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Joe Average Christian Blog– a blog dedicated to the average Christian and unbelievers who might be new to the Word of God and want to understand hard topics. This blog will give easy explanations without deep theological rhetoric and terminology.
Is Jesus of Nazareth, God? Really?
Many groups today debate, deny, and argue over who Jesus of Nazareth really was. Even Jesus asked his disciples “Whom do men say that I am? (Mark 8:27) This question was already being debated while Jesus was still living here on earth. Who was this man? He only had a ministry for 3 years. It was then, and still is now, the center of many heated debates. So what does the Bible say about Jesus of Nazareth?
So in this 4 part series, I will tackle this subject, as simply as I can, so all can grasp and defend what the Bible, the Word of God says about Jesus of Nazareth.
My own personal struggle with this question
When I was in floor refinishing, I went to work with a company who let me know that they were with a certain church that does not believe that Jesus was God. After spending some months with them, I found them to be wonderful people, loving and caring. They gave me pamphlets and told me about themselves and also invited me to their church. I was a relatively new Christian. It did not take long before I became very confused over this subject. I did not know enough of the Bible to check it out for myself. So one night at home I struggled all night over this question. I could not sleep! Who was right? I could not get this question out of my mind: WHO WAS JESUS? WHO WAS RIGHT? WAS JESUS REALLY GOD IN THE FLESH? DID GOD BECOME A MAN, OR WAS HE JUST AN ANGEL OF GOD, OR JUST A MAN?
God gave me the answer that night as I struggled and prayed.
What is in a name?
That night, God showed me this verse:
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, 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;20b-21)
This was Joseph’s dream from God in which an angel told him about Mary pregnancy and what to do. Until this dream, Joseph did not believe Mary. Her story was so far fetched. Joseph was going to divorce Mary secretly. Who could believe such a story that this young girl got pregnant and then claimed the father of the baby was Jehovah God!
God stepped in and clearly straightened Joseph out, and gave him some instruction for this baby boy. His name: Jesus. His purpose: “He will save His people from their sins.”
He will fulfill the prophesy concerning himself, in the Old Testament of the Bible:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14)
Right here we could end this article. God did it with me that night. Reading just this passage alone was ALL the evidence I needed to know who Jesus of Nazareth really was.
Lets take a look; His name is Jesus, the Savior of the World. He is also call Immanuel, the bible gives you the literal meaning of this name: God with us!
Not God resides in or God was with him. No, God with us.
I am a Christian, which means when I received Jesus as my Savior, forgiving all my sins, I became the temple of God, and God´s Spirit “resides in me”.
In no way does this mean I am God. Yes, I carry around the Spirit of God, but it does not mean I am God, Yahweh. Are you following me? Now Jesus was different, he was “God with us”, Emmanuel.
Let us look at another Old Testament prophesy of Jesus. Does it say the same thing?
A child is born, unto us a son is given (Jesus): and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God,The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (I added Jesus’ name to the text.)
Looking at this verse again do you see his titles? Wonderful, Counselor and Mighty God, Everlasting Father. Now you see here, and you will continue to see though out the bible; Jesus and God, the Father (Yahweh) being used with each other, interchangeably. You can see in this verse it begins with baby Jesus and then mixes in with the Father. Other times you see the name Jesus, and he will be called the “Son of God”, “Son of man”. Other times he will refer to God as His father. It can be confusing at times. But as we study this, never let us forget what His names are, who he says he is, what signs and wonders He performs, how people react to His miracles, and who others say He is.
Let us look at some more verses before we quit this section. What does the New Testament writer John say about Jesus? In John’s gospel, he opens up with something totally different from the other Gospels; not with the birth of Jesus, but something much further back and deeper then the other gospel writer:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
John makes it clear, that in the beginning was the Word (Jesus). And John makes it clear that Jesus or the Word Was GOD! And verse 3 of the Gospel of John says of the Word (Jesus),
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
This now is referring back to creation. It says the Word, Jesus, created all things in creation. Now let’s go way back to Genesis 1:1:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
John starts his gospel with the same opening address as in Genesis 1:1: In the beginning… To let you know that this Jesus, “the Word”, is the same person, Yahweh, God who was from the beginning of all eternity and who created all things.
In two other verses about John the Baptist, from the Isaiah 40:3 prophesy and Matthew 3:3:
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
In Matthew 3:3 it states the same verse
For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.”
The only difference is at the end of Isaiah it says for WHOM he is making the path straight: For our God. In Matthew, we know he was talking about Jesus, in Isaiah it tells you who Jesus, this man really was: “Our God”.
I hope this blog has helped you see some things more clearly. It is not an in-depth study, but I hope it is enough to make you open your own bibles and study for the answers. So many sit back and whatever the pastor or leaders say is what they believe. Open up your word and see what the Bible says for yourself. Remember! Believe what you read and do not read only what you believe.
I will continue this study next Monday with, “What did Jesus say about himself”?