distinguished general and literary genius, and Robert Ingersoll, a notable skeptic, agreed to write a book that would prove Christianity to be a myth. After two years of research, however, in some of the leading libraries of Europe and America in preparation for writing this book, Mr. Wallace had a transformation of attitude. He was only up to the second chapter when he fell to his knees and prayed, "My Lord and my God."
After studying the evidence, Wallace became convinced of the deity of Jesus Christ. He then wrote Ben Hur, one of the greatest novels ever written about the times of Christ. Later, Robert Ingersoll had this to say: "In using my speeches, do not use any assault I may have made on Christ, which I foolishly made in my early life." A similar thing happened to one of today's leading Christian authors and spokesmen, Josh McDowell. His outstanding book that supports Christianity, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, began as his attempt to deny Christianity.
As another has said, "You can speak of Jesus as prophet, holy man, teacher, or spiritual leader, and few will object. But speak of Him as Son of God, divine, of the same nature as [God] the Father, and people will line up to express their disapproval. A billion Muslims will say: "Prophet, yes. God, no!" Jews scattered around the world will say: "Teacher, yes. Messiah, no!" Some liberal Protestants and religionists of various stripes will say: "Exemplary man, yes. Divine, no!"
But as Jesus said to His disciples He also says to you and me, "Who do you say that I am?"
One's answer to that question will help determine his or her eternal destiny and that of every person alive today.
To be continued...
Suggested prayer. "Dear God, in a world where lies abound and where truth is contaminated by lies, making it more deadly than poison, help me to see the truth about You, the truth about Jesus, the truth about Your Word, and the truth about me and the condition of my soul—and help me to see my need of Your forgiveness and eternal salvation. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Matthew 16:13-16 (NIV).
2. John 10:30 (NIV).