The Bible is a love story. It tells of a loving God who loves His only begotten Son, Jesus and is looking for a bride for His Son. The Bible begins with a wedding between Adam and Eve Gen ch 4 v 1 and ends with a wedding between Christ and His bride – the Church. Rev ch 21 v 9. God even uses the concept of a marriage in relation to His chosen people, Israel. Jer ch 31 v 32. The Jewish people are a thread running through history from the time of Abraham until the end of the age. God is presented as the perfect loving and faithful husband to His bride, Israel. She flirts with other gods but is sustained by the love of her husband, God Himself, who will not let her go. God made a covenant with Abraham to take Israel as His bride and He cannot break His covenant.
Look at the bridegroom in this love story – Jesus. Jesus proved His love for mankind. “Whilst we were yet sinners He died for us.” He stands at the altar waiting for His bride to come to Him. Marriage is all about personal commitment to one another and faithfulness within the marriage. God says that He hates divorce. Divorce is the last word on unfaithfulness. Who would not want such a man as Jesus? The Bible is all about Jesus. He appears in every book of the Bible. There are four reasons why a man should believe in God.
1. The sheer wonder of creation with the teeming life and the amazing human body.
2. The incredible Word of God – 66 books with one message of salvation.
3. The love of God. God asked His perfect Son to die for the sins of each man. There is no man who is perfect apart from Jesus.
4. The fear of judgement at the end of a man’s life, when all the things a man has said, done and thought will be taken into account and the Books will be opened.
1. ADAM. Jesus is the new head of the human race. 1 Cor ch 15 v 45-47. Every human being has a body like Adam’s made of dust. Those who believe in Jesus will one day have a spiritual body like Christ’s. Jesus is the image and glory of God. 2 Cor ch 4 v 4. Rom ch 8 v 28-30. Romans ch 5 v 12ff.
2. The ALPHA and OMEGA. In Revelation ch 22 v 13 Jesus gave Himself that name. Alpha is the first letter of the alphabet and Omega is the last word of the alphabet. In other words Jesus is the language of God. When Jesus speaks it is God speaking. Jesus was present with His Father when they decided to make man in their own image. On the day of judgement Jesus will have the last word concerning the destiny of each man as He passes sentence on every human being who has ever lived. Words are the expression of hidden thoughts. Jesus is the Word of God and He reveals the thoughts of God. Jesus is the WORD of God made flesh. John ch 1 v 1. The Bible is the Word of God. Jesus is God come in person. Every word Jesus spoke was from God. Every word Jesus spoke was truth. In Deut ch 18 v 19 God told Moses that one day He would send an Israeli like him. God would tell Him what to say and God would deal personally with anyone who would not listen to Him and heed His messages from God.
3. THE ANGEL OF THE LORD. Joshua ch 5 v 14. The man who met Joshua described Himself as “commander of the army of the Lord.” There were several appearances of Jesus before He assumed a body within the womb of Mary. These are known as “theophanies.” Jesus appears on several occasions in the Old Testament as commander of the Lord’s army. Rev ch 12 v 7 reveals that there is a spiritual battle going on in the unseen World and Jesus is leading the spiritual forces of good against the spiritual forces of evil. Rev ch 19 v 11-16 confirms the picture of the spiritual reality. Joshua is a type of Christ leading the people to victory over their physical enemies. Jesus is described in the book of Joshua as the captain of man’s salvation and the sword of Gideon.
4. Jesus is the AUTHOR and FINISHER. By the shedding of His blood Jesus purchased salvation for mankind. Heb ch 12 v 2. Those who witnessed the miracles of Jesus did not doubt the miracles but asked Jesus: “By what authority He had done the thing.” All authority was given to Jesus. Jesus gave His authority to cast out demons to His Disciples. Mat ch 28 v 18. Authority is delegated power handed down from a higher authority. Luke ch 10 v 19. The enemies of Jesus recognised that He was in touch with a higher authority. The book of Acts is really the acts of the risen Jesus through the bodies of His followers. It is one reason why the book is the only one without an ending. The intention is that each follower should write his own chapter with his life. In Romans chapters 9-11 Paul explains that God has not finished with the Jewish people. Even after they were scattered to the ends of the Earth, God has all along had a plan to bring them back into the land of Israel and there to fulfil His purpose for them as His chosen people – chosen to fulfil His purpose to demonstrate grace to this World. The story has yet to be finished and the Jewish people will be on centre stage right to the return of Jesus to the Earth. The one who is the author is the one who is entitled to finish the work.
5. THE BRIDEGROOM. In Jude Jesus is the lover coming for His bride. In the Song of Solomon Jesus is the lover’s dream. Marriage is a central theme in the Bible. The Bible begins with a marriage between Adam and Eve and finishes with the marriage feast of the Lamb. Jesus is looking for a mature and responsible bride. God describes Himself as a husband to Israel and describes Israel as an unfaithful wife.
