Who Do You Say That I am?

WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?

INTRODUCTION

Some have accused us, the leaders of Ebenezer, of not believing in the incarnation because we don’t celebrate Christmas. That could not be further from the truth. There are many reasons for our not practising or promoting the Christmas myth but it is not my intention to preach against the celebration of Christmas today.

I want to tell you the much bigger story. Let’s begin with a visit to Caesarea Philippi. Jesus took His disciples to the “red-light” district in Israel. In the environment of pagan worship, He asked His disciples the question, “Who do you say that I am?”

With divine insight, Peter responded: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” He may not have fully understood the implications, but let’s examine his answer:

  1. JESUS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Who was Jesus before His birth in Bethlehem?

He was Creator

Gen. 1: 1 – In the beginning God . . . and God said, “Let there be light.”

John 1: 1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1: 4; 9 – In Him was life, and that life was the light of men . . . the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

John 1: 14 – The word became flesh and made His among us  . . .

Col. 1: 16 – For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by Him and for Him.

Heb. 1: 1-2 – In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.

 

He was active in the world

It was the second person of the Trinity who was active in the Old Testament. Jesus proved it by the references to Himself in His debates with the Pharisees.

Abraham – Gen. 22: 10-12 – Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here am I,’ he replied. ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ He said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’

Moses – Ex. 3:13-14 – Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of our fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, I AM has sent me to you.’”

John 8: 56-58 – ‘Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.’ ‘You are not yet fifty years old,’ the Jews said to Him, ‘and you have seen Abraham!’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I AM!’

Isaiah – Isaiah 6: 1 – In the year that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted and the train of His robe filled the temple.

John 12: 17 – Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him. This was to fulfil the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” For this reason they could not believe because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so that they can neither see with their eyes, not understand with their hearts, nor turn – and I would heal them.’ Isaiah said this, because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about Him.

  1. JESUS IN PROPHECY – the prophetic fingerprint

The Protevangellion – Gen. 3: 15 – And I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

His birth

  1. Bethlehem – His birthplace

Mic. 5: 1 – But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.

  1. Born of a virgin

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.

  1. Born to rule

Isaiah 9: 6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

Filled with the Spirit

Isaiah 11: 1-3 – A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord – and He will delight in the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 61: 1-3 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

His perfect life of compassion and mercy

Isaiah 42: 1-4 – Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break, and a smouldering wick He will not snuff out. In faithfulness He will bring forth justice; He will not falter or be discouraged till He established justice on earth. In His law the islands will put their hope.

 

The Suffering Servant

  1. Disfigured

Isaiah 52: 13-15 – See, my servant will act wisely; He will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at Him – His appearance was so disfigured beyond that on any man and His form marred beyond any human likeness – so will He sprinkle many nations and kings will shut their mouths because of Him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand.

  1. Our substitute

Isaiah 53: 5 – But He was pieced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

  1. His resurrection

Psalm 16: 8-11 – I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand.

  1. His second coming

Psalm 2: 6-9 – ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy hill. I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron sceptre; you will dash them to pieces like pottery. Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.

The three autumn feasts of the Lord picture the return and reign of Jesus.

 

 

  1. JESUS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT – the prophetic fingerprint matched

 

  1. His birth

Luke 2: 4- 7 – So Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Bethlehem the town of David because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

  1. Born of a virgin

Luke 1: 26-27 – In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

  1. Born to rule

Matt. 2: 1-2 – After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

Filled with the Spirit

Matt. 3: 16 – As soon as Jesus was baptised, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.’

Luke 4:  14; 16- 19 – Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole country. . . He went to Nazareth where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue as was His custom. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

 

His perfect life of compassion and mercy

Matt. 11: 2-6 – When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask Him, ‘Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?’ Jesus replied, ‘Go back and report to John what you see and hear. The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall way because of me.’

The Suffering Servant

  1. Disfigured

John 19: 1-2a – Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head.

  1. Our substitute

Luke 22: 14-19 – When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfilment in the kingdom of God. After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not dink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’ And He took the bread, gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’

  1. His resurrection

Acts 2: 24-28 – But God raised Him from the dead because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. David said this about Him: ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also live in hope, because you will not let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you fill me with joy in your presence.’ . . . God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of the fact.

  1. His second coming

Acts 1: 10-11 – They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going when, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way as you have seen Him go into heaven.’

  1. JESUS IN GLORY

Exalted

Eph. 1: 19-21 – That power is like the working of His mighty strength which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age, but also in the one to come.

Acts 2: 33; 36 – Exalted to the right hand of God, He has received from the Father the Promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. . . Therefore, let all Israel be assured that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Glorified

2 Cor. 3: 18 – Now we all, with unveiled faces, all reflect (contemplate) the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Reigning

1 Cor. 15: 25-26 – For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Worshipped

Rev. 4: 11-14 – Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang:

‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,

to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength

and honour and glory and praise!’

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and all that is in them, singing:

‘To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honour and glory and power for ever and ever!’

The four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshipped.

CONCLUSION   

My dear friends, this is the Bible’s revelation of Jesus – not a pathetic picture of a helpless baby lying in an animal feed trough, surrounded by curious cattle, sheep and goats, whose birthday is erroneously celebrated on the day when the sun-god was supposed to have been reborn. He is the mighty God, who was before all time, who stepped into time for a season and who rules over His universe with wisdom, power and justice. He will return to destroy all His enemies and to set up Him kingdom on earth forever.

He did not come to earth to make all your problems go away and to wait on you. He came to re-establish God’s reign on earth and to take His rightful place as Lord in the hearts of men and women.

We have only one fitting response to this glorious Jesus – not to accept Him as our personal Saviour, but to repent – to return to the truth of God’s Word – and to confess that Jesus is Lord.

Rom. 10: 9 – If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord!’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3,                                                                              eBook 978-4828-0511-6

Available on http://www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or Kindle version, on www.takealot.com  or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.

For more details, check my website:

http://luellaannettecampbell.com/

Have you read my blogs on www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com ?

 

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