Charles Stanley - Who Is This Man Called Jesus?
Well, I want to answer one question: Who is this Man called Jesus? People have been asking that question ever since He walked out of the carpenter shop about two thousand years ago, asking that question. People hate Him or they love Him. They ignore Him or they'll follow Him to their death. There's something about this Man, who is this Man called Jesus? And I think about people who follow Him, how they've been growing for two thousand years, millions of people all over the world. But there He was born in that simple little town of Bethlehem. Who is this Man Jesus who was a carpenter, who could absolutely shock the world; and two thousand years later be the most important person who's ever walked on the face of this earth. Well, Jesus said to His disciples, Who do men say that I am?
So, I want you to turn to the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, and just look at the thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth verses of Matthew chapter sixteen. The scripture says, "Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, 'Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' And they said, 'Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.' And He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?'" Wonder what you would have said in those days, "Who do you say that I am"? And then, "Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ,'" the Messiah; the One we've looked for; the Messiah, "the Son of the living God".
So, with that in mind, let's think about it for a moment. We celebrate His birth and call it Christmas. We worship and bow down and call Him, Lord. And we pray in His name and call Him Jesus. So, this carpenter is no longer just a carpenter. He's become the most awesome person the world has ever known; ever will know. And so, the answer to the question, who is He? Well, the Bible says He's the Christ, that is, He is the Messiah. We know Him as the Son of God and the Savior of the world. We know Him as the Reigning Lord. We know Him as the Ruling Judge and the Returning King. So, we know Him in many, many different ways. So, if He's all that we say He is, how should we respond to Him? We should believe Him; we should obey Him; we should follow Him; we should serve Him. We should proclaim Him to other people. We should know Him through the Word of God; follow Him and love Him. That's a big order.
If Jesus is who He says He is, what should we do? Believe Him, obey Him, serve Him, proclaim Him, know Him, follow Him and love Him. There's not anything in that list that says "Ho-hum". It says rather knowing who He is, it should absolutely impact every single aspect of our life. Know Him and obey Him, follow Him, love Him. So somebody says, Well, why? Because of who He was. Who was He? He was a prophet. He was a teacher. He was a healer and He was the Messiah. How could He be a carpenter for some thirty years and then all of a sudden be all of this? Because He's always been all of that. So, in thinking about that, you have to think about well, what are His attributes? What is it about Him that we say, Well, this is who Jesus really was. And I think about people who deny Him and people who don't believe Him, don't follow Him, how little they know about Him. They don't even know what we've said already. They just see Him as a teacher and religious man, and they say He was a carpenter and a prophet, and so forth. But what was He really like?
So, let's think about His attributes for a moment. And the first one most people won't understand, but the Apostle Paul made it very clear. And I could give you verses for all of these, but especially would I turn to this one. And that is, when you think about who He really is, the Scripture says in Colossians, that He was the Creator. Listen to this, "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him". The Creator. How could He be all this other and be the Creator? Well, the Bible says also He is omnipresent. He's everywhere. That means if He's omnipresent He goes home with you today. He came with you this morning because He's living within your heart. When you receive Him as your personal Savior, He's with you forever, and ever, and ever.
So, the question where is He? He's omnipresent. He's omnipotent, He has all power. There's not anything He cannot do. He doesn't do foolish things. He does those things that fit who He is, that fit our needs and they're in keeping with the will, and purpose, and plan of the Father. He's omnipotent. He's omniscient, He knows everything which means that you and I don't have any secrets. When you and I kneel to pray and you think maybe you ought to confess something and you think, oh, I don't want to say that. He's already heard it. So, He knows everything. And then of course, thank God He's merciful. How many times do we call upon God to be merciful to us? He's a just God. That is, at no time do we ever have to worry about whether He'll mistreat us or not. We certainly don't want Him to give us what we deserve. I don't. I want Him to give us mercy and love and grace. But He's a just God, which means He always does the right thing, the divine thing, in every single circumstance of life.
I don't always understand some things He does, but He's just, doesn't make any mistakes. He's more merciful to us than we really and truly deserve; but He's a God of awesome mercy. And He is eternal. How could He be eternal and be born to a woman? How could He be eternal, live thirty years, how could He be eternal, die on a cross and be resurrected, How could He be eternal? Well, go back to Genesis chapter one verse twenty-six. When the Bible says, "God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image.'" Who in the world is "Our"? Angels weren't creators. There wasn't another person, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Jesus was one of the three Persons of the Godhead who created this world. And then of course, He's sinless. Know anybody like that? Anybody volunteer to join that band? I don't think so. He's absolutely the sinless Son of God who is Creator and just and merciful and all the rest. And, at the same time, He's human.
