Jesus Christ: The Most Misunderstood Person In History
When reading the Bible, we understand that our redemption from sin is the theme of the book. Yet, it never ceases to amaze me to see how this simple theme and prophecy concerning a coming Savior can be so misunderstood by people. In fact, people not only misunderstood the facts about Christ in “Bible days,” but He is also misunderstood today! What is it that makes Christ so misunderstood? Put simply, it is because people attached their own wishes and thoughts to Him rather than letting Christ speak for Himself! Please take note of the following.
In The First Century:
- Some expected Christ to be a military leader to overthrow Rome and rule in Jerusalem on a literal throne. This happened on several occasions. Please read the following verses and see this fact (Matt. 20:21; Jn. 6:15; Lk. 24:21; Acts 1:6).
- Some looked upon Christ as merely another prophet from God (Matt. 16:13-14; Jn. 4:19). In other words, they did not appreciate who He really is. They thought he was merely another prophet with a message from God. Yet, He was/is much more!
- Still, others saw Christ as an imposter and rebellious to Abraham and the law of Moses (Jn. 5:45-47, 8:38-40, 53-58; Matt. 27:63). Many felt their power and influence threatened by what Christ said and what He represented. Therefore, they lied about the Lord and tried to make folks believe that Jesus was an imposter so that they would not lose the “power” they had.
- There were a few, though, who understood Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ (Jn. 3:2, 4:25-29, 42, 9:33-38; Matt. 16:16). These few are what made all the difference in Bible days. These are the ones who taught the truth of Christ wherever they went.
In Like Manner, Today:
- Christ is looked upon as merely a prophet by many. There are people who blatantly deny that He is the Son of God.
- The millennialists still expect Christ to be an earthly ruler with a military campaign to defeat Satan and rule in Jerusalem on earth one day. Yet, Christ never promised such a thing would occur.
- Others see Christ as their personal “genie,” granting wishes and providing earthly treasures. Such is the “gospel of health-and-wealth” taught by many today. Such was never taught by Christ!
- There are also those who look upon Christ as the author and sustainer of the many varied and conflicting churches we see in the world. Does a position that says Christ approves of the religious division of the day agree with such passages as I Corinthians 1:10, John 17:20-21, and Ephesians 4:4-6?
Yet, how many see Christ as He really is? He is our Savior (Lk. 19:10), and redeemer (Titus 2:14). He built only one church (Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:16). He has only one plan of salvation (Acts 2:38) which produces Christians only (Acts 11:26). He is a spiritual king concerned with our spiritual welfare. He wants us in Heaven with Him one day (II Pet. 3:9; Rom. 2:7-11). Do you believe this?
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Ephesians 1:22-23
“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” These two verses remind us of the supremacy of Christ. He is head over all things (Matt. 28:18; Col. 1:18). God gave Christ this position, and we need to respect it (Eph. 1:20-21). At the same time, we see how the body (church) is the “fullness of him that filleth all in all.” This speaks of a special relationship wherein Christ is in us, but we also are in Him (Jn. 6:56, 15:4-7, 17:21; I Jn. 3:24; etc.)! This relationship is possible for those who are baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27). No one can say that the church has little or no importance! Some want to tell us to emphasize Christ and not the church. How can we do this in light of passages like Ephesians 1:22-23? Christ stands supreme as the head over His church, and at the same time, the church is His body! We can be a part of it and enjoy the fellowship in Christ today when we submit to His plan of salvation (Acts 2:38, 47)!
– Jarrod Jacobs
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Galatians 1:8
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, stating how surprised he was that they were “so soon removed” from the gospel of Christ to something perverted (Gal. 1:6). He then told them if any man, even an angel from Heaven preaches any other gospel, then let him be “accursed.” To be “accursed” is to be cut off from God and Christ. “Accursed” means to be abhorred, and to essentially be rejected from Christ, wherein He will say, “depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Perverting the gospel of Christ is not a joke or something to be taken lightly! It will result in the souls of those false teachers being lost. It will also result in the souls of those who obey the false doctrine being lost! Teaching and following false doctrine will result in our being out of fellowship with Christ (II Jn. 9-11). Therefore, let us take the teaching and spreading of God’s word very seriously. If we preach or teach anything that is not according to the revealed will of God, we will lose our souls!
