Who is Jesus? What has He done?

This is the second blog in our series answering the question “Who is Jesus?”. This is presented by Major Dan Jennings, Senior Kroc Officer at our Quincy, Illinois Kroc Corps Community Center.

This is a question that has echoed through the canyons of time. The historic Jesus has proven to be a bit illusive for researchers. As an example no image of Jesus has survived form the first century of Jesus. There is simply no representational art depicting Jesus. It is not until the third century that we are given an impressionistic image of Jesus.

Who is Jesus? In the biblical narrative of Matthew, King Harod convenes a committee to determine what the significance of Jesus’ birth was. Even Jesus’ own disciples, after surviving a sudden storm on the Sea of Galilee ask, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41) Even the Psalmist, in anticipation of Jesus, asks “Who is this King of Glory?” In an attempt to answer this question, it is important to understand that this question has been inaccurately answered many times. That is to say that when we attempt to convey who Jesus is, that we very often fall short of conveying the entirety of his being and nature.

There are some who suggest that our attempts to answer the question of who Jesus is actually misrepresent him. Anton Wessel has said that “…we cannot help asking whether we are dealing with so many legitimate representations of Jesus Christ and facets of his work and significance, or whether at times or even more frequently he is misrepresented, caricatured, or even betrayed.” Some qualify their answer to say that this is who Jesus is to me. The danger here is that we begin to create of own personal notions of who Jesus is.

The orthodox view the Church has held of Jesus actually focus more on what Jesus has done rather than who he is. Consider the Apostle’s Creed which confesses that Jesus “…was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty…”

Perhaps the better question is what has Jesus done. It may be that we have to confess our inability to convey all that Jesus is, however we are able to convey with much clarity what Jesus has done. As an example, Jesus Christ has died for my sins so that I might be forgiven. I do not have to understand the full scope of the nature of Jesus, to understand what he has done for me and what he is able to do for you.

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