That's the part I love. Lord Jesus, being human, You understand me. Being human, You see my frailties and my faults and my mistakes. Being human, you see my humanity within me. Thank God He isn't just and merciful. He understands us because there was enough human in Him; that He grew up as a little boy, like that little boy in your home. Only He was absolutely perfect and absolutely sinless. Think about this. Mary or Joseph never had to get a switch. Never. They never had to get a switch. Why? Because He was absolutely the perfect Son of God. Before He was born, when He was a child and when He was a man. And then, of course, He was deity, He was God. All these attributes. Somebody says, Who is this man named Jesus? If you just say He was a baby born in Bethlehem, you've missed it. He's everything we've said He is and we haven't quit. And I don't even have time to do all the things I'd like to do, but I'm going to give you enough that you won't forget it.
Who is this Jesus? These are His attributes. And then, of course, one of the issues that is a theological issue today and that is He was virgin-born. Now listen to me carefully. One of the signs of people who are drifting away from the Word of God are those who disparage the idea that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. Or they will say, That's not important. If it wasn't important, He wouldn't have been born of a virgin. Born of a virgin was absolutely necessary for Him to be the representative for all of us, to take all of our sin upon Him; and He died on the cross, dying in our place. If He were a sinner, He would have died in His own place. He had to be born of a virgin. If He had not been born of a virgin, He could not have represented you and me on the cross and died in our place. He had to be the sinless Lamb of God; the sinless Son of God. Watch this. If He had sinned, He would have had to die for His own sin. He was sinless, therefore He could die for your sins and mine.
And then somebody says, Well, where is He? And I love that question. Where is He? Well, what would you say? According to the Scripture, He's seated at the Father's right hand to make intercession for you and me. That is, when we pray He takes our prayers before the Father. And He answers our prayers because we have accepted the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrificial substitutionary death at the cross, which makes it possible for us to relate to God, to speak to Him; Him answer our prayers. There's no one like Him. So, where is He? Seated at the Father's right hand. And where else is He? Abiding in your heart and mine. Think about who that is. You have the Lord Jesus Christ living within you. And Jesus made a big deal out of that, that He was within us. And that's why He used terms like abiding in us and we're abiding in Him. And as the branch abides in the vine, so He abides within us. Every single believer is stamped, within our heart, the very presence of Jesus Christ Himself. Where is He? Where He's been since the moment you said, I'm trusting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Nobody could ever do that but Him. And we are eternally the children of God, not because of our conduct; but because Christ lives within us. That makes us very special.
And remember this. The Bible says once we've trusted Jesus as our Savior, we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption when He calls us home. That is, we are absolutely and forever His children. So, where is He? Well, He's seated at the Father's right hand and He says He's making intercession for us. And He's also living within our heart. So, think about this. You can't ever be without Him once you're with Him. Once Jesus Christ has saved you, you can never be without Him. That's why we can trust Him, believe Him, cry out to Him, know that He's with us. He said, I'll never leave you nor forsake you. So, what's His mission on earth then? That's who He is.
Well, first of all, His mission is to reveal the Father. And remember what Jesus said. He said, If you've seen Me, you've seen whom? You've seen the Father. Then He says, I and the Father are one. Watch this. God came, Jesus came, God in the person of Jesus came for the--one of the primary reasons is to say, This is who the Father is. This is the way God thinks. And if you'll think about those Jews in those days and especially the religious crowd of Pharisees and Sadducees, who supposedly knew all about God, knew very little about Him. Jesus came to reveal to us who God is. Merciful, kind, forgiving, just and all the things that are true of Jesus are true of God.
And so, the person who will never leave you nor forsake you; the person who is the prophet and the teacher and the healer is One who lives within us through the power of the Holy Spirit. He came to reveal the Father. Then to redeem mankind through His shed blood at the cross. Every single one of us has been saved in the same way. You may have been saved early in life. You knew a little bit. You may have been saved later in life and you know a lot. But we all got saved the same way, we confessed our sins, repented of our sins, confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. And as Paul said, If you confess Him with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, He'll forgive you of your sins, write your name in the Lamb's Book of Life and you will eternally and forever be a child of God.
Jesus came to reveal the kind of God who would save us. The kind of God who would save us is the kind who loved us enough to have His own Son crucified in order to pay our sin-debt in full. No one like Him. Likewise, He came to assure us of life after death. And when Jesus Christ rose from the grave, it settled once and for all, there is life beyond this one. And you think about all the thousands of people who lived before, believed in something after death, believe most of them do. And probably most people believe it today. But they don't have any certainty about it. Jesus settled that question that once He died on the cross and paid our sin-debt in full, if they had buried Jesus, sealed Him in a tomb, and that you could go to that same tomb today and they would tell you it's been sealed for a couple of thousand years and He's still in there, that'd be like other great leaders of the world supposedly great, who died and you can go to their tomb and this, that and the other, and so forth. No, Jesus rose from the grave; settled once and for all that everything He had said and taught was true.
