And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27 (ESV)
The world has a very small view of Jesus. To some, He is nothing more than a name bandied about in slang or cursing. To others, He is slightly more elevated, being at least a good teacher and moral man. Jesus yet looms larger in the view of some, elevated to the status of perfect Son of God who was born into the world, died on a cross and, perhaps, even rose from the grave.
But each of these views, even the last, falls short of who Jesus really is. The latter is the closest, of course, and yet even it does not catch the fullness of who the Scripture teaches Jesus to be. Jesus is the greatest name of all, the name above every name, the only name whereby a person can be redeemed from their sin. He is the greatest teacher and a sinless man. Beyond this, He is the Son of God who considers equality with God not something to be grasped (Philippians 2:6), but something He already is–100% fully eternal God, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
While Jesus was born into humanity on this world in a Bethlehem stable, He was the present actor of creation itself. Not only was Jesus the One by whom, through whom, and for whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16), His eternal nature stretches antecedently to infinity past. He is without end, without beginning, because He is fully God–always has been, always will be. He was active in the world of mankind long before His incarnation, with one of the most notable examples being His appearance in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego (Daniel 3:25). Jesus did not begin His ministry at approximately the age of 30–He had been at work far beyond any history man could comprehend.
While the world wrestles with various ideologies about the identity and nature of Jesus, we who are His followers know of Him, through the Scriptures, because we are known by Him. His sacrifice paid the insurmountable debt of our terrible sin. His grace welcomes us into relationship with Him, enabling us to be joint heirs with Him in all things. His Spirit equips and empowers us to live as He has called us, joyfully surrendered in service to our great King. His intercession on our behalf at the right hand of the Father blesses us in ways we may not grasp this side of eternity. His sure and certain faithfulness brings us home.
With a Jesus of this size, this scope, this substance, how can we who call ourselves by His name ever falter? We stumble and sink when we, like Peter, take our eyes from the Savior (Matthew 14:30). When we lean fully upon Him, however, we find that He not only calms the storms, but removes our bonds in the furnace of adversity. We must simply stand firm in and upon the Jesus who is greater than the minds of men.
Father, we are so grateful for Your kindness and mercy toward us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us, taking the full penalty of sin upon Himself. We know that it is only through His sacrifice that we find freedom. Help us not to settle for a small version of our great Savior, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Jesus is our hope, our strength, our all. Give us what we need that we may boldly walk and serve in freedom that comes through Him. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Dr. Marcus Buckley
Ministry Director, Christian Union Vita at Cornell University
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