Summary: This is the greatest question that can be asked of every man. The answer will determine our eternal destiny.
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Pastor James May
WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?
John 4:39-42, "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."
Both history and the Bible record the fact that a man named Jesus actually walked upon the earth. What we believe about this man named Jesus and why we believe what we do concerning him will make the difference in determining our eternal destination.
Most people and religions around the world are somewhat confused about just who Jesus was. Some confess that he existed in times past and was a great prophet, a man of peace, and a great teacher. Others say that he was a high priest. Still others say that he was the reincarnation of one of the Old Testament Prophets.
In Matthew 16:13-15, Jesus had the same question for his disciples that I have presented to you this morning, “…When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am?"
I believe that every man must face this question. Some people are blessed to have Jesus come to them time and again in an attempt to reveal himself to them. Sad to say that many don’t have so many chances to meet Christ.
There are millions who have never heard the name of Jesus and yet there is a hunger, an emptiness, in the heart of all men that search for the truth of what some call a “higher power” or “the man upstairs” or “ the supreme intelligence” or “the cosmic force”.
Mankind comes up with a lot of names for God. Some give him these generic titles out of ignorance while many do so because they don’t want to believe in the true God and confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
I want to say right now that no generic title purchased my salvation on the cross. The “man upstairs” is more than just a man. The “supreme intelligence” is far more than just a source of knowledge and understanding. The “cosmic force” is far greater than the cosmos. He is God. He is Jesus. And he is my Lord and Savior. Jesus died for me and for you and there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we can be saved. It is who Jesus is to you and what he is to you that will matter in the end.
In the 4th chapter of the Book of John we find the story of the “Woman at the Well”. It is Jesus’ encounter with an adulterous woman from Samaria. Being from Samaria was bad enough in the eyes of the Jews for these Samaritans were considered as little more than dogs.
Just who were the Samaritans? The name Samaritans was given to the group of mixed people, who the king of Assyria had brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities in the area called Samaria. These strangers intermarried with the Jews still remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old idolatry and partly adopted the Jewish religion.
After the return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to allow those of Samaria to take part in rebuilding the temple, and because of this prejudice, open hatred sprang up between them. The Samaritans then erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was destroyed by a Jewish king in 130 B.C. They then built another at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans continued in the time of Jesus and thus the Jews had “no dealings with the Samaritans”.