A Place To Begin
Do you want to follow Jesus? Before we can follow Jesus, we need to know who Jesus is. And, to follow Jesus well, we need to know him well.
So, who is Jesus?
1. Jesus was and is a real person. He was a real man.
He was born in a town named Bethlehem.* He grew up as a boy in the town of Nazareth.* His mother was a woman named Mary.* He lived. He spoke. And he died. People knew him. People talked to him. He lived in a real place. He even had brothers. The story of Jesus is the story of a real person.
He was just the same as any other man in some ways. He got hungry, so he ate. He got tired, so he slept. He wept when he lost a friend. He could become angry or happy or sad just like you or I can.
But, in some ways, Jesus was NOT like any other man. He was a man in every way, but he did not sin as all other men do. He was a perfect man. He was a holy man. He always did the right things. He never did anything that did not please God.
2. Jesus was and is God.
This truth is a very hard thing to understand. But this is a most important thing to know. Jesus was God who became a man. He was a man in every way. But he was also God in every way. As God, he could do all of the things that God could do. And he could know everything that God could know. So, in this important way, Jesus was one of a kind. No one before him and no one after him was like Jesus. He was the true God who took on a human body. He was God coming to live among us. And he did die. People who hated him killed him. But he did not stay in the grave. God raised Jesus from death. That is something that no other man has ever done.
3. Jesus came to live among us to rescue us.
A terrible thing happened when the first people did not listen to God. After that, we all began to go away from God. We did not follow after him. We were not God’s friends. Instead, we became God’s enemies. As part of our punishment, death came into the world. Jesus came into the world to fix that problem. He came so that we could be a part of God’s family. He came to overcome death. Then the people who follow him would live for ever. To do this, Jesus came to live among us as a real man. But that real man was also God. Only Jesus, the man who was God, could save us.
4. Jesus will come to earth again.
After Jesus died, he came back from death. For many days, he stayed with his friends and taught them. But, soon after that time, he went away. He went up into the heavens. That is where Jesus is today. But he will not stay there for ever. Jesus will come from heaven* to earth again in the future. He will come to gather the people who follow him. He will take his people to be with him. He will gather the ones who are alive. And he will gather the ones who have already died. He will raise them up from death. Then he will make a new heaven* and a new earth. His people will live with him there for ever. But, when he comes, he will also judge those people who do not follow him. He will send them away from him where they will remain for ever.
There are many other things we must learn if we are to follow Jesus well. But we must begin by knowing who Jesus is.
• Jesus was a man. He was and is a real person.
• Jesus was God. He was and is like no other person.
• Jesus came to earth to rescue his people.
• Jesus lived a holy* life. He always did what was right.
• Jesus died as a man, but God raised him from death.
• Now he lives in the heavens, but he will return to this world.
• He will come to welcome those people who follow him.
• He will come to judge all people who do not follow him.
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