– Jarrod Jacobs
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: I Corinthians 4:6
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you “be puffed up for one against another.” Respect for others can develop into something sinful if we are not careful. In I Corinthians, as well as Romans 12:3, Paul warns against thinking of men above what is Scripturally allowed. In the case of the Corinthians, they placed undue importance upon who baptized them (I Cor. 1:11-17, 3:3-7). Paul said they were acting like babes in Christ rather than the mature Christians that they needed to be. While we may think highly of certain brethren, or family members, and the like, we must never think of them as sinless, without flaws, or somehow above what God has described in Scripture. Our association with them does not make us better than others. Who is Paul? Who is Apollos? What about any other apostle or evangelist? Even now, we may think of a “favorite” preacher, or a “favorite” Christian we respect highly. Regardless of past achievements, they were, and are, simply ministers or servants, acting so as to carry God’s word to the lost (I Cor. 3:5-8; I Pet. 4:11). No one in such a position deserves undue credit or praise. They are not equal to God. Their word is not “law.” While we may respect people who make various sacrifices in the Lord’s work, including those who brought us to the Lord, let us never place men in a position of importance that they do not deserve.
– Jarrod Jacobs
The Bible Touches Men’s Lives
I continue to be amazed at how “up-to-date” the Bible is. Though it was completed some 2000 years ago, it is still as relevant as ever! Please consider a few examples in the Bible that touch our lives to this day.
First, consider the fact that sin has been with man since Genesis 3. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned against God (v. 6), sin has been in this world and harming men and women, physically and spiritually. The Bible addresses the problem of sin as well as its remedy. The Bible describes sin as a transgression, or an omission of God’s law (I Jn. 3:4; Jas. 4:17). James reminds us that sin occurs as a result of man yielding to temptation (Jas. 1:14-15). John adds another “layer” to our study when he reminds us that a person who yields to temptations through the lusts of the flesh or eyes, or the pride of life has succumbed to sin, just as Adam and Eve did (Gen. 3:6). This sin then leads to spiritual death (separation from God, Rom. 3:23).
Therefore, does sin still exist today? And if so, is there a remedy for sin? If we answer “Yes”, then we must admit to the relevancy of the Bible because the Bible describes both sin and its remedy in great detail (Rom. 6:23, 6:3-6, 16-18).
It is the Bible that describes God’s plan for salvation in sending His Son to this earth for the remission of sins (Jn. 3:16; Matt. 20:28; Lk. 19:10). Not only this, but God also describes how one can meet the requirements for accepting Christ’s salvation. This is done through faith in Christ, repentance of sins, confession of Christ as the Son of God, and being baptized for the remission of sins (Heb. 11:6; Jn. 8:24; Lk. 13:3; Acts 17:30; Rom. 10:10; I Pet. 3:21; Acts 2:36-38). Then, as a child of God, we need to be faithful (I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10), avoid temptation and the pitfalls of sin (I Cor. 10:13; Jas. 4:7-8), and pray for forgiveness when we fall (Acts 8:22; I Jn. 1:9), so that we can have a home in Heaven one day.
It is high time we were honest and admitted the true place the Bible has in the lives of men in the 21st century. It touches us. It is relevant and furnishes us completely for every good work (II Tim. 3:17).
Long ago, God made a promise to Abraham. He called Abraham to be the father of many nations, and that his seed would be like the sand of the sea and the stars of heaven (Gen. 13:16, 15:5, 22:17). As we study the life of Abraham, there is no question that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham physically. Yet, in our study, we see something else. Namely, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham spiritually!
What do we mean? Let the Bible answer. In Galatians 3:26-27, it says that baptism makes us children of God by faith. Paul also says, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29). Did you see that? In addition to being Christ’s when baptized, the Bible also connects us with Abraham when we are baptized!
Every time someone becomes a Christian, the promise God made to Abraham that his seed would be like the “sand,” and “stars” in multitude is fulfilled. Abraham has a family that increases daily because of God’s promise. Yes, the Bible touches our lives because Christians are recipients of a blessing that God had promised in the days of Abraham! How amazing is that? Yes, the Bible touches our lives daily!!