Suppose He hadn't risen. Then what would you think about some of the things He said? But listen. We don't have any escape. He said, Here's the way I want you to live. Here's the life I'm giving you. Here's the power to do it in and I'll be with you until the end of the age. He's the living Son of God. And I think about this, that not only does He give us the promise of life after death; but He also promised us a resurrection. So, let me ask you a question. Do you believe that Jesus Christ, when you die, is going to take you to heaven? Well, about ten of you do. Do you really and truly believe that you're going to heaven when you die? And on what basis are you going? Is it your conduct? Is it how much you have given? How good you've been? What is it? It's the cross, the blood of Jesus Christ, the promise of salvation.
He wrote your name in the Lamb's Book of Life and no one can ever erase it no matter what they tell you and what they do. That's the living Christ, the carpenter, the carpenter born in Bethlehem is the Savior who lives within your heart and mine. He's the reigning Lord who sits at the Father's right hand to intercede for us, and the best friend we'll ever have. No one like Him. And if you think about it, the Bible talks about this abundant life. Jesus said, I'll give you an abundant life. What's the abundant life? You ever thought about that? Abundance talks about a lot. So, think about all that you have as a result of being a follower of Jesus. You can't, in other words, it exhausts your brain to try to think about all that He has given you; all that He does for you; all that He promises you and all that He does moment by moment in your life.
That is who Jesus is. This carpenter laid down His tools, picked up what? Picked up His calling from the Father, and has transformed the world. And He will keep on transforming the world till He comes back one of these days. Anything that discredits Him in any fashion, in any way is absolutely ungodly. Then, of course, who did Jesus say He was? I'll bet you could name them all. Well, let's start with this. He's the Good Shepherd, right? He's the Bread of Life. He's the Vine, He talks about that in the fifteenth chapter of John. He says, I am the way, the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by Me, He said. I am the light of the world and I'm the door. There's no one like that. And that's who He is.
So, when we think about His name, we call Him Jesus, Messiah, and so forth. It's the name above all names. And the Bible says, listen, the Bible says, Before Him every single knee shall bow. And I think about these tyrants in the world who want to control everything, believe nothing of the Bible. The Bible says one of these days every one of them shall bow before the Lord God. And all of them will have to acknowledge that He is indeed the Jesus, the Savior, the Lord and the God of the Bible. The name every tongue shall confess.
The Bible says, Every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. And the Scripture says the only name by which we shall be saved. A name given by an angel, indicated by his mission on earth, the deliverer; and all of history, think about this. All this so-called great people; but isn't it interesting that all of time is divided by Him. BC, before whom? Christ. AD, after our Lord. All time. There is nothing and no one to compare to Him. And, the Scripture says, He's the only Begotten Son of God. Only Begotten, there's none like Him. He's one with the Father.
And think about this. I think about these people who boast about how many books they've written, and they've done this, listen to this. Jesus never wrote a book; He's the subject of the Greatest Book. Never wrote a song; subject of thousands, thousands of songs. Never owned a home; but gone to prepare one for you. Never traveled but about a hundred miles from where His home was. You think He's well-traveled? The whole world was in His presence. Practice medicine without a license. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. He is the Great Physician. No pills and no shots. He never marshaled an army; but He's brought down every kind of kingdom imagined. Listen to this. Herod could not kill Him. Satan could not seduce Him. Death couldn't destroy Him. And the tomb could not keep Him. There's no one like Him.
So, think about all the names that He's called in Scripture. He's the King of Kings. He's the Son of God; He's the Lamb of God; the Rose of Sharon; the Lord of Lords; the Great High Priest; the Morning Star; the Prince of Peace; the Wonderful Counselor; Immanuel; the Word of God; the Prophet; and Alpha and Omega. How is that for a name? That's who Jesus is. And all of these names describe something either about His character, His attributes or His mission.
Now, maybe you're seated here and you're not a Christian. Do you think that one of these days you're going to die and go to heaven because you've been good? No, our Heavenly Father sent His Son to the cross to die, shed His blood in the most horrible fashion of crucifixion. Shed His blood, which was God's way of paying for your sin through the death of His Son. And there is only one way to heaven. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me. And if you intend to go to heaven, if you intend to see the Lord one of these days, you must ask Him to forgiven you of your sins; trust Him as your personal Savior; And start living a godly life indwelt by the Holy Spirit; empowered by the Holy Spirit who will help you, enable you, give you understanding of what the godly life's all about. But one thing you cannot do is you cannot say you have never heard the truth that you didn't know who Jesus was.
The Bible says that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. And I pray this Christmas, don't let all this stuff, paper, bows, cards, utensils, all the things that get around your feet and cause you to stumble, don't let that take the place of the Son of God who went to the cross and made everything within you that's good possible. And we call His name what? Jesus. Let's say it like we mean it. What is it? Jesus! Jesus. Amen, amen, amen. Amen. And Father, we thank You for Your love for us. May we express that every day of our life by doing what you came and made possible for us to do, to believe You, to obey You, to love You and to serve You with all of our heart. And we pray this in His wonderful name, amen.