What Jesus Teaches About Himself
Roy Blizzard III © 2014
Text – John 4:26 “I that speak am He.”
There are so many misconceptions about Jesus and his kingdom that exist today and some of the greatest misconceptions deal with what Jesus thought about Himself. Much of this misinformation began soon after His resurrection and much has been formulated just recently but it is all able to lead one out of a relationship with God and your Savior Jesus. I don’t want to devolve into a long treatise on all the errors being taught today, but instead want to concentrate on explaining just what Jesus taught about Himself.
Before we look at what Jesus teaches about Himself there are a couple of important facts we need to realize. The first thing is that Jesus was a Jew and that everything He taught revolved somehow around Jewish thought in the first century. And saying that, the Jewish concept that we have to deal with is the fact that no Jew could just come out and say, “Here I am, I’m your Messiah.” To do so would immediately mark you as a False Messiah and one subject to be putting to death. Messianic claims were seen in what someone was able to do and in terms of how they revealed themselves in Messianic Terminology, such as “The Coming One” of Ruth or “The Son of Man” of Daniel. So understanding Jesus in light of these facts starts us on our journey.
In all actuality, man’s tremendous need for a Savior is reason enough that we have one! Do you understand the importance of this statement? God never put a desire for a duck to fly South if God had not intended for there to be a South for them to fly to. We have a thirst and we have water. We hunger and there is food for the satisfaction of our hunger. Jesus must be, because man has an innate desire for a Savior.
The Torah, or Law as we sometimes call it, though it has become the pattern for all modern civil law, was not sufficient to satisfy man’s need for a Savior. It was a pointer to direct man towards that which was the Savior and towards God. It was the halter by which we might be led to the green pastures of revealed truth. It was wholly good in the absence of something better, but still wholly inadequate to sate our longings.
For centuries, the coming of the Messiah who would be able to help man out of his dilemma was foretold. Every woman hoped she would bear this Promised One. Jesus definitively proved that He was that One, which was necessary to His being accepted as that One.
In the synagogue one Sabbath, after reading the Torah Scroll concerning this Messiah, He rolled up the scroll and said, “I that speak am He.” (John 4:26) But, Jesus’ words were not enough for the skeptical mind of that day. While it was true that Moses did enough for most skeptical minds of his day, he truly taught of this Messiah. John 5:30, 46 & 47. Isaiah mentioned the coming of this Messiah in many passages. But, Jesus went further and proved that He was that One by the works He performed in the Father’s name. (John 10:22-38)
Furthermore, He taught that He was greater than forms and customs. He even had the audacity to say He was greater than the Temple which stood for all that was high and holy in the minds of the Jews. But not being satisfied with this shocking statement, He even goes so far as to say that He was greater than the Sabbath, (Matthew 12:6-8) which was the foundation of the religion. Remember that God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh, which therefore became the Sabbath.
Jesus furthermore very definitively claimed that He would not be well received, but would suffer being misunderstood, persecuted and would even suffer death. (Luke 9:22, John 3:14, 8:51) He warned those who would follow Him that they may suffer likewise. He also taught that usually, if not always, the majority would be wrong; that always there would be an endless struggle of the misunderstood minority struggling to lay foundations upon which right would finally advance but being rewarded with persecution and even death. Truly have the highways to spiritual advancement been paved with the dead bodies of Martyrs. Civilization ever is borne on the shoulders of the few. The same is true of our spiritual civilization.
Not only did He teach that He would be killed, but that He would not remain dead. He said that He would rise again on that third day. (Matthew 17:10, John 2:19) In teaching that about Himself, He also taught that we too would rise again, for He was to become the first fruits of them that sleep. This was the answer to the age old question expressed by Job centuries before, “If a man die shall he live again.” (Job 14:14)
Immortality becomes certain if we accept this teaching, but with the rejection of this teaching it simply becomes a perplexing question.
Jesus also teaches that He is sufficient for every need. Because He is love, as God the Father is love, He teaches that He is sufficient for our every need. He is the Aleph (alpha in Greek) and the Tav (Omega in Greek), the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:12)
Since “all have sinned and fell short of the glory of God” and are therefore in a lost condition, He becomes their promised Savior. Man’s whole inner life has been pregnant with fears and forebodings. So He becomes a comforter through the Spirit He sends in His stead. Since all men experience soul-hunger and thirst for true life, He becomes to them the bread and water of life everlasting. (John 6:35, 51) He found men groping in darkness or semi-darkness, stumbling and faltering along: so He becomes to them light, (John 8:12) He finds them fearful of death and extinction at death; so He comes with the assurance of life everlasting. (John 5:24)
Being a true believer in Jesus and a member of His Kingdom is not some comfortable religion that permits us to glide merrily along through life, merely going to church and being “edified”, saying pretty prayers, or contributing some money in the plate. Such a movement as Jesus taught us is one fraught with struggles and work but one blessed with life instead of death.
