Who is Jesus?
I started a bible study last week and it’s about Jesus. The Gospel of John starts with a bang. Is he describing the Big Bang or is he talking about something completely different? Did every star, planet and living thing come from a violent explosion? Well, possibly. God spoke a word. Did God yell it, could be. It was a powerful Word.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light.” Genesis 1:3
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made;” John 1:1–3
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14
Many people are somewhat familiar with the first two quotes from Genesis. We are comfortable with the statement that God created all things. How and when He did that is debateable, but many agree on the basic notion of creation. Reading through the first part of the Gospel of John and I wonder if the same people who agree with creationism know that it was Jesus who was the creator? Right? I bet that’s a surprise.
“ The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” Hebrews 1:3
I remember when I had my first ah-ha about Jesus. I was wondering what he was all about and why did he come in the first place? Who is he really? What did he and God have in common. The bit from Hebrews was the verse that really helped me begin to understand. It gave me a lens to look through. OK, Jesus is the exact representation of God. The invisible God became visible. WOW! That’s cool. Jesus isn’t even scary or mean or mad. Yay! I think I could like this Jesus.
So far so good, I like Jesus. Most people like Jesus. He is nice. The humble bearded guy who wears a toga and Birkenstock sandals. Yeah, we like that guy. He said a lot of cool things and healed some people. His miracles were awesome! He seems to like the poor and sick. He hung out with the down and out. He even treated women with respect and dignity. What a guy!
Am I a little too tongue in cheek? Maybe. Is this how we think about Jesus? I think it is. So where do all those other scriptures fit in? How can we elevate our idea about Jesus? Is he more than a cool hippy guy that did good things? I believe He is so much more. This is where it gets sticky. This is when it becomes challenging.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and through him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15–17
OK, that’s a lot to claim. This is what got Jesus in trouble. The religious leaders hated this. They could not accept it. They wouldn’t. I can?
First off, did Jesus exist in the beginning? Secondly, is Jesus powerful enough to create all things? Whoa, maybe there is more going on than first appears. Do these ideas challenge your image of Jesus? Let them sink in a bit and see.
The rule I use to help me understand God’s ways is to ask myself, is this completely opposite to how a human would set things up? I see so much of that in Jesus’ story. I can’t wait to learn more about Him.