Who is this man Jesus?
Roy Blizzard III © 2014
Matthew 16:15, “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”
Around the world every day believers gather to worship Jesus, in Churches, homes, businesses, under trees, in tents, in cities and in the country; all manner of people, all worshipping a person called Jesus. But who is this person that all these people give homage to and give their lives towards what he supposedly teaches? Where did he come from and where did he go? Why is it that it is important to know the truth about Jesus?
What and who do you see when you think of Jesus? When you see Jesus in your mind’s eye, what do you see? Do you see a Judge, a King, a Shepherd, a Teacher? Who is it that you imagine Jesus to be and why is this important? This is a fundamental Truth that we need to understand, what you believe Jesus to be in your mind is the Jesus that you will show to others in what you do and what you say.
Think about this, do you exhibit the love of Jesus of the judgment of Jesus? Do you exhibit the Spiritual Nature of Jesus or the Fleshly Aspects of Jesus? Do you exhibit Jesus as you desire him to be or as he really is? I propose to you today that if we do not have the right Jesus in our minds, we will not bring the lost into Jesus’ Kingdom, we will only bring people into a state of confusion, depression, bondage and death.
You are probably right now asking yourself, “Why is this?” The answer is because the true nature of Jesus will not flow through us but only a “reasonable facsimile”, one that we have created in our own minds and that we control. This is kind of like the old TV show, The Outer Limits, where they say, “We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical.” In other words, we become God and we control the nature and existence of Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to do this. I don’t want a reasonable facsimile of Jesus, I want the real deal, the real Jesus to live in my life. Don’t you?
Well then, let’s go back in time to about the end of the 1st century B.C. when a small child was born. This baby was born probably about 6-4 B.C. in a small cave in Bethlehem, a town in the family region of Benjamin, south of Jerusalem. This baby was born to a Jewish family who had come to the area because of a census ordered by the Romans so they could levy a tax upon them. His family had ties directly to the Temple priests and as Jesus grew he studies Jewish writings, both the Torah – the Old Testament and much of the Oral Law which is called now the Talmud.
Jesus, as he got even older, became skilled in a trade as most Jewish sons did and as he approached the age of 17 Jesus would have had all of the Old Testament memorized as well as all of the Oral Laws – both the Halachic – legal rulings and the Aggadaic – or traditions of the Jews. These rulings and commentaries are enormous and they covered all aspects of Jewish life from birth to marriage to divorce to death. Do you remember when Jesus was at the Temple at age of twelve and the New Testament relates to us the Jesus supposedly confounds the Jewish scholars? Well, Jesus didn’t necessarily know more than them, but it was that he was so scholarly at his age that they were amazed at his grasp of knowledge. Here was a young boy who had allowed the Word of God – the Jewish writings, to dwell deep within his very being.
From the age of twelve to the age of thirty we don’t read much about what Jesus was doing, because to the Jews, it wasn’t important for us to know. You know why? Because until the age of 30, a Jewish man was not thought to be mature and capable of leading in a powerful and scholarly way, therefore if he had tried to do miracles and such before this age Jesus would not have been deemed following Jewish beliefs and would have instantly been considered a fraud. Of course, if you study about Judaism, you have an idea of what Jesus was doing as far as his schooling and duties within Judaism and one of the things that we know he was doing was he was learning from several differing Jewish groups and what these groups taught came through in what he taught us.
Do you remember that Jesus was always harping on the Pharisees? You remember he said to do what they say but not what they do? Ok, here we see that Jesus affiliated himself with the teachings of the Pharisees not the Sadducees but he recognized that there was hypocrisy with the leadership of the Pharisees and he didn’t want us to be hypocrites, people who say one thing and do another. Now remember, I told you before that there were seven classes of Pharisees in Jewish teachings, 2 were righteous and five were hypocrites. Jesus was speaking against hypocrisy not Pharisees.
Do you remember when the little children came to Jesus and he had to tell the disciples to not forbid these children from coming to him? This was what happened when Jews who were considered a part of a group called the Hasids were so pious that other men were afraid to come into their presence to ask them questions for fear that they were not righteous enough to stand before one who is like God. The children, who were studying the laws of purity, were deemed not subject to God’s judgment. So we know that many Jews considered Jesus to be a part of this group.
Jesus tells us many things from the Jewish schools of rabbinical teaching of two men called Hillel and Shammai. Hillel believed in making disciples and converting others to the faith but was very liberal in matters in Marriage and Divorce. Shammai was very conservative in matters of divorce and remarriage but did not want to make any proselytes. So when we study Jesus, we have to be familiar with several schools of teaching within Judaism to know where Jesus got his teachings that he in turn passed on to us.
So, we have a Jewish family, who gives birth to a Jewish baby, who goes to Jewish schools and learns very typical Jewish teachings, who lives in a Jewish society within the most fervently religious area of Israel in the 1st century, the Galilee, and he does everything in the most Jewish manner, even until his death, burial, and resurrection, but yet somehow today the church by and large thinks of Jesus as the first Christian. They think he taught Greek theology and spoke Greek to his followers, looked like a Spaniard from the Middle Ages and observed orthodox Christian rites within a Church setting. Many believe that Jesus didn’t preach anything from Judaism and everything that he taught was against the Jews and their rigorous observance of the Law. In fact, many Christians actually believe that Jesus came to do away with the Old Testament or The Law and everything he instituted was somehow new and improved over Judaism.
In other words, many people who profess a belief in Jesus actually believe in a stranger, someone who was not, but yet has been created in our own minds. And not just that, but this image is what we use to build our theology on. So my question to you today is, “What picture of Jesus have you based your theology on?”
Have you built your personal theology on the Real Jesus or the reasonable facsimile Jesus? Is your Jesus a created product of the 3rd, 4th or 5th century Roman Church? Is he the imagined product of the Protestant Reformation or even the Enlightenment Period of the 18th century or is your Jesus the Real Deal, the Jewish Rabbi who came to teach us, to love us, and to bring us back into a covenant with God?
You see, it makes a great difference who your Jesus is for this reason; if you choose to create a non-Jewish, non-Old Testament teaching, Law Killing Jesus, you have just crucified again the real Jesus! Yes, you heard me right. You have just killed the real Jesus and become no different than those who crucified Jesus 2,100 years ago.
This folks is Anti-Semitism in a nutshell. This is how man can be so evil; we are worshipping the wrong Jesus, one who has the evil nature of man…us! Folks, today, right now, the real Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with you. He wants to heal your minds, your hearts, and your bodies. He wants to be your Rabbi, your teacher you’re your friend. But most of all, he desires to be your savior. He is knocking on the doors of our hearts right now, will you open the door or close him off and worship your facsimile Jesus.by