The apostle John, writing in his gospel account, speaks: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:20-31.) In a previous article I set forth that Jesus is revealed unto us through the pages of the Bible and especially the New Testament. Now, I wish to raise the question as to what we believe.
The New Testament reveals many things concerning the man Jesus. We believe them to be true. He was the son of a Jewish girl from Nazareth, in Galilee, of the tribe of Judah. He was born in Bethlehem but reached his maturity in Nazareth. Yet, he was more than the son of a Jewish girl. Many sons were born in the same year, but Jesus is greater than all.
In his public life he became a most interesting, stimulating, and effective teacher. He was recognized as a great teacher by people of all walks. Those who were wise above their inherited beliefs, regardless of status, recognized this. One of the first and certainly one of the most influential was Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus and acknowledged, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2). Judaism had produced many outstanding teachers of the law, yet Jesus was recognized above a teacher of the law. He was referred to as a prophet, like unto Daniel, Isaiah, etc., by many.
Jesus was a formulator of a new concept of the law. He explained the moral principles of the law that stand out in history as a means of a good, fruitful life on this earth. He was not concerned alone with the legality of the Mosaical law but the humanities of it. He was not concerned alone with the ritual of worship under that law but a meaningful spiritual value for it.
Jesus was the son of a Jewish maid. He was recognized as a teacher from God. He elevated the law to a greater plane than ever before, yet in all of these, Jesus must be more. True, we must believe that he was all of these, but we must believe, as John stated, “Jesus is the Christ, the son of God.”
Do you believe that he is God’s son? If so you are able to move forward with him. If not, you are in the class with the Jews of his day and the majority of them today. You are in agreement with the followers of Mohammed.
On two occasions, God publicly spoke of him as His son. The first occasion was at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:13-17) and the second at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5).
Peter acknowledged him as God’s son when Jesus asked who men said he was, “Thou are the Christ, the son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). The eunuch, at the conclusion of Philip’s teaching, requested baptism, and was immersed upon his confession, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God” (Acts 8:37). John wrote of him as the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14) and as the Son (1:3 & 7). We must believe not only in God but also that Jesus is His son.
We must believe that Jesus is our Savior. Thus, the angels spoke, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11). He is referred to by Paul as “the savior of the body” (Ephesians 5:23).
I believe that it is this latter point that causes many to cease in their search for God. They can see in Jesus a good man, a teacher, and even that he is the son of God, but to acknowledge that he is their savior is too much. Why? To admit that someone is our savior is to admit that we are lost and unable to save ourselves. Are you willing to accept Christ as your savior? Only he gave his life and shed his blood for you. Only he is a mediator for man. (I Timothy 2:5).
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God by the testimony of his words and miracles. We believe him to be our savior by the same revelation.
Let me suggest to you again that you read and re-read the gospel accounts of Jesus. Seek for the values that will strengthen your faith in Jesus as your savior.