Who really is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and of man? His coming was announced in the Old Testament, and His life and message are at the core of the New Testament. Let us discover why Christians consider Jesus as the Christ, according to the Bible.
Jesus is a historical figure. If Christians believe He is the Messiah and the Son of God, the Historicity of Jesus Christ, the man, is virtually agreed upon by a majority of scholars.
"Isa" (Arabic for Jesus) appears in the Quran as the predecessor of the prophet Muhammad. Islam also recognizes His miracles and His birth from the Virgin Mary. There are also several references to Jesus in the Talmud.
Born in Bethlehem, under the rule of King Herod, Jesus spent the first thirteen years of His life in Nazareth. His birth is recounted in the Gospel, it is known as the Nativity Story. He was raised according to Jewish tradition by His mother Mary and His foster-father Joseph, the carpenter. After three years of “public life”, He was arrested and condemned to death by crucifixion.
For Christians, Jesus is more than a man or a prophet. He is the Son of God, the Incarnate Word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1: 9). God made Himself man through Him to share and transcend our humanity. He is the second person of the Trinitary God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The baptism of Jesus is described in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke: “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (John 1: 9-11).
Jesus manifested His filiation to the Lord by calling Him Father (the “Our Father” is the main Christian prayer, it comes directly from Jesus and was passed down to us by His Apostles).
The Gospels recount numerous episodes when miracles took place: the Wedding at Cana, Jesus Walking on Water, the Resurrection of Lazarus, the multiplication of the loaves and fish, etc. During His three years of public life, Jesus healed, comforted and relieved the suffering of all those who came to Him.
Jesus is also called the “Lamb of God”. John the Baptist introduced Him under this name: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”. Jesus offered Himself in sacrifice for all mankind, just like the Passover lamb in the Old Testament. He came on earth to wash our sins away, notably the original sin, here since the time of Adam.
The New Testament presents Jesus Christ as the Messiah, long-awaited by the people of God in the Old Testament.
Jesus is the person announced by the Holy Scriptures: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7: 14).
He is the symbol of the new covenant between God and man: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2: 5-6).
Jesus answers to violence, humiliation, rejection, injustice with love and forgiveness. He offered both without restraint or reservation, without any conditions, until the time of His death. He paid the price of our salvation, and showed the victory of love over death through His resurrection.
Three days after dying on the Cross, Jesus was resuscitated. We celebrate His Resurrection on Easter Day. He returned from the dead to open the gates of the Kingdom of God and announce the Good Word. Our life on earth has a meaning: we are all called to eternal life. Love and mercy are victorious.
Like the Pilgrims at Emmaus, we can feel His presence in our daily lives.
In the New Testament, the four evangelists recount the life of Jesus and His words. In the three last years of His life, Jesus taught us many things through His parables, and sometimes through His encounters (for example, with the Samaritan woman at the well).
Jesus preached to the crowds: He revealed the Beatitudes during His sermon on the Mount.
Here are a few words from Jesus Christ to meditate on and keep in your heart:
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6)
“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)
“If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12: 47)
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)
“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13)
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6: 20-21)
“Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28)
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matthew 28:20)
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
When we pray, we can turn to the persons of the Holy Trinity: God the Father (with the Lord’s Prayer), the Holy Spirit or Jesus Christ.
You can pray to Jesus simply by speaking a few sincere words to Him, but there are many already existing prayers associated with special devotions that you can recite: