Who Is Jesus Christ?
At the heart of Christianity is a central question, "Just who is Jesus Christ?" It may be astounding to some that such a question is still relevant after nearly two millennia of Christian activity, but as strange as it may seem, even Christians do not agree about the nature of the Founder of their religion. This fact says a great deal about those who profess to be "Christian," which at its most basic means "follower of Christ." If Christians display such profound disagreement about Jesus Christ Himself, can they all really be following the same Person?
This subject becomes all the more important since, in its most common form, Christianity is proclaimed as a message about Jesus. What a person believes about Jesus, then, informs his understanding of the religion itself. We can see the result of this process in the thousands of Christian denominations in all parts of the world. While they all proclaim to be Christian, the individual sects emphasize different aspects of Jesus in their teaching. For instance:
Most denominations can be characterized—some would say caricatured—by identifying their concepts of Jesus Himself. He is Christianity's central figure, so how one views Christ determines what one believes and the religion he follows.
This confusion about Him actually began during His own life—even among those who had known Him all His life:
It seems that there was general disagreement in Judea over just who He was:
Of course, His enemies had questions about Him too:
However, Matthew 16:15-17 provides us with the best starting point, confirmed by Christ Himself, in answering the question, "Who is Jesus?"
The God-revealed answer is that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the literal Son of the Supreme Being of all the universe. Of course, He is a great deal more than this, but these two facts are the most foundational to our spiritual understanding of this wonderful Being. They give us the basis of His relationship to us and our future, as well as His relationship to Deity, fixing Him as the bridge between man and God. From this foundation, we can begin a deeper consideration of the biblical Jesus.