- Rick LoPresti
The real Jesus
The Lord Jesus Christ is the most important person to ever exist, and He is the most influential. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). He is the only Savior (Acts 4:12). He is God the Father manifested in the flesh (John 1:1-3 & 14, John 10:30, John 14:7-11, 2Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 2:9, 1Timothy 3:16). He is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6). We mark our years by His first coming. His teachings are by far the best selling book of all time. There is no one to compare to Him. He is either who He said He was, or He is the greatest deceiver and false prophet ever. It is estimated that there are over 2 billion people who claim to be adherents to His teaching, more than any other religion. Yet how many people actually know the real Jesus?
This is not a new question. It was pervasive when He was here on earth. His enemies were actually the most religious people. His own disciples often misunderstood Him. Other people were mistakenly trying to identify Him as someone other than who He was (Matthew 16:14). Some people believed He was the Messiah, but expected Him to re-establish the nation of Israel politically, and misunderstood completely that He came for spiritual reasons (John 6:15, Acts 1:6). They did not understand that He would come twice, the first time as the Lamb of God (John 1:29), and the second time as the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5). The first time He rode a baby donkey as a symbol of His mission (Matthew 21:1-9). The second time He will come on a white horse (Revelation 19:11). He told them there would be two comings with a long gap between them, but they did not understand (Matthew 24:23-31, Matthew 25:14 & 19, Luke 19:12-13, Luke 20:9, John 14:3).
The Lord also said there would be many impostors, especially as His second coming drew near (Matthew 7:15-23, Matthew 24:4-5 & 11-13, John 10:1-14). The same questions that arose about His first coming are being asked about Him today. Once again, His enemies are religious people. However, Jesus did not come to give us religion, but relationship. People are misidentifying Him as someone He is not. They are attributing to Him their own agendas which have nothing to do with His, and even twist the scriptures to do so. Preachers and even entire religious organizations claim to represent Him, but are false. This should not discourage us. This is just more proof that what He said is true, because they too are fulfilling His prophetic word. You see, the devil is not creative. The best he can do is imitate what the Lord Jesus does. The Coca-Cola company has used the famous slogan, "It's the real thing". The implication is that the other sodas are just imitators. Religion is the imitator. Relationship with Jesus Christ is the real thing. We have two choices - the word of God and the word of man. When we seek Him in prayer and the study of His word, He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Don't settle for less.