6. Jesus is a BROTHER. Luke ch 8 v 21. “Those who hear the message from God and obey it.” Jesus is the firstborn Son of God. Those who believe in Jesus are adopted into God’s family and are therefore the brothers of Jesus. Jude v 1. Jude describes himself first as a servant of Jesus. He was also a brother of Jesus in the flesh as was James. It is good for brothers to live in unity. Psalm 133 v 1. Mat ch 25 v 40. “What is done to the brothers of Jesus is done to Him.” When Jesus rose He referred to the Disciples as His brothers. Mat ch 28 v 10. Phil v 16. Onesimus was a slave but Paul regarded him as a brother in Christ. In 1 John ch 4 v 20 John makes it clear that Disciples are spiritual brothers. If a believer does not love his brother whom he has seen he cannot love God whom he has not seen. When a man is adopted into God’s family Jesus becomes his brother. Why did God want to adopt children? He so enjoyed the relationship with His Son Jesus that He wanted to have more children.
7. Jesus is the COUNSELLOR. In Isaiah ch 9 v 6 one of the names Isaiah gives to Jesus is “Wonderful Counsellor.” A believer can be in touch with God spiritually and yet have psychological disturbance and emotional problems. Conversion is not a cure for all emotional problems. Conversion is in the realm of the spirit, while emotions are another part of a man’s personality. Each man comes into the World with lots of needs, which must be met. If they are not met, there is damage to his emotions. Then when he comes to adult life he is unable to cope with some of the pressures, which come upon him. Some believers expect to have no further emotional problems and lead new converts to think that this is the case. The new convert then either represses the problem and denies its existence and is plagued by disorders or else he becomes disillusioned with the Christian life. It is essential to allow Jesus to flow from the realm of the spirit into the emotions. A believer must let Christ into the conscious and unconscious. The need for counselling arises when problems in life are not dealt with and become predicaments or even a crisis or when unforeseen circumstances overwhelm a person and he finds himself in a new situation, which he has never faced before. God has a plan for each life. Jer ch 29 v 11. How to find that plan can be very difficult and a person may need guidance as to which road to follow. The Proverbs are in the Word of God to give a man quick advice for daily living. If he wants to know what God thinks on a particular subject, he may have to read a few passages of Scripture to see how God deals consistently in a given area of life. But if he just wants a quick piece of guidance, then the Proverbs are there for him. The Proverbs help believers to make Godly choices in life. Often the problem in life is related to sin and the need to repent. Since Jesus knows a man better than any human counsellor He is the best person to give wise counsel as to how to deal with the problem. Life is all about making decisions. It is so important to make the right decisions. Jesus is available to help people make the right decisions. Jesus is presented by Luke as the ideal man. A study of Jesus’ teaching directs a man to make right decisions. Jesus helps a man to face up to temptations and to resist temptations.
8. Jesus is the CREATOR of each man. Heb ch 1 v 2. Col ch 1 v 16. In Jesus all things were created. All things were created through Him and for Him. Jesus answers the big questions in life. “Why am I here? What am I to do with my life? Why do I keep letting myself down and others as well?” The book of Genesis informs a man that Jesus created his amazing body with all three trillion cells functioning perfectly. Eccles ch 11 v 5. A man’s parents played a role in the physical body but Jesus slipped the spirit into the tiny body in the womb. Eccles ch 3 v 11. Jesus left a hole in the heart of each human being. It was His intention that the hole should be filled with Himself. But a man has the right to choose to fill it with anything else. Man was the pinnacle of God’s creation. Jesus created each man with three basic needs – to be loved, to belong and to achieve. He created each man with three basic instincts – to eat, not to be eaten or self-preservation and to reproduce his own kind. Then Jesus also created time within which a man lives. These facts contradict the “theory” of evolution. The whole idea that man and this incredible World happened by chance is ridiculous and hardly bears mentioning. When Jesus finished creating the World He saw that it was perfect. Marriage was God’s plan for mankind from the very beginning. Jesus confirmed this in Mat ch 19 v 5. God makes it clear that He hates divorce. Mal ch 2 v 16. While a man’s parents played a part in bringing him into this World, God chose the sex of each individual. The ratio of men to women is almost equal, except after times of war when many men have been killed. After each war there are more males born than females in order to redress the balance. China is the exception with their one child per family policy, which is already bringing problems into their society and it will bring about greater problems in years to come. God has acted in judgement against all societies, which have murdered the babies given to them by God. With that assurance a man can start building his life and living it to the glory of God.
9. Jesus is the DEFENDER of believers. A man has an enemy who seeks to rob, kill and destroy him. Satan is called the accuser of the brothers. Rev ch 12 v 10. There are many attacks of the enemy throughout the life of a believer. Job ch 1 v 9. Satan accused Job of only honouring God because God had blessed him. Heb ch 7 v 25 tells that Jesus ever intercedes on behalf of believers before the throne of God. It illustrates a courtroom where Satan is the prosecutor and Jesus is the defence agent. Jesus pleads with God for those who are being saved. John ch 8 v 7. When the woman was caught in the act of adultery the religious leaders accused her. They tried to involve Jesus in condemnation of the woman. As the men left one by one until there was no one left Jesus said to her: “Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more.” Jesus did not come into the World to condemn the World but to save it. Satan attacks believers through the seven spiritual giants in Deut ch 7. The Scriptures give advice how to deal with the spiritual giants. Jesus teaches on how to defeat each of the giants.
