It took the Apostle John twenty-one chapters to tell his side of the story of Jesus. He concluded by writing “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25).
If the whole earth could be filled with volumes written about Jesus’ short ministry upon it, then we’d have to stretch the universe to hold all the books that might be written about His eternal existence, His fellowship with the Father, His work of creation, and all His activities from the Beginning.
Finiteness cannot exhaustively define Infinitude—but we can speak with authority regarding what God has revealed about Himself. Here are a few essential truths about Him.
Jesus is God. This reality is central to the Scriptures and to Christianity. It is the premise of the Gospel. (See John 1:1). It was Jesus’ assertion of equality with God that led to troubles with the religious leaders over and over. And the affirmation of His deity ultimately led to the cross. (See Matthew 26:64.)
Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus was not some metaphysical apparition. He had real flesh and bones; He grew tired; He needed sleep. Because He came as God in flesh, He understands our weaknesses from personal experience and intercedes for us as an empathetic High Priest. (See I John 4:3 and Hebrews 4:15.) Jesus is the only Savior. Savior from what? Since Adam disobeyed God (sin), man has labored under sin’s penalty. Ultimately, that penalty is death. And when we die, we reap eternal punishment in hell (spiritual death forever). UNLESS—unless there could be a Savior who would exchange His sinless life for our sinfulness, whose perfection could substitute for our failure, who would bear the punishment for our sins and reconcile us to God. When Jesus stepped onto the scene of this world, He came to do just that—to give real life, abundant life, eternal life to mankind, at the price of His death. (See Galatians 3:13.)
There never has been any other Savior. Jesus always has been the only way to God. Moses and the Old Testament believers saw Him through the windshield of time (Hebrews 11:26). We see Him in the rear view mirror. But all come to God through Him. (See Acts 4:12 and John 14:6.)
Jesus is Lord. One day, every knee will bow before King Jesus and acknowledge that He is absolute Sovereign. Until then, we who know Him demonstrate His Lordship by loving, obeying, and worshiping Him. (See Philippians 2:9–11.)
When we talk about Jesus, we’re not talking about an idea that we can deconstruct and re-make in a way that most appeals to us. We’re not talking about a figment of the imagination that we can argue away like some bothersome dream.
We’re talking about a Person, just as literally as you and I are persons—only He is the Original, while we are flawed copies. I could make up all kinds of fanciful stories about you if that best suited my liking, but none of my imaginings would alter who you are. There are endless debates about Jesus, as if He were an undefined concept, moldable to reason and subject to intellect. But He is who He is no matter what anyone says about Him. (See Exodus 3:14; John 18:6.)
And that’s just a taste of the amazing story of who Jesus is. Eternity will resound with praise to the Lamb. He died, was buried, rose again, and ascended to the right hand of God—so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (See II Corinthians 5:21.)
Someday, Jesus will come back again. The inheritance promised to those who love Him will be given in full-measure: mortality will be swallowed up by life.
The issue then is not redefining Jesus—He is who He is. The issue is not reinventing ourselves—we are who we are. Apart from the transforming power of the Savior, we are spiritually dead, unable to lift a finger in our own cause. The most dedicated, self-effacing person is still spiritually dead unless Jesus makes him alive. We cannot re-make ourselves. Our raw material is fatally flawed.
Then what must we do to experience the saving power of the Savior? “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). Jesus does all the saving. We don’t meet Him half-way up the ladder to heaven; He doesn’t augment our native ability with a little supernatural assistance. It’s Jesus or nothing—and what He offers is called grace (the exchange of nothing for everything on the basis of the character of God alone).
Grace is the defining characteristic of the life of anyone who believes on Jesus. We begin in Him by grace and we continue in Him by the same grace. Jesus is all in all in this life and in the life to come.
And that is why it is so important for those who believe on Jesus to practice seeing the Invisible God. He is the Source of everything good. Faith itself is a gift from Him. Any strength in weakness, any victory over temptation, any triumph through pain, any good for evil—is only by Him. It is all by grace.
It is socially unacceptable to be exclusive about religion. A “Jesus and . . .” approach might be approved. But if we go that route, we might as well leave out the “Jesus” part and stick with the “and,” conjuring a fantasy from thin air.
Jesus is the only way to God; He has always been the only way to God. And He will be the only way forever.
Want to know more? The entire Bible is a revelation of Jesus (Luke 24:27). There is no better way to know Him than to read what God says about Him.