Jesus the Man

jesus-the-carpenterJesus is the central figure in Christianity. He was and is the most effective and compelling leader in all of recorded history. He was born into a lower class family to a teenage mum and worked as a carpenter until aged 30. But then He took 12 ordinary blokes – fishermen and tax collectors – and changed the world. Not only did many follow Him while He led on earth 2000 years ago, but His profound model and teachings have continued to influence over 2 billion followers today.

Jesus carried no positional authority, but still had great authority in the lives of His followers. Those close to Him obeyed him, sacrificed for Him, and left all to be with Him. People loved to be around Jesus. His ways were always personal, relational, loving, fair, consistent, giving. He was full of compassion. He spoke truth and His listeners knew it was the truth because He lived it. His ways elicited trust because His ways were consistent with His teachings, beliefs, and claims. His focus, passion, message and purposefulness never threatened His flock, but rather attracted them. The crowds followed Jesus like protected and well-cared-for sheep. He said, “Come to me all who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Who doesn’t want a leader like that! He was concerned about people over product, relationship over output, and transformation over transaction.

Jesus is God

As extraordinary a leader as Jesus was, it is not the most astonishing thing about Him. The most astonishing thing about Him is that He is God come in the flesh. Not only did He claim to be God, He performed miracles that demonstrated He was God and He fulfilled prophecy after prophecy made about Him in the Old Testament hundreds of years before He was born.

Jesus tells us that He came to save sinners. Everyone without exception is a sinner as we all rebel against God’s rule in our life. Jesus saved us by living and dying as a sacrificial substitute, by living perfectly in the place of sinners, and by dying gruesomely on the cross in the place of us, the guilty. We are more wicked and flawed than we ever dared believe, but we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope. Therefore, the only way for sinners to be saved from the righteous wrath of God Jesus accomplished through His death, atoning for our sin, and through His resurrection, rising in victory over Satan, sin and death. This is what Christians celebrate at Easter.

What is Our Response?

We cannot earn God’s favour and cannot get right with him by being good. Our salvation is a free gift from God, but we do have to accept that gift. We do this by following Jesus’ call to abandon our rebellion, and submit to His rule over our life, to live for Him and Him alone. We are to believe that Jesus is who He says He is – God; that He died in our place and paid the penalty we should have paid – death; and that one day Jesus will return, and all things will be restored to the praise of His glorious grace. And having been saved, we are then to live for Him, doing good things not to get saved but in response to being saved.

For those who believe in Him, Jesus promises them eternal life, abundant joy, the help of the Holy Spirit and reconciliation with God the Father. Those who believe in Jesus are freed from their sin, guilt and shame, and commissioned to continue His mission in sacrificially serving the world and proclaiming the good news of Jesus.

Next Steps

If you want to find out more about Jesus you can do any or all of these things:

  • Review a more detailed presentation about Jesus (Look at this Illustration)
  • Study for yourself what the Bible says – always a good thing to do!
  • You could get a short booklet called Studies in Christian Living Book 1 – Knowing Jesus Christ, and/or
  • Read through one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John)
  • Read the Bible and discuss what it says with a small group of people or one-to-one
  • Contact us for further help and any questions you may have.

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