Part 1 | Part 3
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish…”
When I was a child, I used to believe in many things. I believed in the Tooth Fairy. I would never see my parents put money under my pillow in the middle of the night so I believed the Tooth Fairy existed. Of course, that was until a friend told me otherwise.
I used to believe, somewhat, in Santa Claus. I guess I really didn’t care as long as I received presents. But I could never figure out how he would get into the house. I learned that he came down chimneys and we didn’t have one so I asked my mom how he comes into our house and she told me he comes through the front door. I was skeptical about the whole concept so I decided to stay up all night one Christmas eve. That is when I saw my parents wrapping and putting the presents under the tree.
Before I was a teenager, I could convince myself that there was a bear in our neighborhood and I would be watching out for it. I even told my dad one day that I saw a bear. He didn’t believe me. There was a story on the news a few days earlier about a bear sighting in a neighborhood so I just planted it in my mind that I could believe it. Maybe I was looking for attention… I don’t know.
Is it any wonder how we may sometimes not believe what people say are true? I am not going to tell you here whether or not believing in Santa or Mrs. Fairy is harmless or harmful for you. But for me, I had been told one thing… and another thing was true. So to say the least, I began questioning a lot of things and I still do to this day.
I got to the point in my life that I believed that there was no God. It happened some time when I was a teenager. I guess after my parents had a nasty divorce, I really didn’t think a lot of things existed. Love was somewhat vague to me. I was confused as its true meaning. It appeared to me as temporary.
When the name Jesus comes to mind, what are your first thoughts? To some He is a tyrant waiting to punish people for their sins. To others, He is like a good dog that doesn’t care what you do as long as you “love” him. To some, He only comes to mind when they do something wrong. Some only think about Him when they need something. Sometimes those situations define who He is to us. We can create who He is in our mind and we can truly believe whatever it is that we want to about Him.
If I told you what my name is and what I do for a living, would you believe it? Or would you decide upon yourself to make up some things about me and believe those things as true? Is it not I the best source to find out who I am? You could call me Bob and say that I am African American and tell people that I work as a lawyer, but it would not be true.
So this leads me to this question… who does Jesus say He is? After all, wouldn’t He be the best source for the information? Should I ask a friend or do you think that Jesus would be sufficient?
Why is it important to know who He really is?
John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Who is this Jesus?
- The Bread of Life – He is food for our soul. We are dependent on Him for nourishment.
- The Good Shepard – He is there to guard us and to protect us and lead us to where we need to go.
- The Resurrection and Life – He can help our lives be renewed because He is the one who gave us life.
- The Way, The Truth, The Life – If we are trying to find sense in this world, He tells us that by following Him, life can make sense and there is no other source for it.
- The True Vine – What happens to a grape when you pluck it from the vine and set it on the ground? Bugs get to it and it will eventually rot. Being attached to Jesus all the time, we have life and our life is fruitful.
- It is I, do not be afraid – He calms the waters in our lives.
- Our Savior – Need explanation?
- Our Flashlight – He illuminates our path.
- The Rest Giver – In a world full of chaos and burdens, He is the one to give us rest.
- Immanuel – God with us.
And there is so much more to who He is…
I think He puts His own character into perspective. He is a lot of things, but today… who is He to you? Who do you need Him to be? He has many facets to His character and He is ready to meet with you and care for you.
So to you…
He is ready to help you make it through the day.
He is able to help you with your broken relationship.
He is able to comfort you in your sorrows.
He is ready to strengthen you in your weakness.
He is ready to understand you when nobody else does.
He is ready to forgive you if you would only confess.
Believing in Jesus is not like believing that the grass is green or that earth evolves around the sun. It is not temporal or just a fairy tale. Because believing in Jesus as whom He really is creates a metamorphic change in our lives. It creates a life in us worth living. Knowing who Jesus is and what He did for us and what He can do for us now is an assurance that we can trust in Him and call on His name at all times.
Would you like to know how He feels about you today?
Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
So who is He to you today? Do you believe in Him?
Part 3… What is eternal life?