Summary: Many people have different perspectives on "who Jesus is," and so the real question is "who is Jesus." and thats something you need to find out for yourself through your spiritual journey
Breaking Boundaries 3: Who is Jesus Really?
Luke 7:18-35 Feb 1, 2009
Who is Jesus?
H.G. Wells, British author, said, "I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history."
Mahatma Gandhi said, "I cannot say that Jesus was uniquely divine. He was as much God as Krishna, or Rama, or Mohammed, or Zoroaster."
Martin Buber, Jewish philosopher: "From my youth onwards I have found in Jesus my great brother."
Another Jew, Albert Einstein, said: "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene....No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."
Prince Phillip: "He might be described as an underprivileged, working-class victim of political and religious persecution."
Mikhail Gorbachev said, "Jesus was the first socialist, the first to seek a better life for mankind."
Martin Luther King Jr: "Jesus Christ was an extremist for love, truth and goodness."
C.S. Lewis: "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
More relevant, perhaps, and certainly more applicable to you and I, is not what a bunch of other people think about who Jesus is, but what you and I think about who Jesus is. That becomes a more critical question.
Background to Luke 7:18-35
And it is the precise question being addressed in the passage of Scripture we are going to look at today – Jesus – who is He really? It is in Luke 7:18-35, but before I read it I need to give you a little background so it will make sense. It is a story about two men who were disciples of John the Baptist, who were sent by him to Jesus to try to figure out this issue of who Jesus really is. So who was this John guy, and why did he want to know?
At this point in time, John was the most important person on the religious scene. He was known throughout the whole country, and the subject of more than a little controversy. The general population believed he was a great prophet, and many of them had gone out to the desert, where John lived a very plain, simply, rough life, to hear him teach, and many had believed John’s message and been baptized. John said they must turn away from their sins, and be baptized in water, as a symbol of re-entry into the people of God, part of the same process that any non-Israelite would need to go through in able to become a Jew. While many of the common people had believed John and been baptized, the religious leaders had rejected the message, largely because they did not believe that they were in the wrong and needed to repent. Jesus himself had gone to hear John, and was baptized by him in the Jordan river, and at that point in time John had recognized Jesus as the Messiah. The simple reason that John sent messengers rather than going himself is that by this time, John had been thrown in prison by Herod. That’s probably enough background to jump into the text:
18 The disciples of John the Baptist told John about everything Jesus was doing. So John called for two of his disciples, 19 and he sent them to the Lord to ask him, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
20 John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’”
21 At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind. 22 Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. 23 And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’”