Who is Jesus? I did not grow up knowing who Jesus was. I vaguely remember seeing a picture of Him, a head shot. He was a white man with long hair, blue eyes, and a white robe. He looked friendly. But that meant nothing to me. Later Jesus was something that I disliked. I still had no idea who He was. He was just that guy who stood for Christianity and everything I hated about it. To me Christianity was oppressive, judgmental and controlling. Just like all religion. So Jesus became nothing more than a swear word to me.
I do think when I used His name as a swear word, which was often, there was a certain amount of guilt in it. Not enough to matter though, so I ignored it. After all, who is Jesus? A historical figure? A story or fairy tale? Probably just a man who was really good who touched people – like Abraham Lincoln. To be honest I didn’t give it much thought. It was more just that knew what I knew what I knew. I didn’t need actual facts to back it up.
I think there are many people out there who feel the same way. They have come to feel that what they know is enough. They are happy with this knowledge, this worldview, and there is no room for anything more. Well maybe happy isn’t the right word, because inside they know there is something missing. Something big, something they can’t put into words, but it is so obviously lacking. And that is the place where I came to find the answer to the million dollar question: Who is Jesus?
Jesus is that something missing inside of you.
That is a pretty big statement to make, I realize. After all, this is coming from the woman who rejected Jesus her whole life previously, and who used His name as a swear word. Who is Jesus and how would I know? I could quote a lot of scripture from the Bible that gives overwhelming information about Jesus – His life, His works and miracles, His death and resurrection, and so much more. And I will, but I want to tell you something much more personal than that.
I have met Jesus, face to face, and you can too. Anyone can. I know that sounds pretty crazy. I guess by the standards of this world, it probably is crazy. But by the standards of God, Creator of the Universe and Creator of You, it is absolutely real. Jesus Christ came into my life at a time when I was broken, but searching for something more. I knew I had a big empty spot inside of me, that I could not fill. No matter what I did. Drugs, sex, relationships, friends, work, kids, a house, a car – whatever. None of that made me feel any better. At least not permanently. It was all just things that felt good for a moment, then that feeling faded away into nothingness.
Some days it was so easy to pretend I was happy. I had things that we are supposed to have in life. But on the inside I was alone, empty, dead. Part of me knew it, but wanted to deny it fiercely, but part of me knew it was real and was searching…always searching. I just didn’t know what I was searching for until I met Jesus.
When I came into the Christian church, it was a big step for me. I had so many questions about the Bible and Christianity, but most of all: who is Jesus? It took some time to truly understand the answer to this. It wasn’t like I started going to church and I knew Him. At first I was too overwhelmed to even get to the question of who is Jesus. Soon I realized that Jesus is the cornerstone to the Christian faith, and I had to know who He was. Because He was not just a swear word…who is Jesus?
I started by reading the Bible – they call it The Gospel. The Gospel are the first four books of the New Testament in the Bible. Each book has a different author who knew and walked with Jesus during His earthly life. They tell stories of His life, and how He lived it. It didn’t take long for me to see this amazing picture painted of the most incredible man, and I was falling in love with Him. He was radical, thought-provoking, honest, and so much more!
The Bible was a great start, but still I was left with: who is Jesus? Then I began a prayer life. I sat and prayed about problems I was having or things I needed, or whatever. I didn’t really have an encounter with Jesus at that point, but I didn’t know how to open up to Him. It was all so new and so scary. Then one day I was in a horrible place. I had struggled with depression for most of my life, and another wave of it had come over me. I didn’t know what to do, and couldn’t find the words to pray. I was sinking in my own despair and becoming lost inside of it.
I cried out to Jesus at that moment. And He answered me. I could feel His love coming over me, washing over me in waves of joy and comfort. It was a feeling I had never experienced before. It was as though He was right there, with His arms around me. I can’t say my depression just dissipated in that moment, because it didn’t. But something new came to me instead – hope. I had never had hope before in my life.
Jesus doesn’t always come and just wipe are pain away or take our problems from us. What He does do is comfort us and give us the strength we need in the moment to get through the hard times. He wipes away every tear and shows us that we are not alone – we are never alone. Who is Jesus? He is not a repair man or a figure of the past or a figment of my imagination. He is a comforter, healer, lover of my soul, counselor, friend and my King.
And yet He is even so much more than that. If you too are seeking answers to the question “who is Jesus?”, I invite you to continue reading as I explore this.