10. Jesus is the EVANGELIST. The evangelist recognises that something has gone wrong with the World and is determined to do something about it. The evangelist is the one who brings good news of salvation. In John ch 4 v 1-30 Jesus gives a master-class in evangelism, sharing the good news with the woman at the well and gently leading her to faith in Himself. Jesus not only brings good news to the woman at the well but He is the good news – the living water. It was always God’s plan that salvation would go out from the Jewish people to the nations of the Earth. Isaiah ch 26 v 18 explains that the nation of Israel was with child (salvation) but brought forth nothing but wind. They failed to deliver the message of salvation to the world. The book of Jonah is all about Jesus as the foreign missionary reaching out to the people of Assyria. Jonah was a reluctant evangelist, sent by God to take the message of salvation to Assyria. Jonah did not like the Assyrians who were the enemies of Israel but believers are commanded to do good to their enemies.
11. Jesus is a FRIEND. John ch 15 v 14. “You are my friends, if you do what I command you.” Jesus was with the three men in the fiery furnace. Jesus sets people free from an inferiority complex. He helps the lonely. Jesus knows what it is like to be lonely. The theme of Philemon is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. 1 John ch 4 v 20. If anyone says that he loves God but hates his brother, he is a liar. He who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
A man needs intimacy more than anything else in his life, in his Fellowship and in his marriage. Man was created for relationship with God. Intimacy is formed when people choose to spend time together in order to form intimacy. It is a matter of the will. A man needs to will the relationship every day. Jesus chose twelve men to be with Him. When people enter into business together they set out a common purpose. Luke ch 2 v 49. “Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business.” Jesus attended Jerusalem at the age of 12 for His coming of age ceremony – His Bar Mitvah. On that occasion a boy became a man and the custom was for the young man to enter into partnership with his father in the family business. Jesus was pointing out that God was His real Father and that His business was now to serve His Father’s interests in the Kingdom of God. That was the main thrust of Jesus’ ministry. One of the aspects of friendship is the desire to spend time together and to help one another. Jesus promised that those who came to Him He would never forsake. In the Song of Solomon there is a love story between a man and a woman. In 1 Sam ch 20 there is the story of the friendship of David and Jonathan. Their friendship towards one another was more important than their loyalty to King Saul. Jonathan put his own life at risk to save his friend David. Dishonour to the name of a true friend goads them into action. Jesus takes the most intense interest in the smallest details of the life of each of His Disciples. He does not allow anything to happen to them unless it can be linked into His purpose to make that Disciple more like Jesus. Those who suffer an inferiority complex find it difficult to make friends. Jesus enables a person to overcome an inferiority complex.
12. Jesus is GOD THE SON. John ch 8 v 58. The clearest of many claims by Jesus that He is God is when He said of Himself: “Before Abraham was, I am.” “I am” was the name given to Moses when he asked who was sending him to Pharaoh. John selects the seven times Jesus used the words “I am” indicating that He is everything a man could need to live on this Earth. His words are the spiritual food and He is the protector of His people. When Jesus revealed Himself to John on the Island of Patmos He appeared in all His glory. Rev ch 1 v 12-20. This was not the body of Jesus who walked through Judea with John or who was in His resurrected body. John now saw Jesus in His glorified body. John could only fall at His feet. Jesus is not only the Son of God but also God the Son. To worship anyone other than Jesus is to commit idolatry.
13. JESUS is the GOVERNOR. Isaiah ch 9 v 6. The government is on the shoulders of Jesus. Joseph was a type of Christ both as providing food for the people and governing the unbelieving race of Egyptians. Who will govern the Universe with Jesus? In the Bible twelve is the number for government. The 12 tribes of Israel to govern the land and the 12 apostles to govern the Church. The Eternal purpose of God is to find those on Earth who are capable of ruling the Universe with Jesus. Who is in charge of the World today? Who determines the weather? Rev ch 4 confirms that God the Father has given Jesus His inheritance. The Scroll with the seven seals is the Will or Testament of God the Father. His Son Jesus was the only one found worthy of receiving the inheritance.
14. Jesus is the HEAD OF THE CHURCH. Eph ch 1 v 20-23. “Jesus is head of all things for the Church.” In Eph ch 3 v 10 Paul explains that: “Through the Church the manifold wisdom of God is made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” When Jesus ascended it must have seemed to Satan that there was nothing to prevent his gaining control of the whole Earth. The Book of Acts is truly the record of the acts of the risen Jesus through those who believe in Him – the body of Christ. Sin separates man from God and also man from man. The love of Jesus for His Disciples reverses that process. That love binds believers together in a common purpose to resist the enemy. Jesus is also head of the local Church. Each Church exists for Jesus. It is wrong to refer to a Church by the name of a leader – Mr Smith’s Church. Each true Church has Jesus as the head of that Church.
