If we get someone’s identity wrong then we will relate to them in the wrong way. Once when I was a schoolteacher, I had in my class the son of an owner of a prominent pizza chain. I had no idea that this student’s father owned anything, let alone a pizza chain. One day, while talking with my students, I mentioned that I simply could not stand this particular pizza. In my opinion they used less than quality ingredients and I had to search all over for the pepperoni on the pizza. As soon as I finished pontificating about pizza, this student raised his hand. “Uh, Mr. Coplen,” he began, “my dad owns that pizza chain.” Well, I tried to back-pedal a bit and since it was a Spanish class, I just started mumbling in Spanish for the class to open their books so we can begin. I had no idea about his identity and so I did not relate well to him.
Understanding the identity of Jesus is important if we want to relate to him. Even if we decide that Jesus is no more than just an historical figure, his historical prominence demands that we understand his identity as best we can so that we will relate to him the way that we should.
Some people determine the identity of Jesus through the media. Films like the Da Vinci Code or even The Passion of the Christ provide glimpses of how different Hollywood media-types view Jesus. Every year the Discovery Channel and National Geographic enter into the foray of Jesus’ identity with shows about “the Real Jesus.”
Even in recent days, small fragments of a document from the past seem to indicate that some people believe that Jesus may have been married. People are constantly attempting to identify Jesus, to understand who he is, who he was and what was true about him.
It seems that what is missing from most people’s attempts at finding the true identity of Jesus is the Bible. I believe that the Bible can offer more than just a religious opinion of who Jesus is. I believe that the Bible can offer a historical picture of the person of Jesus that allows us to determine in our minds the identity of this man who has played such a prominent part in the history of the world.
As we continue to explore Christianity, I want to invite you to a discussion series that Crosspointe Christian Church is hosting in Grosse Pointe Park. Our next meeting is Sunday, October 7th at 6PM at 1175 Lakepointe, on the corner of Lakepointe and Kercheval. This week we intend to deal specifically with the question, “Who is Jesus?” I wonder what is your answer?