For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
This Jesus of Nazareth. At the close of the previous chapter on the great Day of Judgment, we ended with a promise of hope to come – so that we can stand before God on that Day of Judgment, holy and blameless, and be declared “NOT GUILTY” of sin. I also indicated that we would be moving from a position of bondage under sin, suffering, and death towards redemption and eternal life. We read in Scripture that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” so that none are lost in judgment, and that He has provided a way for everyone to obtain eternal life through a “Savior”:
So, to proceed further, we must first know Who this “Son of God,” this “Son of Man,” this “Eternal Father,” this “Prince of Peace,” this “Savior,” this “Immanuel,” this “Redeemer,” this “Word,” and this “Christ” is. Scripture says that we must “believe in Him” to be forgiven of our sins and stand righteous (blameless, morally pure, free from guilt or sin, declared “not guilty” of sin, justifiable) before God on the great Day of Judgment and saved to eternal life. The Bible tells us that this “Son of God” is Jesus Christ – “Jesus of Nazareth.” Of course, there are many opinions, myths, and man-made distortions about who Jesus was (and still is), but we will give the truth as stated in Scripture. Please also note that this chapter’s title doesn’t say “Who Was Jesus,” for He is alive this very day! Yes, He lives! Let’s learn more about Him.
“Jesus of Nazareth,” “the Christ of God,” is a man who lived approximately 2000 years ago. Christ is not His last name; it is a title meaning “anointed one,” “anointed by God,” or “the Messiah.” Christ and anointed are the same word in Greek and the same as “messiach” or “Messiah” in Hebrew. Jesus (Ἰησοῦς, Iésous) is the transliteration of the Greek name Joshua (Jehoshua, Yeshua) in English. Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth.
Jesus’ genealogy is given in the books of Matthew and Luke. Luke traces His legal genealogy back to Adam (“the first man”) on His father’s side (Joseph), while Matthew traces His biological genealogy back to Abraham on His mother’s side (Mary). Jesus was a Jew; He was born and lived under Mosaic law – the Old Testament law given through Moses to Israel and the Jews after they were brought out of bondage (slavery) in Egypt by God.
Scripture says Jesus was supernaturally born of “a virgin” (Mary), that He lived a holy, pure, and sinless life, and that He died on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for your sins, indeed, for the sins of all who choose to call on His name! Scripture says that God raised Him to life after three (3) days and that He [Jesus] is right now “seated at the right hand of God [the Father]” in heaven, ruling as King in His kingdom.
His life was documented and confirmed by many eyewitnesses (the twelve disciples and many others) who testified and wrote as to what they saw, heard, and experienced, many living with Him during His three-year ministry on earth. Even skeptics and atheists concede that there is overwhelming historical evidence that the man “Jesus of Nazareth” did indeed live exactly as told in Scripture.
Jesus Christ was “God manifest in the flesh,” God incarnate – fully man but also fully God. He is our Lord and Savior and our King, and it is through Him, and Him alone, that we have salvation:
H.M. Riggle writes in The Christian Church: Its Rise and Progress: 
BIBLE PROPHECY FORETOLD JESUS
The Bible contains some 300+ prophecies (future predictions) about Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection. These prophecies were recorded (written down in Scripture) long before Christ was born – in some cases, many hundreds of years prior. And every single prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus even said that “it is those very Scriptures [of the Old Testament] that testify about Me.” A few of these prophecies are listed here:
It is by and through these fulfilled prophecies that we know:
- The Bible is true and inspired of God, and that
- Jesus is, in fact, the “Messiah,” the “Savior,” the “anointed one of God,” the “Redeemer,” and “the [spotless] Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” and that
- Jesus was “God manifest in the flesh” who “dwelled among us” (covered in an upcoming chapter)
The book Science Speaks by Peter Stoner lists many of these prophecies and calculates the odds that someone could have accidentally fulfilled just a subset of them is 1 in 5.76 x 1059! When written out, we get a better realization of just how astronomically large that number is: 1 in 5,760,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000! 
