This seems to be the question of our day? But really, it has been the question that has resonated through the centuries for the last 2,000 years. In fact, it was Jesus Himself who first posed the question.
He asked Peter as they stood at Caesarea Philippi, “Who do people say that I am?” (Matthew 16:13-20, Mark 8:27-29, Luke 9:18-20) There were varying answers even back then.
Some said He was a prophet. Some said he was a good teacher. Some even said He was one of the old prophets who had come back to life. But Peter, who seemed to know Him best, answered that “He was the living Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus affirmed his answer.
This same question resonates as loudly today as it did 2,000 years ago, and people still give an array of answers.
People of the new age answer that Jesus is one of the great mediums and the way to the “Christ consciousness.”
Many humanists point to Jesus as a great teacher. They like his many of his teachings and values. They, of course, see him as a man – one who died like all the rest.
Some see him as a sweet, meek guy who basically taught others to be nice.
Many religious people see Him as one of the ultimate spiritual guides, up there with Gandhi, Buddha, or Mohammed.
Skeptics may see Him as a well-intended, but greatly misguided man who thought He was the Messiah, but boarded on being deranged or insane. And because they don’t see any tangible proof of this, they feel He was only fooling Himself.
And then there are the hard-core atheists who see Him only as an evil deceiver, who has served humanity in no good way.
But there is at least one other view worth noting – and that is the one that Peter gives us and the bible confirms. This is the view that Jesus really was and is who He claimed to be – the Son of God.
This view claims that Jesus was equal with God. This view says He really healed people physically, emotionally and spiritually, that He had the power to forgive sin; and that He died for the sins of the world, and then rose three days later as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all that is!
What did Jesus claim about Himself? What He claims are found in the four Gospels and if they are true, then what you have is the ultimate power of the universe. In other words, when you come face to face with Christ, you come face to face with the God of all of creation!
Here is what He has said about Himself:
He called those who followed Him to pray in His name and place their faith in Him (John 16:23, 14:1)
Those who followed Him the closest, worshiped Him (Matthew 14:33, John 20:28)
Jesus forgave sins – something only Yahweh could do (Mark 2:10)
Jesus talks about his relationship with Yahweh as a very intimate one [as someone who knew Him personally in a way no one else ever had] (Mark 14:36)
Jesus describes Himself as the only connecting point to the true and living God, Yahweh (John 14:6-7)
Jesus will see that the Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who need Him (John 14:15-17)
Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the One who will usher in the final judgment and bring the curtain down on history as we know it (Revelation 1:8, Matthew 25:31-46)
Jesus claims that our response to Him and whether we choose to live trusting Him or not determines our eternal destiny (Luke 12:8-9, John 3:16-18)
There are many views and opinions about the Jesus found in the Gospels. What can we know for sure about Him? We can know this much. History proves that a man named Jesus lived about the time the Gospels state He did. The Gospel accounts are clear about who He was from their perspective. In fact John tells us He did so much more than could ever be recorded. He says the whole world would not be big enough to store all of the accounts and activities of His life.
The Gospels are clear that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Yahweh. The only real options we have are what the people who walked with Jesus had -–to either believe He was the Son of God and live our lives accordingly, or to reject Him as something less than what they portray. But that is your decision. And according to the Gospels that decision alone determines both your life on this earth and for all of eternity.
So, if this is the case, you will want to consider very carefully who Jesus was and who the Gospels say He still is!