15. Jesus is the HEALER. Ex ch 15 v 26. Jesus healed all who came to Him. He never sent anyone away without being healed and He never told anyone to wait for healing. He practised what He preached that perfect love casts out fear. Alternative medicines are man’s attempt to gain healing by methods other than by going to Jesus for healing. Doctors and nurses are part of God’s common grace to mankind as are teachers and politicians. One quarter of the healing ministry of Jesus was deliverance – the casting out of demons. Jesus devised the human psyche and much of the healing of Jesus relates to healing of the emotions. In His teaching Jesus related much of the disease to sinful aspects of the life of the person who was seeking healing. In James Jesus is the one who heals the sick. In Malachi Jesus is the Son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings.
16. Jesus is the INTERCESSOR between God and man. He ever intercedes for believers before the throne of God. Heb ch 7 v 25. The role of the priest in Scripture is to intercede on behalf of man to God. Jesus is the High Priest of the order of Melchizedek. Heb ch 7. In John ch 17 v 20-25 Jesus interceded for the Church for all time. Rom ch 8 v 34. To be an intercessor is to have a burden from God for a particular person or purpose. Believers are a royal priesthood 1 Pet ch 2 v 5. As such they should intercede with God for those matters, which the Holy Spirit lays on their heart. Jesus carries many burdens for His brothers and sisters and ever intercedes for them. Since the Church is His responsibility He has a natural concern for the reputation of the Church.
17. Jesus is the JUDGE of nations and all people. Acts ch 17 v 31. Jesus will be given the role as judge of every human being on the Day of Judgement. Jesus spoke many times about His Second Coming to Earth. There are 1845 references to it in Scripture with 318 references in the New Testament alone. There are 40 chapters dealing with the judgement of the nations. Obadiah deals with the judgement of the Edomites, who have been wiped out, while Israel continues until the end of time. Nahum ch 3 v 19 confirms that there may be a time in a man’s life when the wound has been too deep to heal. On judgement day the 13 books will be opened and everything, which a man has spoken, thought and done will be taken into account in determining the final judgement of every human being who has ever lived on Earth. Mat ch 12 v 36. The events such as the Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah remind a man of judgement. Isaiah ch 24 v 5 makes it clear that the reason for judgement is that mankind has broken the moral laws of God, broken the eternal covenant and violated the statutes of God. The book of Amos lists judgement of the nations surrounding Israel in his day, thereby representing all nations. In First and Second Thessalonians Paul describes the judgement, which will take place when Jesus returns to Earth. Rev ch 14 contains a graphic picture of the two judgements to take place at the end of time.
18. Jesus is the JUSTIFICATION of all men. Rom ch 4 v 25. Jesus was raised for the justification of men. Believers are justified through the blood of Jesus. Rom ch 5 v 9. No man is without sin and no man is able to justify himself to be acceptable to God the Father. A man is justified by faith in Jesus who shed His blood for him. Justification is through the death of Jesus and not through the law. Gal ch 2 v 21 and Gal ch 3 v 24.
19. Jesus is KING. Jesus was born King of the Jews. The wise men from the East asked Herod where is the one born the King of the Jews. Mat ch 2 v 2. When He died Pilate insisted that there should be an inscription above the cross confirming that Jesus was the King of the Jewish people. John ch 19 v 19. Luke ch 23 v 38. When Jesus rose He was still King of the Jews. Jesus has never abdicated. Jesus is declared as King of kings and Lord of lords. He is also still King of the Jewish people and Jerusalem is His capital city. First Kings has as its theme the reigning King of Israel. Jesus fulfils that role. The theme of Matthew, written to Jewish people, is the Messiah and promised King. Jesus is the one who was promised to be the Messiah. The Letters to the Thessalonians feature the soon-coming King and Lord of glory who will come back to Earth with the shout and trump of God. All the prophets were given a theme to proclaim. Jesus’ theme was “The Kingdom of God.” Micah ch 5 v 2 refers to Bethlehem as the birthplace of the King of the Jews. In Thessalonians Jesus is the coming King. In Revelation Jesus is King of kings, and Lord of lords! Rejection of Israel in the form of anti-semitism is in effect rejection of the King of Israel. The Jewish people remind the World of God. They were used to write the oracles of God. The land of Israel was set apart for the Jewish people. Their presence today in that Land undermines all of Islamic theology.
20. Jesus is the LAMB OF GOD. Man looks for a strong animal as a symbol. Russia has the bear, America has the Eagle, Britain has the lion and France has the cockerel. When God looked for a symbol He chose the lamb – a vulnerable animal. God chooses the weak to confound the strong. He chose little Israel as His special land and Jerusalem as the city where He would put His name. 2 Kings ch 21 v 4. The city of Jerusalem has no minerals, no water supply, no harbour or river and it is not on a trade route like most the great cities of the World. In His humanity Jesus was very vulnerable from the moment of His birth and dependence on a teenage Mother and a young man who had to travel to a foreign country to get work. When He arranged His own crucifixion there was not a single person who spoke on His behalf. In Exodus Jesus is the Passover lamb.
