Who Is Jesus? What Do You Think About Jesus?

While surfing the Internet the other night, I somehow ended up at the "Pastor's Page" for Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO where Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller from Table Talk Radio serves.

One section that caught my eye was the "Pastor On The Street" videos from 2006 (already 8 years ago now!). Here's the description...




We took a video camera and a microphone to downtown Denver and surveyed nine people about their religious thoughts. We asked if people were religious, what they thought about Jesus and the church, what the Gospel is, and how you get to heaven. The answers provide a small glimpse into some of the broad currents of popular religious thought. These audio files include only the answers to these questions. Much thanks to Pastor Joe Burnham for doing all the hard work on this project.


Given my affinity for Apologetics, I thought it would be worthwhile to highlight each 2-minute video and then offer up a little Bible study and truth-telling.



What Do You Think About Jesus? Who Is Jesus?

No one said anything bad about Jesus. This was not the case when Jesus walked the earth. Then you either believed in Him or wanted Him dead, there was no middle ground. Today Jesus has been fashioned into a likeable nice-guy who wouldn't offend anyone. This is certainly not the Jesus of the Scriptures.



Interesting, huh?

That got me thinking though.

I want to run with a couple of comments that were made in the above video, because I think they are far too common these days.



Question: "What Is Christology?"

Answer:
The word "Christology" comes from two Greek words meaning "Christ / Messiah" and "word" -- which combine to mean "the study of Christ." Christology is the study of the Person and work of Jesus Christ. There are numerous important questions that Christology answers.


Who is Jesus Christ? Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet, or a good teacher, or a godly man. The problem is, the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.

A Biblical understanding of Jesus Christ is crucial to our salvation. Many cults and world religions (Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses) claim to believe in Jesus Christ. The problem is that they do not believe in the Jesus Christ presented in the Bible. That is why Christology is so important. It helps us to understand the significance of the deity of Christ. It demonstrates why Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Christology teaches us that Jesus had to be man so that He could die -- and had to be God so that His death would pay for our sins. It is perhaps the most important area of theology. Without a proper understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what He accomplished, all other areas of theology will be errant as well.

An in-depth study of Christology has incredible personal impact on the believer’s daily life. As we delve into the heart of Jesus, we begin to grasp the amazing concept that He, being fully Man and fully God, loves each of us with a never-ending love the extent of which is hard for us to imagine. The various titles and names of Christ in the Scriptures give insight into who He is and how He relates to us. He is our Good Shepherd, leading, protecting and caring for us as one of His own (John 10:11,14); He is the Light of the world, illuminating our pathway through a sometimes dark and uncertain world (John 8:12); He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), bringing tranquility into our tumultuous lives; and He is our Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4), the immovable and secure base who we can trust to keep us safe and secure in Him.


Obviously, Christology is a very important subject for us to study, but so is the common misconception that Jesus was a pacifist.




Question: "Was Jesus A Pacifist?"

Answer:
According to Webster’s dictionary, a pacifist is someone who is opposed to violence, especially war, for any purpose, often accompanied by the refusal to bear arms by reason of conscience or religious conviction.


While Jesus is the "prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:6), He was not, and is not, a pacifist. Revelation 19:15, speaking of Jesus, declares, "Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty." Ecclesiastes 3:1, Ecclesiastes 3:3, Ecclesiastes 3:8 say, "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heaven…a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Daniel 9:26 says that "war will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed." Matthew 24:6-8 says, "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."Jesus Himself said, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -- a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household'" in Matthew 10:34-36. Matthew 11:12 says, "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it"

We are commanded to hate what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). In doing so we must take a stand against what is evil in this world and pursue righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22). Jesus did this and, in so doing, spoke openly against the religious and political rulers of His time because they were not seeking a righteousness from God, but rather of their own making (Luke 20:1-2, Romans 9:31-33). Zeal for God’s righteousness consumed Jesus, and He was not afraid to stand up against those who opposed and dishonored His Father (John 2:15-17; Numbers 25:11). Deuteronomy 7:10 "Those who hate Him He will repay to their face by destruction; He will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate Him." 1 Thessalonians 5:3 "While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape."

Clearly, Jesus was not some "Hippy Pacifist" like so many people wrongly assume today.


In a Lutheran Layman's terms, it's important that we not only know WHAT we believe, but that we know WHY we believe it so that we can engage in these kinds of conversations with people when they come up within our vocations and give a faithful confession. 

[NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with Lutheran doctrine -- in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word -- so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray. Thank you in advance for your time and help. Grace and peace to you and yours!]

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!