Christ either deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or He was Himself deluded and self-deceived, or He was Divine. There is no getting out of this trilemma. It is inexorable. – C.S. Lewis
IT is assumed that the people of Jesus’ time misunderstood Him. But it is clear that it is precisely His open self-declarations that He is God that led to His crucifixion. We often make so many inferences about who Jesus is, but in this chapter we look specifically at what Jesus says about Himself.
So if Jesus Himself were to write His own biography; what would He say about Himself?
It is essential that we begin this study guide with specific Scripture passages of Jesus, that we will see Him rightly from the beginning, as He wants us to see Him. At the first introduction, it is nice to note that Jesus’ self-revelations are free from arrogance and ambition. Jesus rarely uses the first-person approach. He rather refers to Himself in the third person: “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic.” (Mark 2:10). One can imagine how blasphemous this statement actually is, if you are not God. Jesus equals Himself with God in order to forgive sin, but then He refers to Himself in the third person. Masterly, if you are God, but scandalous if you are not.
A more blatant, direct attack on their theology is found in Matt. 22: 41-46: “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?” And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.” Jesus therefore makes it very clear to the scribes: “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:36).
God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. This is what completely distinguishes Him from His creatures. Jesus makes specific statements about Himself in the same terms:
- Omnipresence: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”” (Matt. 18:20).
- And also Eternally: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20).
- Almighty: “All power in heaven and earth has been given to Me.” (Matt. 28:18).
- Omniscient: “No one knows who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son and everyone to whom the Son wants to make him known.” (Luke 10:22).
Someone recently told me she had a dream about Jesus explaining the paradox of His love and judgment. In the dream she asked the Lord to demonstrate to her His person as judge. He came to her with a razor-sharp knife against her throat, and said: “this is how close my judgment is!” She literally shuddered, realizing that we sometimes become so familiar with Jesus in some of the songs we sing that He is our beloved, that we do not realize that He is also the eternal Judge. The Son of man is going to come with His angels. He will be clothed with the same glory as his Father and will repay each one according to his deeds (Matt. 16:28).
Jesus further declares in this verse that He is able to give angels instructions for they are His angels. Once again, a power that belongs only to God. “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 13: 41-42). Jesus again uses the third person first-name reference “son of man” but then He declares that He has the power to judge.
He is therefore not only equal to God, He Himself is God. One can imagine how blasphemous it must have sounded to the ears of the Pharisees, scribes and priests: “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.” (Matt. 23:33-39).
He places Himself once again as God sending the prophets. Towards the end He cuts straight: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Ultimately, this was the main reason why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus: The fact that He equates Himself with God. (John 5:17-29). “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30). “But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:63-64). So Jesus was not just a good prophet. He is God, He sits at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33; Acts 7:55; Rom. 8:34; Eph. 1:20). “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3).
Jesus removed all the mysteries, and mystery surrounding the invisible Deity. He who sees Him and believes in Him will be saved. Please read the book “I, Jesus An Autobiography” by Chuck Missler, which unravels in much more detail Jesus’ divine self- revelation.
Jesus The Eternal
To truly understand Jesus, we need to broaden our picture around the timeless Jesus. Jesus is the same today and forever! (Heb. 13: 8). He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 1: 8; 21: 6; 22:13). So if we see Him as God, then we cannot help but see Him as the Eternal.
He is at the beginning and the end at the same time. As one theologian puts it: “God is immediately and at the same time aware of all events. God experiences the “past,” the “present,” and “future,” as one. ” It sheds fresh light on the statements in Revelation that Jesus Christ is the beginning AND the end, the Alpha AND the Omega, and First AND the Last. It is not that Christ is first the Alpha and then later the Omega. It is that Christ the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, are all at the same moment. How? For the line of time exists within Him.
Man cannot understand eternity from a linear concept of time. The story of the bird that grinds its beak on the diamond as big as the earth every day, is a linear story with a beginning and an end. Eternity has no beginning or end. Although there is a passage of time, time is also like dimensions on top of others. Past, present and future happens at the same time. According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, creation is an inseparable relationship between space and time. Our world can be compared to a line on paper, or a paper full of millions of lines, so it is two-dimensional. The spiritual world is a three- dimensional dimension like a cube. God is involved in both the two dimensions, but also outside of both; the so-called fourth dimension. “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” ~ Henry David Thoreau.
The Bible repeatedly speaks of a “pre-creation” reality: “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Eph. 1: 4). “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” (1 Pet. 1:20).
It therefore means that God exists outside our spatial time dimension. The verb in the name of God can be interpreted in various ways. “I am what I will be,” “I am what I was,” “I am what I am.” (Ex. 6: 7; Isa. 43:10). Jesus emphasizes this in John 8:24, 28, 58: “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”; “Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” And; “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
There are two views among Christians about time and eternity: Augustine sees eternity as a timeless and non-linear reality, Newton sees eternity as linear time with no beginning and no end. CS Lewis explains eternity beautifully by drawing a line on a pieceof paper. The paper is God, just as the line in the paper is in God. So both perspectives are true. Notice the time of the verb in the sentence where Jesus speaks of Himself: “You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.” (John 7:34). Where is Jesus, while He is visible before them? Jesus therefore already lives in an eternal reality, while He also lived spatially on earth in our time level. The prayer: “Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done, here on earth as it is in heaven”, is a prayer that the eternal reality of God permeates our earthly existence.
The moment my conceptual world awakens to Jesus as the Eternal, then what He offers us also becomes eternal!
