Summary: During Jesus’ earthly ministry there were diverse opinions and confusion regarding His nature and character.
During Jesus’ earthly ministry there were diverse opinions and confusion regarding His nature and character. Down through the ages the opinions and confusion has increased. When Jesus asked the disciples “who do people say that the Son of Man is” they told Him, some say John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets. In this answer we see how the doctrine of reincarnation had made its way into the religious doctrines of Israel. Today there are religious groups who try to fit Jesus into their belief systems and traditions. The gospels accounts of His life are referred to when they fit into their belief systems and traditions. If they don’t fit they are labeled myths. Muslims claim Jesus is one of Allah’s prophets, since Allah has no sons. New Agers claim He was a teacher of New Age doctrines. Westerners involved in Hinduism claim He was a guru, an enlightened being. In the doctrines of Christendom there are many doctrines of the nature and character of Jesus. Artists picture Jesus as a very stern looking man, glaring at the sinners. You don’t see love and compassion. These images help spread the idea Jesus is unapproachable and we can only come to Him through another source.
On the other side of the coin there is the candy coated sermons that picture a Jesus so loving and compassionate He wouldn’t judge anyone. He would never say anything harsh to anyone. His only purpose is to comfort those who suffering the effects of the evil, wickedness, and violence in the world.
Liberal scholars, knowingly or unknowingly, have worked overtime to cast doubt on most of the gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus. Conservative evangelicals preach and teach a biblical account of the life and ministry, but go on to explain how He no longer requires what He required in the accounts of His earthly ministry and He no longer responds to people as He did when He walked among mankind.
It is clearly expressed in the Bible Jesus Christ is the same today and forever as He was yesterday. The way He reveals Himself today may be different than He did when He was physically on this earth, but who He is and what He does for people has not changed. The only thing which He no longer needs to do is to die for our sins and rise again. This happened just once and it happened “once and for all.”
No one is more pleased than the devil when people fail to see who Jesus is. He has worked overtime in the religions of the world and through political systems, as he is doing in the United States today, to deceive men and women regarding the true nature, character, and purpose of Jesus Christ. He is working through his servants to undermine the true nature, character, and purpose of Jesus Christ and His church in these last days.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the writers of the gospels gave us an accurate, up-to-date picture of Jesus Christ. Only in the Book of Revelation do we find a more complete picture of the resurrected Christ who has conquered death and rules and reigns with the Father. In the gospels the attitude of Jesus toward people, sin, sickness, demons, and death is revealed. In the gospels His authority is revealed.
We can ignore what the gospels have to say to us about who Jesus is, but we can’t avoid the consequences for ignoring what the gospels reveal about who Jesus is and what He requires from us.
When Jesus asked the disciples, “who do people say that the Son of Man is” they answered, “some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” Jesus asked the most important question, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven." Jesus told Peter you are right.
When you consider this and all the other things Jesus claimed for himself, you cannot consider him as a mere good man, or religious teacher, such as some claim. No, a man in his right mind would claim to be the Son of God. If he would make such a claim He must be must either be an imposter, or he really is the Son of God.
Unlike other religious teachers, Jesus backed up his claims with miracles of compassion and healing - far belong anything that was done before or since. But the most amazing piece of evidence was that Jesus truthfully predicted His own death at the hands of sinners, and His resurrection on the third day. This death and resurrection of Christ was prophesied in passages like Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 and Psalm 16. Besides these predictions dealing with the Messiah there were others that were fulfilled by Jesus and will be fulfilled by Him when He takes His place on the throne of David.