Who Was Jesus?

In Scripture Jesus Christ is repetitiously called “the Son of God.” (John 3:16)
Jesus Himself declared, “…I said, I am the Son of God” (John 10:36).
Gabriel told Mary her child would be called “the Son of God.” (Lukej1: 32, 33).
Satan identified Him as “the Son of God” at the time of His temptations (Matt. 4: 3. 7).
John the Baptist spoke of Him at His baptism as “the Son of God” (John 1: 34).
The Centurion at the cross said surely this was “the Son of God” (Matt. 27: 54).

The term is not used in the sense of prodigy, offspring. It speaks of association, not generation. The dictionary as well as Scripture recognizes the title as referring to association, not generation.

James and John were called “sons of thunder.” The name Barnabas means “son of encouragement.”

Today we are often called sons or daughters of America.

Scripture does not call Jesus “a Son,” but “the Son” of God.

Human beings are also called “sons of God.” A different term is used in referring to Jesus as the son of God and human being referred to as a son of God.

The Greek word TEKNON is used in reference to humans. It stresses the fact of birth. We are born again as a TEKNON.

The Greek word HUIOS is used of Jesus. It emphasizes dignity and character of relationship. Thus, it identifies Jesus as deity.

In Jesus the “fullness,” PLEROMA, permanently dwells. The fullness of the Godhead, THEOTETOS, divinity, dwells in

Jesus. Theotetos means not just divine attributes, but the very essence, the nature of God, the totality of who God the Father is, His supreme nature.

Bottom line: Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, God incarnate (in flesh). His eternal pre-creation God nature was manifested “bodily.”

II Corinthians 4:4 records: “Christ, who is the image of God…” EIKON, “the image of God” means He is the perfect visible likeness of the invisible God in both personality and distinctive attributes. He is Immanuel, God with us.

With reference to His relationship with God the Father it is said, “…who being in the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person….” (Hebrews 1:3).

He is said to have been “born of a woman,” (Gelatins 4: 4) meaning “born without human paternity,” born only of a woman, a virgin.

Divinity is a synonym for godhood. It is a summary word for the character and capacity of God, His nature.

Deity refers to the very essence of God. It is what and who God is. It is a word which sums up what Scripture depicts Jesus Christ as being. Consider these verses.

“So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophets, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1: 22, 23).

Alfred Edersheim an Oxford scholar put together a list of 456 characteristics noted in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Consider just eight such prophecies and odds of them being fulfilled in one man.

Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
A forerunner was sent to prepare for His coming (Malachi 3:).
Like a king He would triumphantly ride a donkey into Jerusalem (Zechariah 13:6)
Betraying by a companion would result in wounds in His hands (Zechariah 13: 6).
The price of His betrayal would be 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11: 12).
The 30 pieces of silver would be used to purchase a potter’s field (Zechariah 11: 13).
He would offer no defense at His trial (Isaiah 53:7).
His hands and feet would be pierced (Psalm 22: 16).

The chance of all eight being fulfilled in one man is 10 to the 17th power, that is a number followed by 17 zeros.

If just 48 prophecies were to come true in one man that would be 10 to the 157th power. For that to happen it has been compared to finding one designated grain of sand in the Sahara Desert.

By these prophecies Jesus Christ’s biography was written in advance to clearly identify Him as the object of them and thus Immanuel.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1: 1).

The Greek word translated “Word” is “Logos.” To understand the meaning of a word observe how it was used and what it meant at the time of its use. Philosopher Philo, writing at about the same time the Gospel of John was written used “Logos” to mean all that is known or knowable about God. That is Jesus.

The Greek text of John literally means, “Before time began to begin the Word (Jesus) was.” Einstein’s theory of relativity proved time had a beginning. John is saying before time began Jesus was eternal.

Jesus, the Word, was in His very essence God.

He was with God the Father personally.

Paul exhorted ministers “to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Whose Church is it? God’s. How did God get it? He purchased it. With what did God purchase it? His own blood. When did God shed blood? On the cross in the person of Jesus.

Romans 9:5 notes “…Christ came, who is over all, the eternal blessed God.”

We are exhorted in Titus 2: 13 to be “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior.”

Greek grammar requires for two words used together such as “great God and Savior” to refer to one and the same person.

Thus, Jesus is the great God.

One of the most summary passages regarding Jesus’ nature is I Timothy 3:16.

“Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was Manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up into glory.”

A resulting question is what is He to you? Is He a bloodless theory, an abstract theory, a historical figure? Or, is He your Savior?

He becomes such when we accept these facts and trust Him to forgive our sins, be our Savior, and become our Lord? These simultaneous acts result in our salvation.

It is expedient thereafter to find a fellowship of Christians with whom to identify in a church where you can learn and grow in faith and knowledge.

The Trinity is the most enigmatic Christian doctrine. The nature of the Trinity is the signature mystery of life.
One of the residual blessings of heaven will be we will gain an understanding of the Trinity. Until then this mystery will continue to confound and challenge our understanding. The best we can do is to acknowledge it and try to illustrate the doctrine. Not being able to understand the mystery and glory of the Trinity should cause us to marvel over the grandeur and grandiose nature of our God. We should rejoice to know our God is more complex than we. Rather than being perturbed by our lack of understanding we would do well to join Jesus who speaking a spiritual mysteries said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight” (Matthew 11: 25, 26).

Our difficulty in understanding the Trinity arises out of our inability to conceive of the heavenly form of the three. We use the word “person” or “persons” for them and that invites a vison like our human form. Whatever form it is it is different from our own and unknown. In heaven we will know and it will be a reasonable and all glorious form.

