Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Mystery Man: Jesus Christ
'Mystery man' is a term in our society that refers to a man who has no identify. There is a recent story in the news coming out of Sydney, Australia, about an Asian mystery man who left $1,000,000 at a restaurant. A mystery man whose body washed ashore in New Jersey was finally laid to rest because no one was able to identify him. Who was the mystery man on the grassy knoll during the assassination of John F. Kennedy? There is always a gossip story being floated about a 'mystery man' in the life of some female celebrity.
One of the most mysterious figures in the history of the world was Jesus Christ. The lyrics of a song in a popular film created in 1973 asked the question, "Jesus Christ, Superstar, do you think you're what they say you are?" It was an expression from a generation asking about the true identity of the mystery man known as The Messiah, The Christ.
To those who are the redeemed children of the living God, Jesus is not a mystery man. His own know who he is. My sons knows me as their father. They know my faults, my disposition, my strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, we who are Christ-followers know him well. "His sheep will follow him because they know his voice." (John 10:4) Jesus said clearly, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—" (John 10:14)
How can you know the mystery man of the Bible? Seek out those who lived with him. Whom did his friends and family say he was? Who did Jesus say he was?.
Jesus said: "I and the father are one." (John 10:30) Jesus didn't mince any words. He boldly revealed who he was even though he knew it would stir up enough hatred to put him to death. "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. "Philip approached Jesus and asked, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus replied, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don't know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you?" (John 14) Jesus declared himself to be the divine Son of God.
John the Baptist said: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) John revealed Christ to be the innocent substitute who would die in our place, bearing the sins of mankind on his shoulders. If we confess our sins and believe he has purchased our salvation with his own shed blood we can be saved.
In verse 34 John the Baptist gives testimony of this mystery man who had appeared in Judea: "I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.” John is not alone in this testimony.
The Demons said: "If you are the Son of God…." (Matt. 4:3) and again in the book of Mark, "Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God." (3:11)
Andrew said: to his brother, Simon, "We have found the Messiah" (John 1:41) Jesus was the Christ.
Nathaniel said: "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." (John 1:49)
Jesus also said: "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man."
Who is this mystery man the world has so much difficulty comprehending? He is the divine Son of God. He is the Lamb of God, the Messiah, the Rabbi or teacher, the King of Israel.
Mary, mother of Jesus: came with her sons, step-brothers to Jesus, and knelt before him and worshipped him. (Matthew 20:20)
The mystery man of the Bible, Jesus Christ, is the very Son of God. If the witness of these is not yet convincing then let us consider yet another witness.
God the Father said: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17)
The question of who Jesus is was also being asked in the days of C.S. Lewis. He addressed it in Mere Christianity: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.