If a Gallup poll was conducted by asking the public the question,
"Who do you think Jesus Christ is?", we would get a
wide range of answers. Some would say Jesus was an ancient philosopher.
Others, that He was a powerful religious leader or an influential
social reformer. A few might even deny that He ever existed. The
Lord conducted His own poll by asking his followers, "Who
does the public say that I am" (Luke 9:18)? Not surprisingly,
Jesus got a wide range of answers. But Jesus was most interested
in what His followers thought so He next asked, "But who
do you say that I am?" So we begin this lesson by asking
you the reader,"Who do you think Jesus is"?
Jesus (God the son) has existed from eternity with God the Father,
and God the Holy Spirit. John 1:1,14 says, "In the beginning
was the Word (Jesus) and the Word was with God and the Word was
God. He was in the beginning with God...and the Word became flesh,
and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory." Jesus made
reference to his pre-earth existence, "Father, glorify Me
with the glory I had with thee before the world was" (John
17:5). Right now Jesus is in heaven with the Father just as He
was before creation.
No scripture gives us a clearer picture of who Jesus is than Phil
2:6, "Although Jesus existed in the form of God, he did not
regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself,
taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness
of men. And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled
himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death
on a cross. Therefore, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on
Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow."
We are most familiar with the earth life of Jesus and how He was
born into this world from heaven through the virgin Mary. Yet,
even when Jesus walked the earth in a human body, He was fully
divine, "For in Christ all the fullness of deity dwells in
bodily form" (Col 2:9). God bore witness to the fact Jesus
was divine by raising Him from the dead, "Jesus was declared
the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead"
Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I command" (Lk 6:46)? For Christ to be the Lord of our life, we must obey his commandments and imitate His conduct. Jesus said in Mt 7:13, "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." He then said, "Not everyone who calls me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father" (Mt 7:21). Jesus is saying that in order to be saved, it takes more than calling oneself a "Christian". Jesus demands obedience! Anyone can merely claim to be a Christian. "Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves" (James 1:22). "If you love me keep my commandments" (John 14:15).