- It anchors our faith on a deeper level.
- We live in transience; nothing lasts, nothing is forever.
- Yet our spirit is in search of eternity, our declaration of our love for our spouse is eternal. We believe in eternal existence after death.
- We are looking for a legacy, to perpetuate our name and life. However, Jesus is the only access to eternity.6Jesus is Eternal Healing
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” (Is. 53:4). “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. ” (1 Pet. 2:24). The OT prophetically declares “He bore our sicknesses …” in the past tense even though Jesus has not yet been crucified at this time. The NT scripture says “by His wounds are healed” written in the present tense.
So Jesus is healing for you today!
- Seek the Healer, not the healing.
- To be with Jesus, and to receive Him, is to receive health.
- We are most healthy, when we live most like Jesus.
- Jesus is ever healing! So when you are full of Christ, you are also full of His eternallove, healing and salvation.
- So Jesus is never not love. He is love! All He did, and said, was divine love. So Jesus is ever healing! When I walk in closeness with Jesus, I will receive healing, it is inevitable. He is the personification of true sustainable healing and well- being.
Jesus is The Eternal Slain Lamb
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”– Gen. 3:15.
6 Eldredge, J. (2017). All things new, heaven, earth and the restorations of all things you love. Harper & Collins.
“The Lamb slain from the foundation of the World”. – Rev. 13:8. Both of these verses clearly point to the spiritual eternal dimension of past, present, and future at the same time.
“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” -1 Pet. 1:18-21. Therefore, salvation is once-off, but it is also continual. We are saved, we are being saved, and will completely be saved by the end of our time here on earth.
The Eternal Character of God
“(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did” – Rom. 4:17.
“Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure” – Is. 46:9- 10.
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, Wwhen there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled Before the hills, I was brought forth. While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primal dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight. Rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.” – Prov. 8:22–31.
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,…” – 1 Cor. 2:7.
Being trapped in time and space is tremendously limiting. You do not know at this very moment while you are reading this book, what your loved ones are busy with, and are doing. You do not know what is going on in someone’s heart. You do not even know the motives of your own heart. Questioning God and holding Him responsible for bad ‘temporary’ events is extremely short-sighted and arrogant!
The Eternal Church
“And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” – Heb. 12:21-24.
An Eternal Gospel
His Eternal Works
His Eternal Kingdom
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—.” – Rev. 14:6.
“For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: So I swore in My wrath,‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ”although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” – Heb. 4:3.
“…Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” – Matt. 25:34.
“Whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” – Heb. 12:26-29.
His Eternal Destination and Purpose of Creation
“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” – Eph. 1:4.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them..” – Eph. 2:10.
Deductions and Conclusions
- Jesus is not a lifeline that was finally thrown into the water. Jesus’ message and life is eternal… and has stood the test of time.
- The unchanging character of God. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” – Heb. 13: 8. His love is eternal!
- Eternity is not only a destination or end goal, but also a way of life. To live in intimacy with Christ is to already live in eternity. We can therefore endure pain, suffering, persecution, for our inner being is already nourished, anchored, and united with the Eternal Spirit of God, sealed with eternal truths. Madame Jean Guyon was imprisoned in the Bastille by the Catholic Church for seven years because she prescribed inner prayer and personal intimacy with God without the church rules and rituals. Here is a quote from one of her poems:
My cage confines me round, Abroad I cannot fly;
But, though my wing is closely bound, My heart’s at liberty.
My prison walls cannot control
The flight, the freedom of the soul.
This Eternity is now also IN us.
When Jesus the Eternal dwells in us, He makes our lives timeless, imperishable, and gives us eternal life. “rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”- 1 Pet. 3:4
“…having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because“All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” – 1 Pet. 1:23-25.
With rebirth we begin eternal life, and we are dying for our gain. Death lost its sting. People are obsessed with trying to fix their transience with plastic surgery, laser treatment and whatnot. Yet there is no remedy that gives you eternal life. Immortality is in Christ alone!
What I am To Do To Gain Eternal Life
The rich young man: “Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way,sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” – Mark 10:21.
The Lawyer: “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” – Luk. 10:25. Jesus tells both people the great commandment: “You must love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Then the Lord tests their love, by referring to their deeds. Jesus answers the lawyer with the story of the Good Samaritan.
SO: The Lord seeks eternity in our hearts. As He gives Himself as the ETERNAL GIVER, He wants us to love and give ourselves as He does. ETERNAL LIFE is more than an end destination, it is also a way of life, of giving life. The rich young man had to sell everything and give his life. The scribe, Pharisee, and Levite passed by the man, justifying their distance (social-distancing) due to the fact that the man is a Samaritan. He is like Christians feel today towards Muslims. When we give, share, and love as Christ is our example, our deeds become eternal, timeless, and leave us a legacy. Jesus wants to give us ETERNAL LIFE.
“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. John 3:16
“He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” – John 3:36.
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” – John 5:39-40.
Jesus is Everlasting Life – He Is Life
John’s Gospel emphasizes Jesus 21 times as Eternal Life. And in virtually all the references, faith and obedience are presupposed. When you live Jesus, your life becomes immortal, eternal and timeless. This is how Mary is remembered for her love for the Lord, when she anointed His feet with oil: “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Mat 26:13
The Bible is a collection of stories of people who surrendered their lives in obedience to the Lord, and whose stories we still remember and discuss today. By obeying Jesus, and doing exactly what He says, we touch immortality.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isa 55:11