Eight days later, His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came to them and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” (Jn. 20: 26-28)
WHO IS JESUS? There are many things that Jesus calls Himself in the Gospels: The Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11), , the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn. 14:6), the Light of the World (Jn. 8:12), the Gate (Jn. 10:9), the Resurrection and the Life (Jn. 11: 25), the Vine (Jn. 15:5), and the Bread of Life (Jn. 6:35). Then, of course, there is that scene in the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus questions His disciples on who they say that He is, and Peter gives this response: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Then there is the passage in John where John the Baptist refers to Jesus as the Bridegroom:
And they [John’s disciples] came to him [John], and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you bore witness, here he is, baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice; therefore this joy of mine is now full. He must increase, but I must decrease (Jn. 3:26-29)
Then there are the countless times where Jesus referred to Himself as the “son of man.” Mark 14:62 is just an instance:
But He was silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked Him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his clothes, and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy” (Mk. 14:62-64a).
Then, of course, there is John the Baptist’s statement, “ecce agnus Dei”, “Behold, the Lamb of God” (Jn. 1:29). There are many titles that are attributed to Christ in the Gospels, and I’m sure there are some that I failed to recall; but I want to address these, because I think that there is a grievous misunderstanding of who Christ is. I don’t claim to be a biblical expert, because I am not; however, I am living in this world with all of you and I, too, day by day am learning more about my Lord and my God. Therefore, I want to assert this: Who and what Christ is is not subjective. Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:11). We do not get to say that Christ is whatever we want Him to be, whether it makes us feel better or not, whether it makes society feel better or not; because Christ Himself did not veil who and what He was, nor did He back down when He was sentenced to death for claiming the Divine Name for Himself, a name that Jews would not even utter out of reverence for it, the Tetragrammaton: YHWH, I AM WHO AM (Jn. 8:58, Jn. 18:5-6, Mk. 14:62, given to Moses in Ex. 3:14). Jesus is God.
Over the course of the next week or so, I am going to do my absolute best to go through each of the titles that I mentioned above, the titles that Christ gave to Himself. There is so much mystery surrounding our Lord and Savior, but it is of the utmost importance that we keep ever present in our hearts and minds, not only who we say that He is, but who He says that He is. Christ does not invite us, as He did the Apostles all those years ago, to state who we say that He is because we are free to think of Him in any way that we like (in some sort of Ricky Bobby-esque manner), but rather to see if what we say of Him measures up correctly to what He says. Let us each and everyone grow in holiness day by day, growing in love for our Beloved. pax Christi, God bless.
p.s. If there are any out there who are studying Scripture and you feel like you know lots and want to discuss anything, or even feel the need to correct me on something, by all means get in touch with me in the comments or shoot me an email (or even a message on Messsenger), and we’ll talk. Also, though I have never read the series myself – and boy do I want to one of these days – Cardinal Ratzinger’s, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth series is very good I hear.