Articles & News

Who is Jesus?

October 29, 2021

-Dr. J. Vernon McGee

Who is Jesus? This question has caused more confusion, difference of opinion, and division than any other. It has always been so.

During Jesus’ years of earthly ministry, He walked in and out among everyday people. He taught as no other man ever taught. He performed miracles. He expressed to men and women the longing of the Father’s heart for lost sinners. He mingled with people, spoke with them, ate with them. He rebuked religious rulers and spoke words of comfort to sinners. But even after living and serving among people for two and a half years, there was still confusion concerning His person—who was He, actually?

So when Jesus took His disciples aside, He asked them this question first: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matthew 13:13). In other words, What are folks out yonder saying? Those with whom I’ve come in contact, rubbed shoulders with, spoken to? They’ve seen miracles performed. What do they think about me?

Of course, the disciples had always mingled with the crowds, and they’d heard many things. So they gave Him a report. You might be John the Baptist. Elijah. One of the prophets.

Simon Peter then answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  -Matthew 16:16

Peter could have said nothing higher than that. What he was really saying was, You are the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One predicted in the Old Testament. The psalmist David said in Psalm 2:2, “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed.” His “Anointed” is Christ; He is the one who is God’s partner, God’s equal, the Christ. Now Peter says to Jesus, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Now may I say to you, Peter and the other disciples are accurate on the person of Christ. They know who He is.

Our Lord speaks to them—notice this very carefully:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”  -Matthew 16:17

In other words, you can’t come to this estimate of the Lord Jesus Christ unless the Holy Spirit of God opens your eyes to see Him. Paul says, “No one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). I don’t mean just to say the word “Lord,” because many use that term. But I’m saying no one can acknowledge Him as Lord in their heart unless the Holy Spirit reveals Him. The Lord Jesus Himself said that when the Holy Spirit has come, “He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14).

Friend, that is why the Bible is different from any other book in existence today. Any book written by a person can be figured out by another person. I remember what my geometry teacher used to say when I’d complain that no one could figure out the solution: “There can never be a problem made by a person that someone else couldn’t work out.”

But the Bible is different from any other book. You will not, nor can you, understand it—nor will you ever know the person of Jesus Christ—until the Holy Spirit of God opens your eyes to see Him in all of His winsomeness, in all of His loveliness, and in all the glory of His person. I am not disturbed today to hear an unbeliever say, “I do not believe in the deity of Christ.” Actually, if they say they do believe in the deity of Christ, something is wrong. You can’t believe in His deity until the Holy Spirit of God makes Him real to you.

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My Turn

From Dr. McGee

One night in London years ago, a woman—a prostitute—lay dying in the slums. She sent her young son to the nearest church to get a clergyman to come down and talk to her. She said to her boy, “Go get a minister to get me in.” So the boy went down to the church and found a minister.

The boy says, “My mother is dying. She wants you to come and get her in.”

At last, the man understood what the little fellow meant. But he was liberal in his theology and had never actually preached the gospel. On the way over, he wondered what in the world he’d say to her. He couldn’t preach what he’d been preaching to his congregation—that message wouldn’t get anybody in.

When he got to the dying woman’s bedside, he asked her, “What is it that you want?”

“I want you to get me in,” she said. “I’m an awful sinner, but I want you to get me in.”

He didn’t know what to say, but in a faltering way (he’d never done this before)—he turned to John 3:16. That’s all he could think of; it was the verse his mother had given to him when he was a boy, so he read it to the woman on her deathbed: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

She asked, “Does that mean me?”

“It does. ‘Whoever’ means you and me and anyone.”

“I believe it,” she said. “Tell me more.”

He only knew John 3:16 for salvation, so he gave it to her again.

She replied, “Do you suppose God loves me that much?”

He answered, “Well, He loves you so much that He gave His Son to die for you.”

“Oh,” she said, “then I’ll trust Him.” Then a smile came over her face, and she said to him, “Minister, thank you for getting me in.”

When that pastor told about this later, he said, “You know, that night I got two people in. I got that poor woman in, and I got myself in. I had never been in before.”

The greatest invitation ever offered is quite simple: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. It’s a message for you to believe and for you to share with everyone possible.