Who is Jesus?
Jesus of Nazareth, also referred to as Jesus Christ or simply Jesus, is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christian denominations venerate him as God the Son incarnated and believe that He rose from the dead after being crucified.
The principal sources of information regarding Jesus are the four canonical Gospels of The Bible, and most critical scholars find them, at least the Synoptic Gospels, useful for reconstructing Jesus’ life and teachings. Some scholars believe apocryphal texts such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel according to the Hebrews are also relevant though this is highly debatable.
Most critical historians agree that Jesus was a Jew who was regarded as a teacher and healer, that he was baptized by John the Baptist, and was crucified in Jerusalem on the orders of the Roman Prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, on the charge of sedition against the Roman Empire. Critical Biblical scholars and historians have offered competing descriptions of Jesus as a self-described Messiah, as the leader of an apocalyptic movement, as an itinerant sage, as a charismatic healer, and as the founder of an independent religious movement. Most contemporary scholars of the Historical Jesus consider him to have been an independent, charismatic founder of a Jewish restoration movement, anticipating an imminent apocalypse. Other prominent scholars, however, contend that Jesus' "Kingdom of God" meant radical personal and social transformation instead of a future apocalypse.
Christians traditionally believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, performed miracles, founded the Church, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, from which He will return. Most Christian scholars today present Jesus as the awaited Messiah promised in the Old Testament and as God, arguing that he fulfilled many Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. The majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, one of three divine persons of a Trinity - Son, Father and Holy Spirit. A few Christian groups, however, reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, believing it to be non-scriptural, despite references to it in The Bible.
Judaism rejects assertions that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that he did not fulfill the Messianic prophecies in the Tanakh. In Islam, Jesus (commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's important prophets, a bringer of scripture, and the product of a virgin birth; but did not experience a crucifixion, but this forms a bizarre contradiction as they do not follow His teachings. Islam and the Baha'i Faith use the title "Messiah" for Jesus, but do not teach that he was God incarnate despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
If you'd like to know more about Jesus, The Bible is a great source of information about His life and teachings. We also encourage you to come to church this Sunday to learn more of God's great promise for the world.