Who is Jesus
It can be the case that we are so familiar with Jesus as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity and the Divine Son of God that we can miss just how significantly different are the claims Jesus makes. In the world where he is preaching, to claim that he was on par with God was something indeed. But just who is Jesus?
The answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?” is probably best understood first if we recognize just how jarring would the claims of Jesus been to the hearers of his day. For Jesus is not simply claiming to be a rabbi, nor is he simply claiming to be a prophet, though he could be seen as both.
Rather, Jesus is setting himself up as one who speaks with the ultimate authority. He says “The Father and I are one.” He tells Philip, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus makes the claim that he is doing the works and deeds of the Father because Jesus is God.
And the miracles of Jesus provide the evidence that what Jesus says is true. He heals, perform miracles, even raises Lazarus from the dead. He is the bread of life, he is the word made flesh. When such claims were viewed as blasphemy, it is easy to see why it is the Pharisees had such hard time accepting Jesus.
But as Christians, we need to focus on the Old Testament and what it teaches us about the promise of God and its fulfillment. For to be the Messiah is the be the fulfillment of God’s promise. And trying to answer the question, “Who is Jesus?”, is not possible without reference to this promise.
It begins with Genesis 3:15, and it continues, in both hidden and revealed forms throughout the Old Testament. Isaac freely offers himself after carrying the wood of the sacrifice. A ram is sacrificed in that same story. There are the suffering servant passages in Isaiah. There is the promise made by God to King David through the prophet Nathan.
While these are only a few, we can see how the words of Saint Augustine ring true. The New Testament is hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the new. While the claims of Jesus might seem dramatic, and indeed they are, for those listening with “Old Testament ears” it would be clear and obvious what it is that Jesus is about.
On the friar, you can listen to our homilies (based on the readings of the day) and reflections. You can also ask us to pray for you or to pray for others. You can subscribe to our website to be informed whenever we publish an update.