A small girl, reading a children’s Bible story book, asked a significant question: “How do I tell the difference between Jesus and God? They look alike to me!”
Jesus responds to Philip’s question by telling him, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”(John 14:9). That’s the conclusion John wants us to come to when we look at Jesus in his gospel. He wants us to understand who Jesus is.
Who is Jesus? No more fundamental question has ever been asked! Who He is has everything to do with His actions, with the message He proclaims, and with our destiny. We must answer the question “Who is Jesus?” For many religious people, Jesus is a good man who taught moral lessons and showed us how to do good to others. For John, who Jesus is forms the basis for everything he tells us about Jesus! John wants us to understand that Jesus is everything we ever hoped for in a Savior – plus a whole lot more! He’s more than we ever bargained for!
In the conclusion to his gospel, John explains his purpose for writing: “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31, NIV). His book provides evidence that Jesus is who he claims to be and that we should trust Him.
John introduces his theme by telling us who Jesus is and what He came to do (John 1:1-18). He insists that Jesus is God, come to earth in human form to reveal what God is like. All who trust Jesus receive eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and the right to become God’s children.
Like Pilate, each of us must decide who Jesus is and how we will respond to Him. Our personal response to Him doesn’t change who He is, but it will change our life. C. S. Lewis rightly observed that there are only three choices: He’s either a liar, a lunatic, or God. If He’s a liar, He should be stoned. If He’s a lunatic, He should be committed. In neither of those two cases does He merit further attention. However, if He’s God, we better pay attention to Him and trust Him!
“This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
1 John 5:11-13