To further emphasize just how enormous that number is, here are some comparisons. The number of grains of sand in the world is estimated to be 7.5 x 1018. And the total number of stars in the entire universe is estimated to be 7 x 1022. The total number of people who have ever lived on Earth is estimated to be about 100 billion (give or take a few billion). Let’s be wildly and unrealistically conservative and error on the side of caution and multiply the number of people who have ever lived by a factor of 1,000 (to make sure we are not underestimating the odds), which gives us 100,000,000,000,000 or 1 x 1014 people that have lived on Earth over all time. So even if you had a million times a billion times a trillion planet Earths, the odds that in all of those one person would have been born by chance and fulfilled (even partially) the prophecies of Jesus are effectively zero. Jesus wasn’t an accident.
The odds of an ant lifting up the Sun and putting it on its back are about the same as someone being born by chance matching and fulfilling the prophecies that are foretold concerning Jesus in the Bible: namely zero. So, His life was not by chance, or random, or a lucky set of coincidences; no, Scripture says that “He [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God,” appearing “when the fullness of time came” and “while we were still helpless [in sin], at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Furthermore, God is not asking us to “blindly believe” in Jesus without giving us overwhelming proof, evidence, and eyewitness testimony that He was, in fact, “the Son of God.” God wants us to come to a fully rational, conscious, and informed decision to believe in Jesus based on hard evidence about his birth, life, death, and resurrection. The many miracles He performed were done to demonstrate and testify that He was indeed “the Son of God” – God in the flesh. If all of this evidence and eyewitness testimony presented today in an unbiased court of law as evidence in even the most severe of capital punishment cases, the preponderance of the evidence would support a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt that Jesus of Nazareth did, in fact, live, die and was resurrected as told in Scripture.
You simply have to look at the evidence without a preconceived bias against “religion” and against Jesus. Those who deny Jesus do so against the preponderance of the evidence – evidence that any jury in the world would say IS beyond a reasonable doubt! Even many reputable secular scholars (i.e., those who don’t believe the Bible) concede and admit that Jesus, the man, did exist as the Bible claims.
[On a side note: The Bible itself is also the most highly documented, recorded, and confirmed book in history, many times more than other widely accepted books such as Homer’s Iliad, for example, with more fragments and originals still present today than any other work ever written – and not just by a little bit, but by a wide margin. The accuracy and agreement/consistency among the widely found biblical fragments has also been stunning. You can read up on this subject yourself, as much research is available on this topic.]
JESUS HAS THE AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SIN
As will be explained more in the next chapter, Jesus did declare that He is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and that “all authority” was given Him by God the Father to forgive sins. It is therefore only through Jesus that forgiveness of sins must be obtained and how all men are saved:
Additionally, recall from the previous chapter that Jesus will be your judge on the great Day of Judgment, for “He [God] has given all judgment to the Son.” Why? Because He became a man unto death, and He was tempted in all things as we are, so he knows what we have gone through here in this fallen world, and yet He remained without sin unto death. This makes Him the only “mediator” (between man and God) and also a fair and impartial judge. He was victorious over sin and death and the power of the Devil – He defeated sin, Satan, and death at the cross for us!
Jesus was born under the Old Testament’s Mosaic Law and perfectly “fulfilled” that Law. He lived a perfect, sinless (morally pure) life in obedience to God, even “obedient to the point of death: death on a cross,” being crucified as a substitutionary atonement (an atoning sacrifice, payment) for your sins. By substitutionary I mean that God accepts Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for your sins, not that Jesus “took your place” on the cross – for even if you had died on the cross, you would simply still have died as a sinner. Only the death of Christ covers your sins because He was the “spotless lamb” (without sin Himself).
THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD
Know that when you see (read about) Jesus, you are seeing (reading about) God:
What you see Jesus is like from reading Scripture is also exactly what God is like. The kindness, compassion, patience, healing, loving, caring, full of grace, slowness to anger, with extreme restraint and temperance person that Jesus was, and is, is also your God. God is not a God of evil, deception, trickery, lying, or deceit; in fact, no evil, sin, or deceit is found in Him. God is 100% holy, just, and pure.
Please also notice in Scripture how Jesus didn’t use force or coerce anyone to follow Him, nor does God force anyone to follow Him. Sure, there are consequences for disobeying God, but the choice is yours. God doesn’t want robots obeying out of rote command, for that is not love and “God is love.” He wants those who come to Him to do so freely of their own choice, out of their own free will, and out of love for Him. True love cannot be commanded, nor coerced, from anyone.
