Who is Jesus?
Scripture to read: Matthew 16:13-20
Many people say different things about Jesus. Historians say He is a historical figure, sceptics say He is a myth, some religions believe He was simply a good prophet. In this passage Jesus asks His disciples who people say He is, the disciples reply, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Matthew 16:4, NIV.
REFLECTION In the world we live in today, who do people say Jesus is?
The next question Jesus asks His disciples is a personal one, “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15, NIV. Simon Peter’s answer has not been revealed to him by flesh and blood but by the Father in heaven. Simon Peter was not simply repeating something he had heard someone else say, he had a personal and God-given revelation of who Jesus is, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16, NIV.
REFLECTION If Jesus’ were to ask you today, “Who do you say I am?” What would you say? Think about your answer in light of how Jesus has personally revealed Himself to you.
CHALLENGE Go and share these revelations of who Jesus is to you with at least two people today.
Scripture to read: John 8:48-59; Colossians 1:15-20
In John 8 Jesus confronts the Jews regarding identity, both His and theirs. The Jews claim that Abraham is their father, finding security in the fact that they are historically descendants of Abraham. Although they are descendants of Abraham, they do not receive the truth Jesus tells them, leading Jesus to state that their father is the devil, who is the father of lies. For the Jews, this was a great insult. In return, they tell Jesus that He is a Samaritan and is possessed by a demon. Jesus denies being possessed. In John 8:53 the Jews ask Jesus whether He is greater than their father Abraham. The chapter ends with Jesus slipping away after saying, “…before Abraham was, I am.”
REFLECTION how do you understand the words of Jesus, “before Abraham was, I am.”? John 8:59, NIV
Although Jesus was born in the flesh at a particular time in history, at a specific geographical area- He existed before His birth on earth. For Jesus to have been the “first born of creation” He had to have existed at the very beginning of time and creation, making Him far older than Abraham.
REFLECTION what have you learned from today’s devotion and how does it influence you’re view of Jesus, if at all?
Scripture to read: John 1:1-18; Isaiah 7:11-17; Philippians 2:5-11
Yesterday we established that Jesus existed before the foundations of the earth were laid. This passage re-emphasizes that, “He was with God in the beginning.” John 1:2, NIV. The verse before that speaks of the Word (which represents Jesus) as being God. This truth is rejected by many religions today. Many don’t have a problem with Jesus being a Healer, Deliverer or one who changed the course of human history However, the moment that the truth that Jesus is God is proclaimed- many find it difficult to believe.
REFLECTION looking at the past few days’ devotionals, in what way has Jesus been revealed as God?
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us…” John 1:14, NIV. This verse, in light of previous verse, states that the Word (representative of Jesus who is God) became flesh, the Creator becoming part of creation. This was an act of unparalleled humility. Philippians 2:5-11 paints the picture of Jesus, in very nature being God, humbling Himself to take on the nature of a servant and humbling Himself to the point of death on a cross. Jesus was both fully God and fully human (flesh) during His time on earth. Although He is God, He did not come to be served but to serve others.
REFLECTIONS what ways has Jesus been revealed in Philippians 2 as human and what is the significance thereof?
APPLICATION as Christians we are called to imitate Christ. Ask the Lord to show you practical ways to serve your family and friends and in this way, have the same mindset as Christ.
Scripture to read: Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 7:18-23; 1 John 3:8
We established yesterday that Jesus came in the flesh as Emmanuel- God with us. The following question is, why did He come? 1 John 3:8 says that the reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. In light of Jesus’ ministry on the earth and what Jesus spent most of His time doing, the devil’s work can be understood as two things 1) the separation between humankind and God as a result of sin 2) consequences of the Fall of man on humanity i.e. sicknesses, demonic possession and the distortion of social relationships etc.
In Luke 7, John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask Jesus whether He was ‘the One who is to come’, that is the Messiah (anointed One). Jesus replies by saying, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” Luke 7:22, NIV.
RELFECTION we often accept easily that Jesus has come to restore our relationship with the Father. However, it is at times more challenging to believe that He came to destroy the works of the devil in the sense of illnesses, broken relationships and injustice. What are some of those things you have perhaps not brought before God that He might restore them? Bring them before Him today.
MEMORY VERSE Hebrews 13:8
Scripture to read: Isaiah 53; Mark 14:22-26; Matthew 27:11-56
Jesus is the Word that became flesh, with the purpose of restoring the broken relationship between God and humankind. Yesterday we saw how Jesus came to undo the consequences of sin on humanity by healing the sick, casting out demons and bridging social divisions. However, the greatest consequence of sin is separation from God (Isaiah 59:2). Jesus came to reconcile humankind to the Father, making a way where there was no way. This is what is meant by Jesus as Saviour, saving us from sin and the punishment for sin.
In order for humankind to be reconciled to God, there had to be a punishment for sin. Jesus took that punishment so that we wouldn’t have to. The sacrifice f Jesus covered all our sins. However, the devil often condemns us, telling us that God cannot forgive certain sins. However, if we believe this lie, what we’re actually saying is that the blood of Jesus was not enough.
REFLECTION what are some of the sins you’ve committed that the devil keeps bringing up again? Confess them to God and believe that you’re forgiven.
APPLICATION the blood of Jesus does not only make the forgiveness of sins possible, it makes it possible to be free from sin. What are the sins you’re maybe still struggling with? Confess them to the Lord and trust Him to break sins power over you.
MEMORY VERSE 1 John 1:9
Scripture to read: Luke 24:1-12; Romans 6:1-14; John 11:25-26
“He is not here; He has risen!” Jesus died that we might be saved, but He did not stay dead. In an event which would change forever how humankind relates to God, Jesus rose from the grave on the third day- defeating death and disarming powers and authorities by the cross.
REFLECTION read Romans 6:1-14. What are the consequences of the resurrection for us as believers?
In the resurrection, Jesus defeated death- one of the universal consequences of sin.
REFLECTION death is common to all people. As a believer, in light of the resurrection- how should we understand death?
MEMORY VERSE John 11:25-26
Scripture to read: Matthew 24:36-44; Revelation 22:12-21
“Look, I am coming soon!” The passed six days we have looked at Jesus as the One who was there in the very beginning, the Word made flesh, God with us, coming with the purpose to destroy the works of the devil, the crucified One and the resurrected One. However, there is an aspect of who Jesus is that we are still waiting to be revealed. The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David- the One who has triumphed. We await with eager expectation the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The early Church believed that His return was imminent, how much more should we eagerly wait for His return. The first time Jesus came (Word becoming flesh), He came to offer Himself as the sacrificial Lamb. The second time He comes, He is coming to reign forevermore, making all things new and bring with Him His reward.
REFLECTION are you living in eager expectation for the return of the King?
APPLICATION reflect on what you’ve learned about Jesus over the passed 7 days. What would your answer be now if someone were to ask you, “Who is Jesus?”