He came like a bolt of lightning across the land of Israel. This man out in the wilderness was preaching and the common people from all over the land were making their way down toward the Jordan River and heard him thundering the Word of God, also Many of them responded and went to him to be baptized as a testimony of repentance from their sins.
To look at him he was not the kind of person who would attract a lot of people to follow him. He was a strange-looking person, was a Nazareth and so had long hair, did not dress according to the styles of the day – rather wore clothing with camel’s hair, did not eat typical food but ate honey and locusts. He also did not speak quietly and gently when he preached. I think he must have thundered out there in the wilderness for repentance from their sins. So he was a very unconventional person. But oh! He had the power of God upon him. So the people turned out by the multitudes to see and hear him. His name was John the Baptist.
The word came to the Pharisees in Jerusalem. Now the Pharisees chose some priests and some Levites to go out and see this man.
19Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” (Elijah was the same kind of man dressed in a similar way several hundred years before and he was a thundering preacher also. So they ask, “Are you Elijah?”) He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”
22Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John the Baptist said, “I am the one that Isaiah prophesied of a person who would come preaching that the Messiah is coming after me.”
He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.
So John the Baptist was asked by these representatives of the Pharisees, “Who are you?” John takes from that question and tells them who Jesus is. This is the most important question of anyone’s life and it has implications for all of your life depending on how you answer it. Let me answer it from the Bible.
1. Jesus is the Almighty God.
Let me put it to you very simply. Who is Jesus? Jesus is God.
John 1:1 In the beginning…
Now don’t read over that too quickly as we are going back to the beginning. In the beginning of what? Apparently, the beginning of anything we know as human. Well, the beginning of this world and the creation. While scientists give a lot of attention trying to figure out how it all began.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. So we are going back to that time – In the beginning of this creation
In the beginning what was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
Now when you see the name “The Word,” understand that we are talking about Jesus. If you simply sit and read through this chapter, you will see that this is a discussion of the one whom John the Baptist is going to introduce – Jesus. Who is this Jesus Christ? And His name is the Word here.
(John the Baptist is speaking here) I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is none other than God. Look down in this chapter v14
The Word (Jesus, God) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (That is speaking of Christmas. We are talking about that night in Bethlehem when Jesus was virgin born, born of the seed of the woman. The Word, God was made flesh and dwelt among us as Jesus.) We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”Jesus is God, the eternal God.
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father (that is Jesus), has made him known.
Have you ever seen God my friend? No you have not. But do you want to know what God is like? Take your Bible, look at the 4 gospels, read about the life of Jesus and the kind of person he was in his ministry on this year, and you are seeing God himself.
Jesus Christ is the fullness of God. He is the declaration of God. the revelation of God. If you want to know what God is like look at Jesus. So who is Jesus? Jesus is Almighty God.
2. Jesus Christ is the creator.
Through him (Jesus) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
Jesus Christ is the creator. Where did this planet earth come from? It came when Jesus created it. When you step outside and you see the sun making its way across the skies of the daylight, where did that sun come from? Jesus created that sun and the mountains. When you step outside in a full moon and you see the beauty of the glory of that moon rising in the east or setting in the west, where did that come from? It is not just the remnant of some explosion somewhere sometime in the past. That moon was created by Jesus.
Someone may ask that you really do not believe that this creation and all that is in it was created in 6 days. I do believe that with all my heart. Why? Because Jesus is God and I know that his word is true and the Bible teaches the direct creation of God Jesus and he is the creator.
3. He is the life.
Ask yourself what is life? Well you will probably begin to describe life by describing processes. You can replicate many of those processes in the laboratory and create life. But where does that come from, that one DNA strand from which you started the process? It comes from another life.
When you see a creature of God’s creation and you marvel at its beauty or its uniqueness or its personality or its fierceness as the case maybe, when you see that and you ask the question, “What a living being?” Well it is something that has life but that is not life itself.
Life is a concept which goes beyond. So, what is life? My friend life is not a process. The Bible teaches us that life is a person.
John 1:4 In him was life….
Jesus said :
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life.
When God created man on this earth he created him with the biological side to him. I am glad that I can eat a good barbecue, don’t you? The animals also eat and have cells that grow and multiply. But there is something beyond that in man.