21. Jesus is the LEADER of men. Moses was appointed by God to lead the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. Joshua was a type of Christ to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. Jesus was an Israelite like Moses Deut ch 18 v 15 to lead the people into salvation and out of bondage to sin. John ch 21 v 19. As a leader of men Jesus calls on His Disciples to: “Follow me.” Only one who demonstrates true character as a leader can invite others to follow him. Ezekiel ch 34 v 11. The leaders of the people referred to as shepherds to lead the sheep (people) had failed and Jesus said that He would come to lead the people. In Israel the sheep follow the shepherd. The genius of leadership is to get the best out of the people under the leader’s authority. The enemies of Jesus saw the miracles and did not deny that they happened. They asked: “By what authority do you do these things?” They recognised that Jesus had authority to forgive sins. Above all a leader needs to have a vision as to where he is going and where he is leading those under his leadership. Jesus set His face to go to Jerusalem.
22. Jesus is the LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH. Gen ch 49 v 10. Jesus is presented as a warrior God. Rev ch 5 v 5. There was no one fit to open the scroll and receive the inheritance of God, which was contained within the scroll. Then Jesus stepped forward as the only one worthy to open the scroll and receive God’s inheritance. Rev ch 19 shows Jesus as riding forth into battle with Satan. He acts as a mighty warrior and no longer the humble servant. These days are past. When Jesus returns to Earth it will be as a mighty King arrayed in all is splendour and in His glorified body.
23. Jesus is LORD of everything. Jesus is pre-eminent. Colossians ch 1 v 18. Man is called to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Many are happy to accept Jesus as Saviour dealing with their sins but he is not Lord of their life. Dan ch 2 v 21. Jesus raises up empires and dashes them down. The mighty angels are at His command. Jesus could have summoned a legion of angels to come to His aid when He hung on the cross but He declined to do so. Jesus has authority over the angels, whom He created. Mat ch 26 v 53. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus is entitled to be worshipped since He alone has never committed a sin, unlike sportsmen who are worshipped today. Phil ch 2 v 9-11. To worship anyone other than Jesus is to commit idolatry. Jesus said that, if His Disciples love Him, they would keep His commandments. He is both Lord and Saviour.
24. Jesus is the MESSIAH of the Jewish people and of those grafted into the commonwealth of Israel. John ch 1 v 49. Nathaniel recognised that Jesus was the Messiah – the one awaited by the Jewish people. Jesus challenged the Disciples to say who He was. Peter spoke for them in Mat ch 16 v 16 and declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Numbers tells of the manna from Heaven to sustain and feed the people in the wilderness. Jesus claimed to be the Bread of Heaven – the spiritual food for mankind. Israel was chosen by God to bring salvation to the Earth. Isaiah ch 26 v 18 says crudely that Israel had failed and that instead of giving birth to salvation they had brought forth wind. Matthew wrote his Gospel to Jewish believers and wrote to establish that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah – beginning with His genealogy in chapter 1. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Micah ch 5 v 2 when He was born in Bethlehem. In Isaiah the Messiah is presented as coming to Earth twice. Firstly as a suffering servant and secondly as a triumphant king. Sadly most Jewish people are still waiting for the triumphant king and have missed he coming of the suffering servant.
25. Jesus is the MIRACLE WORKER. Those who actually saw Jesus performing miracles did not question the miracles. They simply asked: “By what authority do you do these things?” Luke ch 11 v 47. It is only people who live two thousand years after the event who question that the miracles took place. John records that Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of the Disciples. John ch 20 v 30. When God is at work supernatural events take place – as when Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, when Jesus was born and when Jesus was at work. However, the miracles were not designed to attract the people but to persuade them that Jesus is God.
26. Jesus is the PASTOR. Jesus meets the three basic needs of man – to be loved, to belong and to achieve. In Timothy, Titus and Philemon Jesus is the great Pastor. Jesus not only loves each man He likes each man – even the un-likable. He seeks the very best for them and has a plan for each life. Jer ch 29 v 11.
27. Jesus is the great PHYSICIAN. As designer of the human body no one knows and understands the working of the human body as Jesus does. On a number of occasions Jesus is said to have known the thoughts of those standing before Him. The fact that a man is accountable to God for his thoughts as well as his actions raises Christianity above all religions. Jesus alone is able to remove the pain from painful memories. The memories remain but the pain associated with them is removed. The letter of James is all about the great physician. James concludes his letter in ch 5 v 13 with instructions about healing. Luke ch 5 v 31.
28. Jesus is the PREACHER of good news. Preaching is distinct from teaching. The preacher has to declare a message from God. While Jesus taught regularly He also made declarations on behalf of His Father. At the end of Psalm 22 v 31 Jesus said that He would rise from the dead and would proclaim His deliverance to peoples in future generations. Each of the prophets had a specific ministry. Jesus came to preach the Kingdom of God – the rule of God in the hearts of men. He preached regularly that the Kingdom of God was at hand or was near.
29. Jesus is the HIGH PRIEST. The whole sacrificial system inaugurated by God in the wilderness pointed to one who would be the High Priest. Only the High Priest was entitled to enter into the Holy of Holies and only once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people. At the time of Jesus Caiaphas was the High Priest appointed by the political leaders on the basis as the head of the family who would give the highest percentage of the temple offerings to the political leaders. Jesus knew of the corruption and the High Priest Caiaphas knew that Jesus knew. During the trial before the Sanhedrin the real High priest stood before Caiaphas. Jesus came to fulfil the role of King, Prophet and Priest. In Heb ch 5 v 6 God had declared Jesus to be a High Priest forever with the same rank as Melchizedek. Abraham met with Melchizedek in Gen ch 14 v 18-20. In Lev Jesus is our High Priest.
