Who Jesus Is In The Bible

Who is Jesus in the Bible? This is one of the most frequently asked questions amongst Christians and non-Christians alike. And depending on your perspective, you either get an array of responses or silence- because no one quite knows where to even begin when it comes to explaining this central figure in our faith.

The Bible goes into great detail about who Jesus is. But sometimes, we can’t understand the Bible well enough to see this truth for ourselves. In this article, we’ll open up the pages of the Bible that describes His function as God—in fact, it will be impossible to miss.

Jesus is one of the most well-known figures in the world. Practically anyone with even just a passing knowledge of religion knows his name. But if you asked people who Jesus was, what would they say? What image comes to mind when you hear his name? Do you think of someone loving and kind? Selfless and benevolent? Powerful and authoritative? Good as a carpenter? All of this and more come to mind when you think of the man from Nazareth.

Knowing the character of Jesus is an essential aspect of truly knowing Him. The question, “Who is Jesus?” simply answered, is: He is the Son of God (John 20:31), foretold by the Prophets (Luke 24:26), perfect in every way (Hebrews 4:15), Prophet, Priest and King (Revelation 5:12-13)…yes, truly, He is worthy of our very best!

Who Jesus Is In The Bible

Ancient Jews usually had only one name, and, when greater specificity was needed, it was customary to add the father’s name or the place of origin. Thus, in his lifetime Jesus was called Jesus son of Joseph (Luke 4:22; John 1:45, 6:42), Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 10:38), or Jesus the Nazarene (Mark 1:24; Luke 24:19). After his death he came to be called Jesus Christ. Christ was not originally a name but a title derived from the Greek word christos, which translates the Hebrew term meshiah (Messiah), meaning “the anointed one.” This title indicates that Jesus’ followers believed him to be the anointed son of King David, whom some Jews expected to restore the fortunes of Israel. Passages such as Acts of the Apostles 2:36 show that some early Christian writers knew that the Christ was properly a title, but in many passages of the New Testament, including those in the letters of the Apostle Paul, the name and title are combined and used together as Jesus’ name: Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus (Romans 1:1; 3:24). Paul sometimes simply used Christ as Jesus’ name (e.g., Romans 5:6).

Although born in Bethlehem, according to Matthew and Luke, Jesus was a Galilean from Nazareth, a village near Sepphoris, one of the two major cities of Galilee (Tiberias was the other). He was born to Joseph and Mary sometime between 6 BCE and shortly before the death of Herod the Great (Matthew 2; Luke 1:5) in 4 BCE. According to Matthew and Luke, however, Joseph was only legally his father. They report that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived and that she “was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18; cf. Luke 1:35). Joseph is said to have been a carpenter (Matthew 13:55)—that is, a craftsman who worked with his hands—and, according to Mark 6:3, Jesus also became a carpenter.

Who Jesus Is In The Bible

Luke (2:41–52) states that Jesus as a youth was precociously learned, but there is no other evidence of his childhood or early life. As a young adult, he went to be baptized by the prophet John the Baptist and shortly thereafter became an itinerant preacher and healer (Mark 1:2–28). In his mid-30s Jesus had a short public career, lasting perhaps less than one year, during which he attracted considerable attention. Sometime between 29 and 33 CE—possibly 30 CE—he went to observe Passover in Jerusalem, where his entrance, according to the Gospels, was triumphant and infused with eschatological significance. While there he was arrested, tried, and executed. His disciples became convinced that he rose from the dead and appeared to them. They converted others to belief in him, which eventually led to a new religion, Christianity.

Palestine in Jesus’ day was part of the Roman Empire, which controlled its various territories in a number of ways. In the East (eastern Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt), territories were governed either by kings who were “friends and allies” of Rome (often called “client” kings or, more disparagingly, “puppet” kings) or by governors supported by a Roman army. When Jesus was born, all of Jewish Palestine—as well as some of the neighbouring Gentile areas—was ruled by Rome’s able “friend and ally” Herod the Great. For Rome, Palestine was important not in itself but because it lay between Syria and Egypt, two of Rome’s most valuable possessions. Rome had legions in both countries but not in Palestine. Roman imperial policy required that Palestine be loyal and peaceful so that it did not undermine Rome’s larger interests. That end was achieved for a long time by permitting Herod to remain king of Judaea (37–4 BCE) and allowing him a free hand in governing his kingdom, as long as the requirements of stability and loyalty were met.

When Herod died shortly after Jesus’ birth, his kingdom was divided into five parts. Most of the Gentile areas were separated from the Jewish areas, which were split between two of Herod’s sons, Herod Archelaus, who received Judaea and Idumaea (as well as Samaria, which was non-Jewish), and Herod Antipas, who received Galilee and Peraea. (In the New Testament, Antipas is somewhat confusingly called Herod, as in Luke 23:6–12; apparently the sons of Herod took his name, just as the successors of Julius Caesar were commonly called Caesar.) Both sons were given lesser titles than king: Archelaus was ethnarch, and Antipas was tetrarch. The non-Jewish areas (except Samaria) were assigned to a third son, Philip, to Herod’s sister Salome, or to the province of Syria. The emperor Augustus deposed the unsatisfactory Archelaus in 6 CE, however, and transformed Judaea, Idumaea, and Samaria from a client kingdom into an “imperial province.” Accordingly, he sent a prefect to govern this province. That minor Roman aristocrat (later called a procurator) was supported by a small Roman army of approximately 3,000 men. The soldiers, however, came not from Italy but from nearby Gentile cities, especially Caesarea and Sebaste; presumably, the officers were from Italy. During Jesus’ public career, the Roman prefect was Pontius Pilate (ruled 26–36 CE).

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