Who is Jesus Christ? Of all the questions that might be posed to modern men and women, none is more important than this. In the end, every person must deal with Jesus Christ. No one can escape Him. You can avoid the question, delay answering, stonewall, or pretend you didn’t hear it; but sooner or later you must answer one way or another.
On that hillside overlooking the water-flowing springs, in the shade of an oasis, looking down at the symbols, shrines and statutes of other gods, Peter in dramatic fashion, with a profundity of insight, exclaimed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (
He Is Jesus, the Savior
The name Jesus means “God saves.” It was a common name among Jews in the first century. Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua. It speaks of the fact that God has entered the human race on a rescue mission from heaven.
The name Jesus reveals His humanity and divinity—a human who possessed the very attributes of God Himself. An early church father declared: “If He was not man, He has not reached us; if He was not God, He has not redeemed us.”
He Is the Christ, the Anointed One
Christ is not a family name, but a title. For example, president is not the president’s first name, but his title, the name of the office he holds. In the same way, the term Christ describes one of Jesus’ divinely appointed titles. The word Christ is a Greek word that has the same meaning as the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning “the Anointed One.”
In the Old Testament, prophets, priests and kings were anointed when they formally began their service for God. The anointing was a sign that God had called them to their position. To call Jesus the Christ indicates Jesus is God’s Anointed One, the One whom God promised to send to deliver Israel and bring salvation to the world.
He Is God’s Only Son
Peter’s declaration that Jesus is “the Son of the living God” speaks of Jesus’ relationship to God the Father. The word only tells us that Jesus is absolutely unique or one of a kind and there can never be another of the same kind. The term stresses the absolutely unique nature of Jesus Christ. He is not a son of God; He is the Son of God.
Many people today want a Christ who is somehow divine but not truly God. They want a Jesus who is a good role model, but they do not want Him as their God. Such a desire is impossible if we take the Bible seriously.
C.S. Lewis, in his powerful book Mere Christianity, explained our options this way:
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him or kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
Returning to the original question: “Who is Jesus Christ?” halfway answers will not do. He is the Savior! Is He your Savior? He is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, and the One who separates human history. Does He separate in you the old life from the new life? He is the Son of the living God! Does He live in you? Is He your God?