When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, “Who can this be?”
The crowd answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Matthew 11:10-11 (CEV)
These two verses intrigue me. “Everyone” asked who was this man who spoke with authority about God and His relationship with His children and performed so many miracles. And then “the crowd” responded with a name and where He was from in their world but was like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others who were called “prophet” in their history.
I do not have an educational background in the ancient Near East history. I have only studied the Scripture for about 20 years. My faith is heavily experiential. Jesus is very real and intimate to me.
Jesus came into my life in a dramatic way. I went to church nearly all my life but my relationship with Him was a character in folklore stories I heard in church. But when I accepted and realized how full of sin I was and how far from God that put me, I felt crushed under the guilt and shame of the choices I had made in my life. And so when I heard Rev Steve Hill proclaim “If you are ashamed of God, He will be ashamed of you.” (Luke 9:26) I wanted so much to jump up and move toward Jesus that even a whole division of soldiers with automatic weapons would not have deterred me from standing up and saying “Yes, I need You, Jesus!” that night. And with that simple sentence a flood of warmth and joy came over me! It truly felt like I was finally home.
Jesus has been the One who has saved me. Since that night my life has had many wonderful times when I was a witness to God touching people with His extravagant love, including me. In my lowest, darkest days, I have never felt alone. When grief was so HUGE I felt I might suffocate, it was Jesus who showed me I was in the Gethsemane Garden just as He had been. And just as the Father sent His Son angels to minister strength to Him, Jesus was with me to comfort and strengthen me. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice to atone for my sins was only the beginning. He continues to save me every day.
Jesus walks closer to me every day. Every day, however many times a day, when I talk to Jesus about whatever is on my heart, He is there to listen. And if I will listen, He speaks His wisdom and comfort to me and continues to teach me about the Father who loves me.
When I am asked “Who is Jesus?” to me, there are several answers I might share. It is the Holy Spirit who recalls to my mind and heart a story about Jesus and me which may encourage someone who is looking for the truth, looking for the only Savior.
Who Jesus is to me is not about dates and facts. He is the One and the Only who continues to give me a Living Hope. His promises are true and He keeps them. He loves me more than anyone else in my life. He is my Savior who has reconciled my sinful self to God. He is my Savior who has overcome death and will one day come and take me home.
I Need You More written and sung by Lindell Cooley