It is a warfare, a strife where no colors are shown, no ground given until His ways are known and heeded throughout all the earth. Recognizing this fact, Jesus, by the way of encouraging us to remain steadfast and faint not, assures us that His Father worketh until now and that He Himself works (John 5:17). Works means doings things, Kingdom things.
Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) Think about this, Jesus never taught us a thing about relatively unimportant things that had no spiritual meaning for us. Jesus busied Himself with the immense task of trying to get people to ACT right one to another so that their spirits could be unbound and they could operate effectively within His Kingdom. He felt that there were too many important spiritual matters to impress upon us; things that would do more towards changing our attitudes for good against evil than having us just sit and contemplate on “goodness”.
Jesus never appeared to have the least interest in engaging in either a young earth creationism or an old earth creationism. This argument was not going to affect our daily lives so much as the spiritual matters that He did teach. He never made such unimportant things any test of Fellowship. Such things were intellectual luxuries we may indulge in if we care to, but Jesus concentrated on DOING the will of Him who sent Him, not just saying Lord, Lord.
Such things that have split many a church are totally unimportant to Jesus. What order of worship do we have, do we have a simple worship or a liturgy, whether instrumental or non-instrumental, a building with a Steeple or not, gothic architecture or a hut. These issues are in His mind so relatively unimportant that He never mentioned anything about them. But our fleshly selves have destroyed lives over them. Jesus is interested in what we do to our fellow man in our job as believers in Him and His Kingdom. Remember His words, “My Father works until now, and I work.” John 5:17
What kind of work you may be asking? Spiritual Kingdom work. The kind of work that CREATES life from the darkness. The kind of work that unifies mankind into Jesus’ Kingdom and allows us to exist within God’s existence. If whatever you are doing for God doesn’t cause you to exist within God’s existence then I would say you need to stop what you are doing and repent of your selfish ways and earnestly beseech God for better directions than your own.
Jesus came to save people (John 3:17), not create more barriers for man to have to navigate around in order to find God. It is difficult enough to just live our lives without having to be forced to walk up three stairs, turn around twice, then rub our tummy while patting our heads in order to say grace before a meal. This wasn’t the type of work Jesus or God requires in order to be in Jesus’ Kingdom. Jesus taught us the fundamentals of being in His kingdom not the extraneous unimportant things that men add to religion as tests of fellowship.
In my opinion, the teachings about Jesus’ Kingdom are the most important teaching ever spoken because they allow us; God’s created flesh upon the earth, the opportunity to exist within a special place upon this earth while we are alive, a place within the existence of God and Jesus; a place where our spirits can find rest within their spiritual creators and a place where we can grow into the creative, powerful people God wanted us to be in the first place. This is The Kingdom.
The second most important teaching of Jesus is that He is coming again. While He has prepared a place of everlasting JOY for those who have run the good race and worked within His Kingdom, He made it clear that for those who have not done the will of His Father, they will be cut off. This Joy and all the rewards that Jesus has prepared for us are available for us all, not just a select few, however we have to do what God wants us to do in order to enjoy them.
I don’t really care anything about the arguments over pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib. You know why? Because I don’t really care when Jesus is going to come again to rule and reign over the earth because I want to exist within His existence now. If you were to die tonight, Jesus has come for you, has He not? So it matters not because Jesus said He was coming SUDDENLY, like a thief in the night, not SOON. We have to be prepared now by joining His Kingdom and doing the will of His Father now, not later. Jesus said in John 6:37, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast him out.” This allows us all to come to Jesus no matter the sins that we have done in our past and how far we think we have missed the mark.
But remember, when Jesus comes He will not be interested in how many times I attended church, though this is an admirable trait; or taught a Sunday school class, although this is a wonderful service, but rather Jesus wants to know whether or not your life has raised or lowered the level of human happiness and whether those efforts have been done in Jesus’ name. Matthew 25:31 ff says this, “31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Yes, my friends, we won’t be judged on what some denominations may hold dear about Theology, but on what we do to our fellow man, whether our works we do be bad or good and whether our works create new life from the darkness and despair of our fellow man.by