What Was Jesus About?
So what was Jesus about?
What was his thing?
Those of us who’ve been around church for a while probably know the basics. We know about Christmas and Easter - the start and the finish: The son of God, come in the flesh to show us what God is like and, most importantly, reconcile us with God by dying in our place for our sins.
So we know why Jesus was born, and why he died - but what about the bit in the middle?
Why did Jesus live?
And, in particular, what were his 3 years of ministry about?
Everyone knows He healed sick people, fed hungry people, loved unclean people, raised dead people, rebuked self-righteous people, and he exorcised demons from people. But was there any rhyme or reason to it all? They can seem like scattered pieces of a jigsaw if we don’t see the big picture. Surely he wasn’t just a man with a ‘hot hand’ for the miraculous or a moral philosopher. So what was the big idea behind it all?
I want to try and answer that question by asking 3 further questions: Who He was? What did He say? And what did He do?
So who was he?
Jesus had plenty of titles, a lot of job descriptions. You might say he wore many hats: Saviour, Messiah, Son of God, Son of man…
But the Gospels are keen to show us one in particular - Jesus is the King.
Not like Elvis, but literally king of the Jews, King of the world, King of the universe.
Consider the following from the book of Matthew:
Notice the very first verse - chapter 1 verse 1: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David.” David the king… About whom God had foretold through the prophets that one of David’s descendant would be a great King and God “will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” (2 Sam 7). Matthew then traces Jesus’ ancestry through the line of the kings of Israel.
Notice the question that the wise men ask Herod: “Where is he who was born king of the Jews?”
Notice Jesus begins his ministry by moving to Capernaum in the land of Naphtali. Insignificant in one sense. But Matthews explains this is to fulfil the prophecy from Isaiah 9 where we read: “...the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light.” Why? Isaiah 9 continues: “For to us a child is born … and the government shall be upon his shoulders … of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.”
Notice after the Sermon On The Mount is delivered, the most famous sermon Jesus ever preached, we read: “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority.” He does not mean that he spoke with confidence or unction. He spoke like he was in charge.
Notice when Jesus hung on the cross, the sentence inscribed above his head: ‘this is Jesus, king of the Jews.’
And finally notice again, the last words of Jesus, the great commission – begins like this: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…”
It all points to one astounding claim that few really understood on the first viewing.
One Roman soldier did however...
In Matthew 8 a centurion requests the help of Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus agreed to come. But the centurion had seen the authority of Jesus for what it really is. “You don’t need to come”, he says, “just say the word and it will happen.”
“With no one in Israel have I found such faith!” Jesus marvelled.
He’d got it. He’d realised the momentous thing that was happening. The king had arrived…