- God became flesh in the man Jesus Christ who was fully God while also fully man,
- He was supernaturally born of “a virgin” (Mary) through the power of the Holy Spirit,
- He came humbly, born not in a palace but in “a manger,”
- He came not to the religious or political rulers/elites of the day but to people just like you and me: the sinners and the lost,
- He drew people not by His appearance (i.e., physical attraction) but by the message of His Word,
- He was “obedient to the point of death: death on a cross,”
- “He was pierced for our offenses [transgressions, sins],”
- He took our sins on Him (“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin in our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”),
- “He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” and
- He is right now “seated at the right hand of God [the Father]” in heaven, ruling as King in His kingdom,
- He has existed from eternity past to eternity future, the “first and the last,” the “alpha and omega,” the great “I AM,”
- He walked among us and was “tempted in all things just as we are” so He can empathize/sympathize with us, so that He can mediate for us now in heaven before God (He is the “one [only] mediator between God and men”), and also so He can be (and will be) a completely fair and righteous Judge on the Day of Judgment, and that
- He will judge all mankind on the great Day of Judgment (“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son”). He is, in fact, both Judge and also your attorney if you choose Him to be! Your court victory can be certain even before trial begins – that is the “good news” of the gospel!
He was “declared [by God to be] the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness” and also by supernatural miracles:
- He made wine from water,
- He healed the sick (blind, lame, deaf, lepers, etc.),
- He commanded nature (walked on water, calmed the storm, etc.),
- He fed thousands of people with only a small loaf of bread and fish (several times), and
- He raised people from the dead
I can only scratch the surface in this book about who Jesus the man was, but it is all written in the Bible. All I ask is that you evaluate the evidence with an unbiased and logical mind, free from any preconceived notions against Jesus. It is only a preconceived bias against God, and against religion, along with a willful rebellion and prideful refusal to submit to your Creator, that causes one not to see the logical verdict on this matter.
Now many today also claim: “Ok, I will grant you that Jesus existed as the man, but Jesus was simply a ‘good moral person’ or a ‘good teacher’.” And others will say that He didn‘t really claim to be God. Such claims are in contradiction to Scripture, which is clear that He declared Himself to be “the Son of God” and also God Himself (“I AM”). Scripture also declares that Christ has “no beginning, and no end”; in other words, He is immortal – and only God is immortal. Scripture also says that “all things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being”; He was there “in the beginning.” It is only through Christ that you can be saved from the judgment to come and be saved to eternal life, for only God can forgive sins, and He has told us how we must approach Him (through His Son).
Therefore, in the next chapter, we will look further at this most important question: Was (is) Jesus (the man) really God in the flesh?
FALSE TEACHING(S) YOU WILL ENCOUNTER:
- Jesus is just a mythical figure, not a real person
- Jesus was just a “good moral person,” but not God
- Atheism (there is no God)
- The Bible is Simply fictional “myths, folklore, and poetry”
For He [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. – 1 Peter 1:20-21
John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One [Jesus] is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” – Luke 3:16
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “LordGod with us.” – Matthew 1:18-23
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” – John 1:29
John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him [Jesus]. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” – John 1:32-34
After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him [Jesus], and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17
In Him [Jesus] was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. – John 1:4-5
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” – John 10:27-29
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. – Hebrews 2:14-15
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ”Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” – Matthew 26:6-13
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:8-11
Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him [Jesus]. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. – John 19:1-3
They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” – John 19:17-19
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. – 1 Peter 3:18
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:6-8
He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. – Hebrews 4:15
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless [without sin], the blood of Christ. – 1 Peter 1:17-19
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. – 1 John 2:1-2
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
…”Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He [Jesus] has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” – Luke 24:5b-7
…and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. – 1 Corinthians 15:14-17
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” – John 14:1-3
And after He had said these things, He [Jesus] was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” – Acts 1:9-11
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He [Jesus] must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. – 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam [Jesus] became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly. – 1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” – John 8:12
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He [Jesus] was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory. – 1 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
…through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. – 1 Peter 3:21b-22
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He [Jesus], having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. – Hebrews 10:11-13
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. – Hebrews 1:1-4
 Riggle, H.M. (1912), The Christian Church, Its Rise and Progress, (The Gospel Trumpet Company), Prestonsburg KY.
 Stoner, Peter and Newman, Robert C., Science Speaks, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, 1969/1976.