By Joe Slater
When the Lone Ranger rode away after defeating the bad guys, invariably someone would ask, “Who was that masked man?” Jesus wore no mask, but due to His unique teaching and behavior, people asked Him who He was.
Are You the Coming One? (Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19, 20). The imprisoned John the immerser sent messengers to Jesus with this question. The “coming one” refers to the one the prophets foretold (i.e. the Messiah). Rather than give a straight “yes or no” answer, Jesus told the messengers, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind receive their sight and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:4, 5). These were things that the prophets foretold that Messiah would do. Yes, Jesus was the One that the prophets said was coming.
Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? (Mark 14:61). Seeking to condemn Him, the High Priest posed this question at Jesus’ first trial before the Sanhedrin. “Christ” (Messiah) means “anointed one.” In ancient times, oil was poured upon one’s head when he was set into office as a prophet, priest, or king. Jesus is all three. “Son of the Blessed” is equal to “Son of God,” which will be covered in the following paragraph. In answer to this two-pronged question, Jesus answered clearly: “I am” (Mark 14:62).
Are You then the Son of God? (Luke 22:70). Again it was the High Priest who confronted Jesus with this question (see Matthew 26:63). Just as “Son of Man” focused on Jesus’ humanity, “Son of God” focused on His Deity (i.e. that He is God). All men are generically “sons of God” in that they are made in His image. But Jesus is the “Son of God” in a unique way. By His very nature, He is Deity. Jesus’ answer, “Ye say that I am” (Luke 22:70 KJV), certainly did not reflect what the Sanhedrin believed. Rather, it was a polite way of saying, “Yes.”
Are You the King of the Jews? (Luke 23:3; Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; John 18:33, 37). This time it was Pilate questioning Jesus. The governor was thinking of a political king. Jesus’ kingdom, however, “is not of this world” (John 18:36). He rules not over biological Jews, but over the true Jews described in Romans 2:28, 29). He answered the governor, “Thou sayest it” (Luke 23:4 KJV). Jesus was not stating Pilate’s view of Him, but giving a polite affirmative, just as He had done before the Sanhedrin.
Jesus is the One the prophets foretold. He is the Christ. He is the Son of God. And He is the King of the Jews. “A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord!”
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com