The Bible teaches us that when God created man, he breathed into that first man the breath of life and he became a living soul. Had that not been the case, man would be some kind of creature or animal but Jesus gave man life.
Man was created in the image of God. Man was created as a spirit being. He has his biological body in which he lives and expresses himself but at his heart man is a spirit who will live forever, somewhere, created in the image of God. But man chose to sin in our forefather, Adam. He made that choice and disobeyed God deliberately. He sinned. So man’s spirit died in its relationship to God. Man is still a spirit and that spirit will live somewhere forever but the ability of that spirit to have union with God died and to have that life again each individual must come personally to the one who is the life, Jesus.
John 10:10 I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Who then is this Jesus? What an enormous question, what an important question. He is God. He is the creator. the life.
4. Jesus is the light of men.
4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness (man has sinned, this is a dark sinful world), and the darkness has not overcome it.
Why is there such an universal hostility and rejection of Jesus? Because the world is in darkness and darkness comprehends not the light. Jesus has come as the light of men. He is the good news. He is the means of salvation. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light (Jesus) that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
Jesus came into this dark world and took your place, the death on the cross, so that you could have salvation and life through him. Jesus is the light, He died for that reason.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
Why is one of the names for Jesus the Lamb? The Jewish people then and today know about the lamb. They know about the Passover lamb from their history.
The Passover lamb was killed on the night when the children of Israel were about to be delivered from the land of Egypt from the slavery of their bondage. In the Bible that picture of slavery of and bondage is the picture of being lost in sin as every person born into this world is lost in sin because we are descendants of the first man Adam who sinned. The lamb was slain that night, it was killed, it was sacrificed. Its blood was spread upon the doorway there and when the death angel who brought the judgement of God that night saw the blood of the Passover lamb, the death angel passed over that household and death did not come to that household.
That Passover lamb through all of the OT; the prophets, the psalms, all of those references to the lamb speak of the Lamb of God who would come for all men. Jesus is the Lamb of God.
Jesus came 2000 years ago as the Lamb of God so that he could step into your place, take our sins, shed his blood, and die like the Passover lamb so that when God sees the blood of Jesus in which you have believed and placed your faith, the judgement of God passes over and you do not have to face or bear his judgement.
Who is this Jesus?
My dear friend that is the most important question of all of life. He is God, the creator, the life, is the light. He is the lamb who died personally in your place.
The Bible tells us first of all that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We do not measure up to God because of sin. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. That speaks of an eternity in hell but the Bible also says the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus did it for you in your place and the Bible teaches us in this very chapter:
Yet to all who did receive him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. How does that life come?
That does not come by working for it. It is the gift of God. It comes just by believing on Jesus, the Lamb of God and trusting that what he did for you is good enough to save you. The Bible says that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Dear friend, if you have never called upon the Lord to forgive your sins through the blood of Jesus. If you have never put your trust in what he did for you, I would invite you to do that right now. It is very simple. In your heart right where you are sitting, if you would just simply pray in your heart – God I know I am a sinner, I admit that. I believe that Jesus is God and that he died for me to take my place and I am trusting him for forgiveness of my sins. I ask him to please forgive my sins because of what Jesus did for me.
Now, most of you reading this right now might be knowing Jesus as your savior, however when you stop and think about this question – Who then is Jesus Christ? And when you see the answer to that – Jesus Christ is God, the creator. He is the life, the light and the Lamb of God.
Don’t you think that having trusted in Jesus that he has some plans upon you in his goodness?
Yes, Maybe you are struggling in life, he has called you to do some ministry but you are struggling. He has called you to be a software engineer, doctor, to do a PhD, you sense that but you have been struggling in pursuing your goal. Maybe you are studying and you are struggling. Some of you are struggling in your life, struggling in family, finance etc.
Don’t you think that Jesus who is God, who is the creator, who is the life and the light and who has saved you, don’t you think that you can trust him with your life.
I am going to invite you right now, right where you are, Pray to God, “God I have heard you speaking to me and I think I know a general idea at least of the direction you want me to go and I have been struggling with this but right at this moment I surrender to you. You may have my life, and I will do what you want me to do because I do believe in you and I trust you.”
I hope you will pray that prayer right now because Jesus is God and he is in control over everything. Amen.