30. Jesus is the PRINCE OF PEACE. Isaiah ch 9 v 6. Man has fought with his fellow man from the time of Cain and Abel. During wars many have sought peace. Only Jesus can bring real peace between two peoples. James ch 4 v 1 asks: “Why do you fight? Because you want and cannot have and so you take.” When a man is not content with what God has provided for him he seeks to take what he wants from another. Satan became Satan when he was not content to be a worshipper of God and wanted people to worship him. Peace can only come to the Middle East when the Prince of Peace is acknowledged by all parties in the conflict. The Prince of Peace alone can bring true contentment to a man and end that struggle between the old man and the new man. In John ch 14 v 27 Jesus promised to leave His peace with His Disciples – a peace that this troubled World can never know. It is His gift to those who put their trust in Jesus.
31. Jesus is the PROPHET. Jesus fulfilled the three roles of Prophet, Priest and King – the only one to do so. The role of the prophet was to be so close to God that the prophet had the mind of God and spoke to the people on God’s behalf. In Deut ch 18 v 15 God said through Moses that one day in the future He would send a Jewish man to whom the people must listen and that He would personally deal with anyone who would not listen to Him and heed His messages from God. When John the Baptist started preaching he was asked if he was The Prophet who was to come. John ch 1 v 21. In Mat ch 21 v 11 Jesus was acknowledged by the crowds as a prophet. In Mat ch 24 Jesus prophesied His Second Coming to Earth and in Mat ch 24 Jesus prophesied events at the close of the present age. A man is a true prophet only if what he prophesies comes true. In First and Second Samuel Jesus is a trusted prophet.
32. PROVIDER of this World’s needs. Mark ch 6 v 42. Jesus fed first 5,000 and then 4,000. The numbers are significant. Mark ch 8 v 21. Jesus explained that He was the spiritual food for the whole World. Despite the enormous growth in the population of the World the production of food has kept apace so much that there is enough food produced to feed every man, woman and child one and a quarter times over. In Israel today the Jewish people produce amazing vegetables and flowers bloom in the desert. Deut ch 28 v 3-6. When Jesus created the World He designed timber, minerals and fuels (including oil) to meet the needs of mankind. It should be no surprise that Israel has found gas offshore. Jesus provides for His people. Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit after He returned to Heaven and the Holy Spirit gives gifts to mankind. 1 Cor ch 12. Friends and family as well as the skills of doctors and others are created as provision for the people and skills are received to enable a man to earn his living and to contribute to the well-being of others. The provision of Jesus contradicts all arguments that life is controlled by chance. The book of Esther, which does not mention God by name, shows how Jesus intervened through Mordecai and Esther to provide safety for the Jewish people.
33. Jesus is the REDEEMER. The story of Ruth is about a kinsman redeemer who paid the price to buy Ruth out of bondage. Jesus paid the price for sin by His death on the cross to redeem fallen mankind from the bondage of sin and to set free those who were in bondage to Satan. Gal ch 3 v 13. Jesus purchased fallen man from the curse of the law, which condemned man to death for his sins. In Job Jesus is the timeless redeemer. There is more in the Bible about the wrath of God than there is about the love of God. By His death on the cross Jesus averted the wrath of God, which rested on each believer. In Exodus God redeemed the people from the power of Pharaoh. In Nehemiah He redeemed the city of Jerusalem as a home for His people. Job recognised that his Lord had redeemed his soul. Job ch 33 v 28. Jesus is the one promised to redeem mankind by bruising the head of the serpent. Gen ch 3 v 15.
34. Jesus is the RESTORER of my soul. Joel ch 2 v 25. Jesus would restore the physical aspects lost by a man due to his sin when He is accepted as Lord and Saviour. Jesus looks to His Disciples to continue the work of restoration of any brother who has fallen into sin. Gal ch 6 v 1. In Phil ch 3 Paul presents a clear picture of a man being restored to relationship with God through Jesus. In Nehemiah Jesus is the re-builder of broken walls and lives.
35. Jesus is the RULER of this World. Col ch 2 v 10. Jesus is the head of all rule and authority. Satan is the prince of the power of the air and ruler of the World. The “World” is man organised in community without reference to God. However Col ch 2 v 10 declares that Jesus is the highest ruler with authority over every other power. Nothing happens but that it first passes the authority of Jesus. Satan is but the servant of Jesus. At the end of time Jesus will slay Satan with the breath of His mouth and destroy Satan when He comes. 2 Thes ch 2 v 8. Since the days of the Tower of Babel men have wanted to run this world without God’s help or intervention and they are slowly putting in place a one World government. Daniel saw the coming of four great kingdoms on Earth but God would set up a Kingdom to destroy all the other kingdoms and smash them in pieces. Dan ch 2 v 44. In Revelation chapter 4 Jesus received from His Father his inheritance namely rule over the World. The Scroll sealed with seven seals is a picture of a Jewish Will. The Will by God was opened by Jesus – the only one found to be worthy to open it.