At best the Trinity is a mystery.

In Pilgrims Progress a character is asked if in reading the Bible he ever came upon passages he did not understand. He acknowledged he did and when further asked what he did on those occasions. He replied, “I just thank God He knows more than I.”

We must humble ourselves to the same degree in considering the Trinity.
The Tri-unity consists of three entities that can not be combined to make one. They are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit — God.

The three are distinct yet one in essence and will that cannot be divided. The essence, that is the nature of one is the nature of the other, they are each co-divine. The will of one is the will of each of the other two. The singular will cannot be divided. The three are one composite unit. They abide in perfect harmony.

In this use “nature” is what one is, that is their essence, while a “person” is who one is.

God has left traces of His Trinitarian being in nature, therein illustrations abound of one in three.

The smallest unit of matter, the atom, is diverse yet one unit. The word “atom” means “indivisible,” or “that which can’t be divided,” yet it consists of three components: neutron, proton, and electron. Each exists to constitute the atom. The distinct particles of an atom are diverse each having its own purpose and traits attracted to each other and bonded.
Likewise, the members of the Trinity have their own characteristics and roles. They are bonded by undiminished love. Scripture notes “God is love,” not “God loves or” or “God is loving.” His essence is love. To be love means embodying perfect love as its source.

An atom cannot be divided into smaller units and retain the characteristics and traits of the original.
H2O exists as three. As a liquid it is water, as a solid it is ice, and as a gas it is a vapor. Having one nature it exists in three-forms.

Saint Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the trinity. Having three petals it is one shamrock.
Time consists of past, present, and future, yet the three aspects are one thing “time.”
If three match heads are placed together and struck there is one flame yet three matches.
Math hints of three in one: 1 X 1 X 1 = 1.
The three are each three in one and one in three.

During an era when nations worshiped multiple gods what is known as the Hebrew Shema was penned: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Historically Jews have repeated it together in the synagogue. In some areas they repeat the word “one” (echad) over and over in a loud voice as though defying the doctrine of the Trinity. This Scripture does not contradicts the doctrine of the Trinity, it confirms it. The Hebrew word “echad” refers to a compound unit. It reveals a plurality of more than one. It is used instead of another Hebrew word for one, “yacheed” which speaks of a single unit.

Critics of the doctrine of the Trinity say one can never be more than one. In speaking of marriage the word “echad” is used when it is said, “…a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2: 24). Two, husband and wife, become one. The two comprise one unit. If in the human realm two can become one, in the spiritual world three can be one.

Some older uses of the word “echad” help to understand its meaning. Originally it had a dual meaning: “one” and also “alone.” Gradually the word use began to be used as one only. A clearer understanding to the monotheistic use of the text reads: “Only the Lord is God: there is no other God.” This was in part to set Judaism apart from the polytheistic gods of surrounding nations.

The first name used for God in the Bible is Elohim and though grammatically plural it is used as though singular. The plurality of the name is further indicated in Genesis where God is represented as saying, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1: 26).

The Hebrew name for God, Elohim, and the “us” in the text are both plural forms. These plural pronouns reveal the tri-unity, God as one unit.

The word Trinity is not used in Scripture, yet the principle is taught by Scripture. Biblical revelation is the only adequate source to affirm belief in the Trinity. It is not accessible by human reason.

Jesus commissioned His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28: 19).

Observe “name” is singular, yet it refers to three subjects. They constitute a tri-unity, the godhead.

Jesus said to a group of critics, “I and my Father are one” (John 10: 30). Modern critics say Jesus meant they are one in spirit, desire, and purpose. The context reveals this is not what Jesus meant. Persons who claimed to be God were punished by being stoned. The fact the crowd sought to stone Him indicates they knew He meant He and the Father were a unit, one, He was God. This was a general claim and a popular criticism of the time, “Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal to God” (John 5: 18).

Other text join the glossary supporting the tri-unity.

“He [Jesus] whom God [Father] has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the [Holy] Spirit by measure” (John 3: 34).

“To the pilgrims … elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus” (I Peter: 1: 1, 2).

“I [Jesus] will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper [Holy Spirit], that He may abide with your forever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him of knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14: 16, 17).

“But when the fullness of time had come, God [Father] sent forth His Son [Jesus], born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because your are sons, God has sent forth the [Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba, Father!’” (Galatians 4: 4 – 6).

Responding to the question related to whether we will see three entities in heaven Gregory of Ninzus wrote in the fourth century, “When I contemplate the Three together, I see but one luminary, and cannot divide or measure out the undivided light.”

The form of the Triune God is cryptical, confirming there are things beyond human comprehension. The Trinity is ultimately transcendent and incomprehensible.

This mystery remains as a stimulus to our faith.

Will we actually see God the Father in heaven? Will His essence be manifested?

Scripture teaches, “God is a spirit,” meaning His essential being is not “visible.” God “who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power” (I Timothy 6: 16).

Moses and certain Old Testament characters beheld “the form of God.” Though God’s essential deity is invisible there is an outward form in which His invisible majesty has on rare occasion been manifested. The mystery of how He will be manifest in heaven remains beyond our need and capacity to understand.

It is fitting to exodus the study of this topic with this benediction.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen” (II Corinthians 13: 14).

A true Christian seeks:

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
The love of God the Father,
And the communion of the Holy Spirit.
As the three persons of the Trinity are inseparable so these three blessings come as one.