WHO IS JESUS?
By Ada Nicholson Brownell
Anyone who has heard the gospel has to make a decision about Jesus Christ. Is He who He said He was when He lived on earth? Is He who His followers say He is? Or are the skeptics right?
I was young when I first heard about Jesus. Yet, in my youth I began to wonder. Are the beliefs of my church correct? I started searching scripture and I discovered Jesus revealed Himself to those around Him. Reliable witnesses of His life on earth put their testimonies in writing for me to study, so I did and I found out who Jesus is.
Matthew wrote, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’’ (Matthew 1:23). The prophet Isaiah wrote the same words hundreds of years before Jesus was born. It’s recorded in Isaiah 7: 14.
We can read their testimonies in the New Testament. According to tradition, all gave their lives because of their faith in Him, with the exception of John, who died in exile on Patmos Island.
In his book, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," Josh McDowell wrote that no one would give his life for something he knew was a lie.
The disciples were there when Jesus walked on water, calmed the storms, fed thousands on a bit of fish and bread, healed the sick, raised the dead, died on a bloody cross in agony for our sins, and rose from the dead three days later. These men knew Jesus. But we also may know Him because He took on bones and skin and walked in human flesh. By becoming one of us Jesus:
1. Demonstrated concern about our eternal destiny. "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you ... that where I am you will be also." (John 14)
2. Demonstrated he cares about our lives. "The thief (Satan) comes to steal and destroy but I come that you might have life to the full." (John 10:10)
3. Demonstrated concern for our physical needs. He healed the sick and fed His followers.
4. Demonstrated power over our emotional needs by healing the brokenhearted and comforting those who mourn.
5. Demonstrated the need to resist Satan by sending the tempter fleeing when the devil came to Him (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan wanted Jesus to start a "reality show" by turning stones into bread, jumping off the pinnacle of the temple without a parachute. Then He offered Jesus rulership of the world, which is laughable since Jesus was there at creation (See Colossians 1:16).
Further concerning temptation, we’re told in Hebrews 4:15, "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin."
6. Demonstrated compassion. He was not annoyed by interruptions; he loved on children; cried at Lazarus' death; and restored Peter to the ministry even after Peter denied he knew him.
7. Demonstrated his power not only to stop storms, but to change lives. The woman at the well experienced a transformed life. So did the man delivered from demon possession who dwelled among the tombs, so wild he couldn't be chained, cutting himself, crying. Suddenly he was delivered and in his right mind. (Mark 5:1-15)
Jesus didn't use his power to draw attention to himself, but He used it because He loves people.
8. Claimed to be God and demonstrated His divinity by walking out of the tomb alive, verified by many witnesses. He said, "The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!" (John 8:38 NLT)
9. Demonstrated His love for humankind by dying on the cross in order that death would be swallowed by life (2 Corinthians 5:3-5). For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
10. Demonstrated how He will come back for His church when He was taken up before their astonished eyes and a cloud received him out of their sight. An angel told the 500 men and other dumbfounded believers, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Act 1:9-10).
That's who Jesus is. Do you know Him?
©Copyright Ada Brownell June 2016
The Peach Blossom Rancher, an historical romance
Sequel to The Lady Fugitive
By Ada Brownell
A handsome young man with a ranch in ruin and a brilliant doctor confined to an insane asylum because of one seizure. Yet their lives intersect. How will they achieve their dreams?
John yearns for a wife to help him make the ranch all it should be after his uncle, a judge ravaged it before he was murdered in the last book. He has his eye on his sister’s elegant matron of honor, Valerie MacDougal, a young widow. But Valerie, a law school graduate, returns to Boston to live with her parents since her little son was born. John and Valerie write, he’s kissed her a few times, but while in Boston Valerie and one of her father’s law partners try to get three patients wrongfully judged as insane out of the Boston asylum and they spend a lot time together.
Will John marry Valerie or Edwina Jorgenson, the feisty rancher-neighbor who has been in love with John since they were in grade school? Edwina’s father is in a wheelchair and she’s taking care of their ranch. John tries to help and protect this neighbor who has a Peeping Tom whose bootprints are like the person’s who dumped a body in John’s barn. But John and Edwina fuss at one another constantly. Will John even marry, or be hanged for the murder?
Tentative Release Date July 2016