36. Jesus is the SAVIOUR of the World. The story of Esther describes how Jesus physically saved the Jewish people from extermination at the hands of Haman. One day Jesus will save the Jewish people. Zechariah ch 12 v 10. For the people to receive spiritual salvation it is essential that they are physically alive. Jesus as King of the Jews has preserved His people during several wars since the return to the land of Israel in 1948. Joel ch 3 speaks of the time when Jesus will save His people and restore their fortunes again. The Bible is a story of how God the Father deals with His problem of how to restore a fallen humanity. Someone had to pay the price for sin and Jesus took the sins of the World on His shoulders and at the same time averting the wrath of God. Joshua is seen as a type of Christ saving his people from their enemies. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross and saved His people from the last enemy – death.
37. Jesus is the SACRIFICE. Isaiah ch 53 v 10. Heb ch 9 v 22. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. The whole Jewish religion was based on animal sacrifice for sins. Only a perfect spotless lamb could be used as a sacrifice. The blood of Jesus was holy blood, since He received it from His Father. In Gen ch 22 v 7 Isaac asked: “Where is the lamb?” In John ch 1 v 29 John responded when he saw Jesus: “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World.” Jesus’ sacrifice was acceptable to God the Father only because He lived without sin. John ch 20 v 17. Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to touch Him until he had been to the Father to see that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father. Later He invited Thomas to touch Him. John ch 20 v 27.
38. Jesus is the SANCTIFIER. Paul states this in his first letter to the Corinthians. 1 Cor ch 1 v 30.
Sanctification is the believer’s deliverance from the power of sin and his renewal in the image of God in Christ. It starts with being set apart by God. 1 Thes ch 5 v 23. The initial act of setting apart is the beginning of the process of moral renewal and purification. Its conclusion is perfection. After conversion sin is no longer a man’s natural sphere. It is no longer his friend and master. He has a new master – Christ. He cannot serve two masters. He is called to be a slave to God. Col ch 2 v 11-15. Eph ch 2 v 1-10. Sanctification is essentially that process whereby the Spirit makes increasingly real in a man’s life his union with Christ in His death and resurrection. There is a change in attitude. 2 Cor ch 5 v 14-15. This does not mean that there is nothing left for a man to do. There is a new sense of responsibility for sin and a desire to put to death those sins, which linger within a man. The believer is to set himself to the task of being like Christ. Paul speaks of pressing on to the goal. There is both a negative and a positive aspect. The believer is not to be conform to the World but is to be changed and transformed in his thinking. Studying theology transforms the mind, as the believer grows in grace and knowledge. Sanctification involves concentration of thought, of interest, of mind, of heart, of will and of purpose upon the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil ch 3 v 13-14.
The believer is sanctified through the Word. Rom ch 12 v 2. The law of God is His instrument to purify a man. God’s law applies the pressure to a man. Salvation does not come through the Law but sanctification does, as the Law guides a man towards holiness. Because the believer has a new master, it is all the more incumbent on him to obey the Law. The Law reveals the holy character of God. The Holy Spirit helps the believer to do it. The example of Christ, who is the embodiment of God’s own character, is before the believer. While God’s immediate purpose is that believers are to be His children, His ultimate purpose for them is holiness. With the privilege goes the responsibility.
Holiness is a group activity. Each person has the duty, but it is only possible to grow towards holiness in a group and as a Church. Believers need fellowship. They are to minister to one another. They need each other to point out sins, which are not obvious to them. A good fellowship assists progress. A poor one hinders it by allowing gossip and criticism. God will finish the process at the Second Coming. It is a life-long process. Believers are engaged in a battle against powerful spiritual forces.
39. Jesus is the SERVANT. Isaiah ch 42 v 1-9. In the Servant Songs in Isaiah chapters 42 to 49 the servant is sometimes clearly the nation of Israel. Sometimes it is clearly a single human being – Jesus and sometimes the song could be either the nation of Israel or Jesus. Acts ch 3 v 26. God describes Jesus as His servant. In John ch 13 v 5-10 Jesus washed the feet of the Disciples. This was a task reserved for the lowest servant in the house when guests arrived to visit the house. The streets were dark and dirty with camel and donkey dung and it was the dirtiest job to be carried out. When Peter and John hired a room for the Last Supper there was no servant to perform the task and Jesus did it Himself. If a Church leader is not prepared to do the dirtiest job as a servant, he is not worthy of being called a Disciple. Mark presents Jesus as the worker and servant of the people. He serves the purpose of God and He serves mankind meeting their basic needs. In Philippians Jesus is the servant’s heart.
40. Jesus is the GOOD SHEPHERD. In Ezekiel ch 34 the prophet castigated the shepherds – the leaders of the people – as failing to look after the people. Their concern was to look after themselves. In v 11 Jesus says that He will come to Earth and look after His sheep. So in John ch 10 v 11 Jesus declared that He was the good shepherd – the one prophesied in Ezekiel who would come to look after the needs of the people. When Jesus came the Pharisees were described as blind guides looking after themselves but ignoring the people. In Mat ch 18 v 12-14 Jesus told the parable about the shepherd going out to find the lost sheep. Mat ch 25 v 32 Jesus explains how as the great shepherd He will separate His flock of sheep from the ungodly herd of goats. Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd. Who is yours?” The good shepherd takes care of His sheep and meets their needs. Jesus extended this figure of speech to Peter when in John ch 21 three times He charged Peter to feed and look after the sheep. It is the task of the pastor to care for the members of the Church.
