If you’ve only read the title of this article, you may be thinking, “Whoa, haven’t you bitten off a little more than you can chew for a bulletin article?” I’ll grant you that this topic is a pretty broad subject and that whole books have been written on it; but my intention is not to get too deep into the heavy theology, but talk about the fundamental wonders to know and believe of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
He is the known as…
- the Son of God (e.g., Mark 1:1),
- the Word (e.g., John 1:1-3),
- the captain of the LORD’s host (Joshua 5:15,16), • the Messiah or Christ (e.g., Psalm 2:2),
- the Branch (e.g., Jeremiah 23:5),
- the stem and root of Jesse (e.g., Isaiah 11:1,10), • the son of David (e.g., Luke 18:38),
- the Savior (e.g., Luke 2:11)
- and several more
He is, of course, the second person of the Godhead. He is divine, composed of exactly the same “God-stuff” as the Father and the Spirit. The Gospel of John 1:1-3 tells us,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the be- ginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Being part of the Godhead (“and the Word was God”), the Son shares in the perfect and awesome nature of the Godhead: holiness, purity, mercy, justice, love, faithful- ness, grace, wisdom, and more. Along with the Father and the Spirit, He is also all-knowing, almighty, and all- present. And v. 14 tells us that the divine Word became flesh (the theological word is “incarnation”) and was known on earth as Jesus of Nazareth.
Beyond learning about His divinity in John 1, there are also other things that we can learn from this passage. First, He has always existed, He has no beginning and no end. Having no beginning has sometimes been a difficult concept to grasp for human beings, since all that we know in this world has a beginning. However, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not of this material world, including its dimension of time. The rules of our material universe that apply to us (in this case, “everything has a beginning”) does not apply to Him or Them.
Second, we take note that the Son, the Word, is also specifically the Person of the Godhead who created the all the material universe. Not a created being; He is the Creator being. Colossians 1:16 reflects this, “For by Him [Jesus Christ] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.” And the idea of Jesus being known as the Word and being the Creator dovetails nicely with what we read in Genesis 1:3 “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”
Other Scriptures also tell us that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are perfectly united with each other on all things, so that it can be accurately said of Them that They are “one” (e.g., Deuteronomy 6:4 and John 17:22). They are equal with one another (Philippians 2:6), and yet there is a perfect, harmonious order of leadership and submission. The Father seems to take the role of Planner, the Son takes the role of Executor of the plan, and the Spirit seems to take the role of Organizer of what has been done. Thus, the Son is subject to the Father (e.g., John 8:28), and the Spirit is subject to the Son (e.g., John 15:26).
And although He became flesh (a man) and lived among us, He has also appeared in Old Testament stories on occasion. He was, for example, among the three “angels of the LORD” who visited Abraham (Genesis 18:1ff; He was the captain of the LORD’s hosts who spoke with Joshua (Joshua 5:15,16), He was in some sense in Israel’s camp (1 Cor. 10:4); and several other appearances (theophanies).
So what? Jesus is no mere man. When men stood before Him, they stood before almighty deity—their Creator, Judge, Sustainer, Savior, and Only Way. When He speaks, it is more than an opinion, more than an option, and more than suggestion; it’s an authoritative command. Though He is kind and generous, He is also the full-natured God of justice and judgment. When we call His name, we do well to do so with respect—and kneeling wouldn’t be over the top at all (Philippians 2:9-11). And when we think of His cross, we should be thinking of the terrible, terrible price that was paid to rescue our souls from Hell.