Summary: Who does the culture say He is and who does He says He is?
Who is Jesus?
Today we are starting a series reviewing the basics of what we know about Jesus Christ. We will be looking at several scriptures to come up with the documentation to answer today’s question. However, before we start our quest through scripture let’s define some general things about the person of Jesus Christ.
His name is derived from the Old Testament name Joshua, which means, “"Yahweh is Salvation," "Yahweh delivers," or "Yahweh rescues." The title Christ means “anointed one” Original Jewish meaning was "Messiah"—"one [who is] anointed" or appointed by God with a unique and special purpose (mission) on Earth.
He is the most famous person in all of history. Although I doubt that if we were walking the earth today that he would be the most photographed. No where in the NT is there a description, no one speaks of his striking appearance. OR comments on any kind of special characteristic. Isaiah 53:2 makes a prediction about the messiah, “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
He is said to have grownup in a semi- Jewish community on the fringe of Israel. His whole life was lived as a subject under roman occupation. His community might not have been so different from the Lindale - Silver Creek area where the people just get by. Most people settled for a roof over their heads and regular meals. The people were mostly working poor. We believe that he learned the carpentry trade and worked with is earthly father.
From what we read in the Bible, we can calculate that Jesus probably never traveled farther than 200 miles from Nazareth in his adult years. Once he started his ministry he lived as a traveling teacher dependant on the hospitality of others to survive.
History isn’t made to record the life of a person that meet the conditions of Jesus and his family. Millions of people of Jesus’ day lived and died in obscurity. Thousands of rabbis taught and disciple with no record of the lives touched and comforts given. The people of the day had no pretention in changing classes (from poor to rich) to be a member of the haves, or becoming royalty.
When we consider that Jesus was as far as we know just an average person in an average family it would seem hard to believe that His life is remembered or noticed at all.
And yet, there are more songs sung about and to him, artwork sketched, carved and painted of him and books written about him than anyone that has ever lived.
For two thousand years He has been simultaneously the most loved and hated person in this world.
How did a country preacher end up with so much attention?
He never wrote a book. He never held an elected office. He never advertised on the radio or internet or on a bill board. And yet, no world leader or powerful person has changed human history to the degree of this 33 year old homeless man named Jesus.
In our scripture this morning He asks his disciples "What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets."
They answered with historical religious figures of the day.
To start our thinking on this subject I though we should answer that question in our time.
Jesus is discussed in the media on an ongoing basis so I thought that would be a good place to start.
Since we are a TV culture, I looked for TV shows related to Jesus. There were so many That I decided to share the titles of only a few of them:
Discovery channel -
Jesus the complete story,
The Jesus Family tomb,
Lost tomb of Jesus,
James the brother of Jesus,
Who was Jesus?
Jesus the Missing history
Banned from the Bible
The Trial of Jesus
PBS – Frontline – From Jesus to Christ – the rise of Christianity,
Dateline NBC: Book - The Jesus Papers – Explains that Jesus survived the crucifixion.
The search for Jesus,
The Birth of Jesus
The Last Days of Jesus
Jesus has made guest appearances on The Simpsons,
South Park – where he has powers, great carpentry skills and fights villains.
Then there are hundreds of movies about Jesus: which started at the beginning of silent films and still are made even today.
Most recently the Passion of Christ and the Da Vinci Code.
There is also a Canadian kung-fu horror comedy called Jesus Christ Vampire slayer.
Every TV show and movie have their own methods to telling the story of Jesus. Most of them seek to tear down the image because of the lack of information that history has recorded about Jesus.