Who is Jesus of Nazareth?
by Brian Price 2/21/2011

INTRO
There's a lot of debate about Jesus these days. The Jews think he was a good teacher, but he was not special in any sort of way. The atheists think he never existed. The Muslims think he was a prophet, but they don't believe he was the Messiah. The Jehovah Witnesses believe Jesus was just a man. They don't believe he was God in the flesh. The Mormons believe he was the Devil's brother.

So which is it? Was he just a man as all of these people think? Or is he God?

Somewhere around 4 B.C., a child was born. That child was Jesus of Nazareth. He was a real person. The Bible details the life of Jesus through various eyewitness accounts of his followers. Not only so, but even some secular writers wrote about him. One of which was Josephus.

A little bit about the Bible: it is a historical book, written by more than 66 different authors over the space of about 1,600 years. The historical accounts contained in the Bible date all the way back to Creation, which some believe to have occured in the year 4,004 B.C.

The Bible was NOT written by King James of England as many suppose. The King James Bible (which is the most widely read English version in the world) was translated from Hebrew and Greek into English by 47-54 scholars in the year 1611 under his leadership.

Around 29 A.D., this same Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem, the ancient city of Israel under the Roman governor Pontius Pilate. All of this information has been verified over and over again by both secular and religious historians alike. Even places like the site of Golgotha (the place where he was crucified) can be visited to this day. It is adjacent to what is known as the "Garden Tomb," the burial place of Jesus.

IN HIS OWN WORDS
Now when it comes to determining the truth about someone, it's important to hear that person for ourselves. Nicodemus, the Pharisee who came to Jesus by night, said, "Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?" See John 7:51.

And even the people of Samaria said to the woman of the well, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves..." - John 4:42. And the scripture says that many more believed because of his own word (John 4:41).

So what did Jesus have to say about himself?

The Bible says this:

"The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he." - John 4:25-26

"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am." - John 8:58

"I and my Father are one." - John 10:30

Jesus very plainly told the whole world that he was God.

WHAT THE APOSTLES SAID
What about his followers? What did they say about Jesus?

Paul said:

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, WHO CREATED ALL THINGS BY JESUS CHRIST..." - Ephesians 3:9

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST." - Titus 2:13

Peter said:

"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST..." - 2 Peter 1:1

Matthew said:

"21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US." - Matthew 1:21-23

John said: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us...." - John 1:1-14

It's clear as day that according to the disciples of Jesus Christ, they claimed that he was in fact God in the flesh. God literally put on flesh and bones and walked among them.

WHAT THE PROPHETS SAID
Well, we can see that both Jesus and his followers said that he was God. Now what about the prophets who lived hundreds of years before Jesus? What did they say?

The prophet Daniel said:

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." - Daniel 9:26

This is by the far the clearest verse that foretells the coming of the Messiah, which came to pass 483 years (or 69 weeks of years) after the commandment was given to rebuild Jerusalem. This commandment was given by King Artaxerxes (Xerxes) sometime between 460 and 445 B.C. This prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was "cut off" in 29 A.D. by means of crucifixion, exactly as foretold in Daniel 9:27, which states that the Messiah would be cut off, but not for himself. Jesus was cut off, not for himself, but for the sins of the whole world.

The prophet Zechariah said:

"...and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee." - Zechariah 14:5

Compare this verse with 1 Thessalonians 3:13:

"...at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." - 1 Thessalonians 3:13

King David said:

"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." - Psalms 110:1

The prophet Isaiah said:

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6

There are also numerous other scriptures in the Old Testament that one can point to. I assure you that none of them is taken out of context. They all say exactly how you read it.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?
It is interesting that the Mishneh Torah, an authoritative work of Jewish Law, says this very strange thing regarding Jesus of Nazareth in Hilkhot Melakhim 11:10-12:

"Even Jesus the Nazarene who imagined that he would be Messiah and was killed by the court, was already prophesied by Daniel. So that it was said, 'And the members of the outlaws of your nation would be carried to make a (prophetic) vision stand. And they stumbled.' (Daniel 11:14) Because, is there a greater stumbling-block than this one?"

Sounds like they hit the nail on the head. Jesus indeed is a stumbling-block to the Jewish people since they only believe he was just a man.

"Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a STONE OF STUMBLING, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." - 1 Peter 2:7-8

But here comes the real question. Who do you say Jesus is? Do you think he's just some man? Or do you believe he really is God, the Creator and Saviour of the world? You see, the rumors and such that surround Jesus have been going on since he walked the earth. People would start rumors about him saying that he was Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the old prophets. They were saying that he was just a man. But when Jesus heard those rumors, he said to his disciples:

"....But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." - Matthew 16:15 -16

If you ask me who I think he is. I will say the same thing that Peter said. He is the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. By him were all things created. And by his name Jesus Christ alone can a person be saved.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." - Acts 4:12

IF YOU DIED TODAY, WOULD YOU GO TO HEAVEN?

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