Who Is Jesus of Nazareth?
Meeting with the twelve apostles at Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked, “Whom say ye that I am?” Simon Peter, the chief apostle answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15–16).
Today He might ask us the same question. What think ye of Jesus Christ? Whom say ye that I am? Or we might ask ourselves, “What shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ”? Hopefully our answer is more than just celebrate His birth and then get on with life as usual.
We might start the new year by asking and answering a few additional questions. What is the purpose of life? Why was Jesus Christ’s mission necessary? Why do we need a Savior? To save us from what? For what purpose?
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
In a world where many people walk in darkness, not knowing why God created this earth, nor our purpose in this mortal life, Jesus Christ is a beacon of light. His word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, enlightens us. It answers fundamental questions, inspires us, invites us to be better, to have more love for God and our neighbor, and to become more like Christ. It is a roadmap for how to live so that we may receive the promised blessings of happiness and joy both here on Earth and in Heaven. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just nice. It is essential to our salvation.
Jesus was not just a great philosopher and teacher, nor even just a great prophet. He is the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), the creator of this world (Ephesians 3:9), the Messiah, the Christ, the great mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5) sent to earth to atone and redeem us from our sins, thereby making it possible by His grace for us to erase our mistakes and overcome spiritual death. In addition, He overcame physical death so that all men will be resurrected. He is indeed the Savior of the world (Luke 2:11), providing a means for salvation from both spiritual and physical death.
And what is it He asks of us? Christ’s invitation is to Come Unto Him. He invites us to have faith in Him, to repent of our sins, to keep God’s commandments, and to partake of the power of His redemption and of His salvation. He invites to us to be with Him in Heaven and receive Eternal Life. Let’s ponder for a moment that invitation and its significance. If that is our sincere desire, what are we willing to sacrifice and what effort are we willing to make in 2022 to realize that promise?