Who Jesus Speaks For

What adds to the complexity of the Biblical / historical Jesus is the fact that he did not just speak for himself. He is similar to an emissary or ambassador who is sent, not to express his own opinion or understanding, but to express the views of the one who sent him. The prophets found in the Bible spoke their own thoughts and also spoke what are understood to be the words, instructions, teachings, and commands of God. Sometimes it can be difficult to know who the prophet is speaking for, himself, God, or perhaps the prophet is speaking with regard to some future event or person. Remember the question of the Ethiopian man, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” (Acts 8:34) The words of Jesus and the scriptures that describe him are a multifaceted mosaic:

  1. He is a first century Jewish Rabbi who exclaims, ” ‘Why do you call me good?’ . . . ‘No one is good–except God alone.’ ” [Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19 NIV]
  2. He is the Son of David, the natural descendent of King David, thus the natural son of Joseph. “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” [Matthew 21:9 NIV] He cannot be a natural descendent of David, a Messianic requirement, if he is not the natural son of Joseph. The people didn’t shout, “Hosanna to the Step Son of David.”
  3. He is the Son of God (born of the Virgin Mary, thus, not the natural son of Joseph) who was spoken of in Proverbs. “Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and the name of his son? Tell me if you know!” [Proverbs 30:4 NIV] “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ ” [Matthew 3:17 NIV] “I am God’s son.” [John 10:36]
  4. He is the Messiah. “The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (Called Christ) ‘Is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am he.'” [John 4:25-26]
  5. He is the Christ. “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).” [John 1:41 NIV]
  6. He speaks for the coming Son of Man. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” [Matthew 24:37 NIV] “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” [Matthew 24:44 NIV]
  7. He speaks for the coming Lord. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” [Matthew 24:42 NIV]
  8. He is Bread From Heaven. “… It is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” [John 6:32-33]
  9. He is the Lamb of God. “The next day he (John) saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ ” [John 1:29 NASB] “Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, ‘You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.’ He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.” [John 11:49-52 NIV]
  10. He is the voice of the living Torah. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [John 1:1 NIV] “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” [John 1:14 NIV] “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6 NIV]
  11. He is God on earth, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6 NASB]

According to the above scriptures, Jesus is simultaneously: a first century Jewish Rabbi, the Son of David (the natural son of Joseph), the Son of God (born of the Virgin Mary), the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of Man, the Lord, Bread From Heaven, the Lamb of God, the living Torah, and God on earth (Immanuel – God with us). How can this be? It’s more likely that he was an ambassador and representative of them all. Whether we accept all of the above or only a few of the claims about Jesus, regardless of who we claim Jesus is, one thing is certain: everything he ever did or said was 100% Jewish! It doesn’t matter how vehemently we present the more spectacular claims about Jesus, the life of Jesus is a life that testifies to the nature of Judaism.