Just who was Jesus?

August 14, 2006 at 12:38 am (Day to Day)

“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Jesus’s disciples (1st century, Mark 4:41)

“Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.’”
Early speculation about Jesus (1st century, Luke 9:18-19)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”
St Paul (1st century, Colossians 1:15-16)

“God has revealed himself in his Son Jesus Christ, who is his Word issuing from the silence…”
St Ignatius of Antioch (died 110)
I find it funny that there are those who believe Constantine the Great diefied Christ at the Council of Nicea. Ignatius certainly believed that Christ was Lord over 200 years prior…

“The Lord has turned all our sunsets into sunrise.”
Clement of Alexandria (150-215)

“Jesus whom I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God.”
St Athanasius (296-373)

“Jesus has now been celebrated about 300 years, having done nothing in his lifetime worthy of fame, unless anyone thinks it is a very great work to heal lame and blind people and exorcise demoniacs in the villages of Bethsaida and Bethany.”
Julian the Apostate, Roman emperor (331-63)

“He who alone was free among the dead – because he was free to lay down his life and free to take it up again – was for us both victor and victim… and it is because he was the victim that he was also the victor.”
St Augustine (354-430)

“Christ is the great hidden mystery, the blessed goal, the purpose for which everything was created.”
St Maximus the Confessor, Byzantine theologian (580-662)

“I believe in… Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost. Born of the Virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate. Was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. the third day he rose again from the dead.”
The Apostles’ Creed (6th or 7th century)

“O hidden strength! A man hanging on a cross lifts the weight of eternal death; a man fixed on wood frees the world from everlasting death. O hidden power!”
St Anselm (1033-1109)

“Jesus was lost in his love for God.”
Rumi, Sufi poet (1207-73)

“When I was abandoned by everybody, in my greatest weakness, trembling and afraid of death, when I was persecuted by this wicked world, then I often felt most surely the divine power in this name, Jesus Christ… So, by God’s grace, I will live and die for that name.”
Martin Luther (1483-1546)

“Christ teaches and commands us to learn of him, for he is meek and lowly in heart and so shall we find rest to our souls.”
Schleitheim Confession, 1527

“No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Other gods have been as devoutly worshipped; no other man has been so devoutly loved.”
John Knox, Scottish reformer (1514-72)

“Not only do we not know God except through Jesus Christ;
We do not even know ourselves except through Jesus Christ.”
Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and philosopher (1623-62)

“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild…”
Charles Wesley, hymnwriter (1707-88)

“Socrates dies with honor, surrounded by his disciples listening to the most tender words -the easiest death that one could wish to die. Jesus dies in pain, dishonor, mockery, the object of universal cursing – the most horrible death that one could fear. At the receipt of the cup of poison, Socrates blesses him who could not give it to him without tears; Jesus, while suffering the sharpest pains, prays for His most bitter enemies. If Socrates lived and died like a philosopher, Jesus lived and died like a god.”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher (1712-78)

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
Thomas Jefferson, American founding father (1743-1826)

“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of people would die for Him.” My favorite.
Napoleon Bonaparte, French emperor (1769-1821)

“If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.”
Thomas Carlyle, British historian (1795-1881)

“I believe there is no one deeper, lovelier, more sympathetic and more perfect than Jesus – not only is there no one else like him, there never could be anyone like him.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian novelist (1821-81)

“Jesus died to save men – a small thing for an immortal to do – and didn’t save many, anyway. But if he had been damned for the race, that would have been act of a size proper to a god, and would have saved the whole race.”
Mark Twain, American author (1835-1910)

“Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900)

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3 Comments

  1. jondh said,

    What about the verse immediately after in Luke 4 — “But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God” (20).

    Speaking of that passage, I kind of like the Matthew 16:13-20; not only does Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man, but acknowledges Peter’s assertion that he is the Christ.

    I think there are many such statements by Jesus himself that could have made it into your list.

  2. scott said,

    somebody has been looking at websites from the U.K.

  3. Rob said,

    I think Peter’s confession in Matthew 16 is one of my favorite references to Christ’s diety. Regardless of debate with the Roman Catholic Church, I enjoy Christ’s response in verse 18—“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Of course we interpret this as Peter’s confession of Christ being the Son of God as the rock on which Christ’s church is built, as well as the rock of the entire Christian faith. I still think it’s beautiful metaphor.

    After charging the disciples with secrecy, what a trip it must have been to hear Son of God tell them that he must be killed…

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