41. Jesus is the SON OF DAVID. Bartimaeus called out to Jesus, addressing Him as “Son of David.” Luke ch 18 v 38. David was the eighth son of Jessie. Eight is the number in scripture for a new beginning. God in David was establishing a role of King of the Jewish people and Jesus fulfilled that role. The two books of Chronicles narrate the kings of Israel. Some were good and some were bad. Jesus is the perfect Son of David and the true king of Israel.
42. Jesus is the SON OF GOD. John includes the seven statements by Jesus when he claimed that “I am.” John describes Jesus as the perfect Son of God the Father. He is the type of son every child should aspire to being. He surrendered Himself to carrying out the will of His Father by going to the cross. Jesus referred to God as His Father and on a number of occasions the Father referred to Jesus as His Son. Mat ch 17 v 5. In the cupola of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem Islam proclaims that God has no Son.
43. Jesus is the SON OF MAN. Luke presents Jesus as the kind of man that every human being should be like. He challenges his readers to be a real man. This is the favourite title that Jesus used of Himself. He used it in the trial before the Sanhedrin. Mat ch 26 v 64. It is the very reason why Jesus came to Earth – to enable man to be as God intended him to be – without sin. Luke in his Gospel describes Jesus as the perfect man and challenges men to be like Jesus.
44. Jesus is the SUSTAINER of this World. Who keeps the sun and moon in position in the sky and who regulates the weather pattern with its two jet streams? Who prevents space junk colliding with the Earth? Who keeps your heart beating? Who sends angels to guard each man in all his ways? The vast and almost infinitely diverse universe is only maintained in its ordered being by the constant activity of Jesus. Col ch 1 v 17. “In Christ all things hold together.” Heb ch 1 v 3 says that: “Christ upholds all things by His word of power.” Psalm 91 v 11. Grace is favour to those who deserve nothing but condemnation. John ch 3 v 17.
45. Jesus is the TEACHER of mankind. When Jesus said that He was the Bread of life He claimed to be the teacher of all spiritual truth. Mat ch 4 v 23. Teaching was one of the main purposes Jesus had in coming to Earth. His remit was to teach about the Kingdom of God – the rule of God in the heart of man. In 1 Tim ch 4 v 1 Paul warns Timothy about the dangers of false teaching. Satan’s chief weapon against believers is false teaching. The denominations are Satan’s greatest achievement. Much of the New Testament was written to combat false teaching, which was circulating in the area. The heresy of Replacement Theology teaches that God is finished with the Jewish people and that the Church is the new Israel. In the Letter to the Romans chapters 9-11 Paul addresses this situation and concludes that in no way is God finished with the Jewish people. The Disciples even asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Mat ch 6 v 5-14. Jesus promised that when He left this World He would send the Holy Spirit to lead the Disciples into all truth. The Holy Spirit continues the work of Jesus to teach. Ezra is a type of Christ teaching those who had returned to Jerusalem.
46. Jesus is the VICTOR. 1 John ch 3 v 8. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the Devil. One of the books, which will be opened on the Day of Judgement is the Book of the Wars of God. Num ch 21 v 14. God is involved in spiritual warfare with Satan. As soon as God chose the Children of Israel to reveal His glory to the fallen World the enemies of God – those dark principalities and powers – mobilised the people of Canaan to fight against Israel. This is the physical picture of a spiritual truth regarding the wars in which God is involved. God invites each man to join with Him in the battles against abortion, murder, pornography, gambling, drugs and others where human beings made in the image of God are being robbed, killed and destroyed. The seven people living in Canaan had names, which represented spiritual giants to be overcome in the life of each individual. Peter warns believers to be on their guard against the wiles of the Devil. The story of Esther shows Jesus leading His people from the wiles of Haman the Amalekite, who sought to exterminate the Jewish people. Likewise Nahum shows Jesus dealing with the Assyrians as the enemy of Israel. Like the Edomites in the book of Obadiah the Assyrians were wiped out. Death is the last great enemy of mankind. Jesus has defeated death. 1 Cor ch 15 v 54-56.
47. Jesus is the WISDOM of God. In Proverbs wisdom is presented as a person. Proverbs provide wise (godly) choices to assist a man in making the best decisions. In Mat ch 13 v 54 those who saw Jesus at work asked this question: “Where did He get His wisdom from?” In Luke ch 2 v 52 Jesus increased in wisdom. In 1 Cor ch 1 v 24 Jesus is described as the wisdom of God. 1 Cor ch 1 v30. God made Jesus man’s wisdom. When a man bases his decisions on the teaching of Jesus he becomes like the wise man who built his house on the rock. The wise man built his house when the weather was good and not in times of storm and rain. The time to build a life on the teaching of Jesus is when things are going well.