The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ
born as a baby in Bethlehem
For those of us who love the Lord and think of the incarnation, when God became a man, there is a need for us to realise afresh who it was that was born as a baby in Bethlehem, lived on this earth for a period of about 33 years, was cruelly crucified, and with the Bible clearly teaching of His resurrection three days later.
To many in the world today Jesus is thought of just as a good man. During His life His teaching was rejected by the Jewish leaders, because they could not accept the claims He made for Himself.
In Acts 10 verses 34 to 43, there is a summary of His life on earth. The Apostle Peter had been told in a vision to visit Cornelius, a centurion in the Roman Army. Peter instructed those present who the Lord Jesus really was, he stated that ‘He is LORD OF ALL….God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about DOING GOOD AND HEALING all who were oppressed with the devil, for GOD WAS WITH HIM...” The Jews killed Him by hanging Him on a tree. God raised Him up on the third day and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before God (1 Corinthians 15:6 mentions 500 together). “...He was ordained by God to be JUDGE OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD”.
Let us consider these amazing statements, for they indicate that Jesus was no ordinary man. We are told that He grew up in Israel, with little being said about His boyhood. He was open to inspection like you and I. He lived and moved among people. He mixed with what many might call the fringe of society, those despised by the religious leaders of the day (Matthew 9:11 and Luke 15:1-2). He impressed the people with His gracious words (Luke 4:22). He promised rest to those who were weary (Matthew 11:28-30). He healed the sick (Matthew 9:1-8). He raised the dead. Lazarus had been in the tomb for three days when Jesus said “Lazarus come forth”, for He had already told Martha “I Am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:38-44).
Have you personally, ever considered the claims that Jesus made about Himself. They are staggering. Our text says that “God ordained His Son to be JUDGE OF THE LIVING AND THE DEAD.” This is confirmed by what our Lord Jesus said of Himself: “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, and He will separate them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthews 25:31-32).
The Apostle John records words said by the saviour: “The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live…do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice, and come forth: those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:25-30). Our Lord four times says to those listening that He is the ONE who will raise up those who believe at the last day (John 6).
Another aspect to consider concerning the Lord Jesus is the AUTHORITY with which He spoke, see Matthew 7:29. The prophets in the Old Testament when speaking on behalf of the Lord God used the expression: ‘Thus says the Lord’, but when Jesus spoke in what is called the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ we have the phrase ‘BUT I SAY TO YOU’ denoting His authority. He claimed to be LORD of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8), He forgave sins (Matthew 9:5-6): “The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”, which the Jewish leaders knew as the prerogative of God alone. When speaking to the Jews He said “you search the Scriptures (referring to the Old Testament), for in them you think you have eternal life; these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). Again Jesus said “I and my Father are one” (John 10:39). He claimed pre-existence (John 8:58): ‘before Abraham was, I AM”. The evidence in Scripture goes on. The Jesus of the Bible is a supernatural PERSON: BEING TRULY GOD: LORD OF ALL.
The Apostle Paul when writing to the Church at Philippi, reminded his readers that the time will come when every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father. Dear reader how do you think of the ONE who was born as a baby in Bethlehem? Are your thoughts limited to this aspect of His life or have you like so many in this world come to realise the greatness and the uniqueness of this Person who is none other than the Living Eternal God? Do you know Him? Do you love Him? His desire is that you may seek after Him in order that you may come to know Him and then come to love Him as your Lord and Saviour.
The Bible is full of warnings about rejecting the Lord Jesus. John 3 verses 16 to 18 sums it all up. To quote part of these verses, “he who believes in Him (the Lord Jesus) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the only begotten Son of God.”
R. John Wheeler.