Who is Jesus?



Dr. John Hoole



During the Pandemic that we all have experienced over the past nearly 18 months I decided to do more reading my Bible.  I read through the Bible and when I came to the Book of Revelation, I stopped and stayed there.  What really grabbed me was the very first chapter.


For about a month, I was captivated by this chapter.  Every day for almost a month, I  studied this chapter.  It is truly amazing how many ways it describes our Lord.  Someday, I would like to teach that chapter.  But today is not that day.


But it did get me to thinking about what I would teach immediately following our lockdown.  One day, I mentioned to Paula, “I think I would like to  teach on ’Who is Jesus,?’ ” to which she added, “and why the answer is important.”


Now, I am aware that this will not be, by any stretch, a comprehensive study.  I know what the apostle John writes near the end of his gospel.


John 20:30 NKJV


30     And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;


Then, in the very last verse of John’s gospel, we read:


John 21:25 NKJV


25     And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen. 


So, for this series, I have chosen 5 lessons to discuss: Who is Jesus, & why the answer is important.




Unlike the question “Does God exist?” very few people question whether Jesus Christ existed.  It is generally accepted that Jesus was truly a man who walked on the earth in Israel 2000 years ago.  The debate begins when the subject of Jesus’ full identity is discussed.  Almost every major religion teaches that Jesus was a prophet or a good teacher or a godly man.  The problem is that the Bible tells us that Jesus was infinitely more than a prophet, a good teacher, or a godly man.


C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes the following:


“I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’  That is the one thing we must not say.  A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic, or else he would be the Devil of hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.

But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher.  He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”


AGAIN, WHO IS THIS JESUS – and why is the answer to that question so important?  Let me start our quest by asking several questions that may seem very basic to most of you here.  Stay with me, and we will get to some of the more difficult questions later.





•  Bayt Leham        Arabic      “House of Meat”

•  Bet Lechem        Hebrew    “House of Bread”




Bethlehem is located some 5 to 6 miles south of Jerusalem.




There is a Bethlehem of Galilee located about 7 miles northwest of Nazareth.  In Hebrew, it is Bet Lechem ha Galilit.


When there are multiple cities with the same name, sometimes the geographical area is given.  Ex: Caesarea Philippi and Caesarea Maritima; Antioch of Pisidia.This Bethlehem is mentioned only once in the Bible – In Joshua 19:15It is mentioned there as being located in the Tribe of Zebulun.




To indicate which Bethlehem, this one is called Bethlehem Judah or Bethlehem of Judea.



a)  It fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.


b)  Jesus was of the lineage of King David, and Bethlehem was his city.


Let’s investigate these two reasons.



It is estimated there are more than 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about Jesus Christ.  One of the more well-known ones is found in Micah 5:2.


2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting."


This is speaking of the coming Messiah, saying He will be out of Bethlehem in the province of Judah.  Luke 2:4 speaks of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem.


4       Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,


Again, both Bethlehem and Judah are mentioned.  In both verses, Bethlehem is located in Judah, not Zebulun.  So we are looking at the correct Bethlehem.


There is an older prophecy concerning the Messiah and Judah.


Genesis 49:10 NKJV


10     The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.


This is among the prophecies Jacob to his sons just before he dies.  He skips over his first born and the second and third to prophecy the coming of the Messiah will be from the line of Judah, his fourth son.  The 'sceptre' speaks of the kingly authority was given to Judah.


And it was to be passed from one generation to the next, "UNTIL Shiloh comes."  The leadership of the nation was given to Judah, and it was not to be challenged, for Jacob added, "and to HIM shall be the obedience of the peoples."  Then the people were to be obedient to, their coming King.


The name 'Shiloh' means 'the Bearer of Rest'.  Shiloh was a city, but that is not what God, through Jacob, is referring to in Genesis 49:10.  'Shiloh' is the name of the coming Messiah - the promised Seed, through Whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.  It is He Who brings rest for the soul and is the fulfilment of all Scripture – Jesus the Messiah - the son of David - the son of Abraham.  He is the Prince of peace who gives.  He is the Lion from the tribe of Judah.


Matthew 2:6 NKJV talks about this coming King, and in doing so, quotes part of Micah 5:2.


6       'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.'" 



Now, when I was a baby, in order for me to get to my new earthly home I traveled from the hospital in the back seat of an old Willis Sedan.  Your story may be similar.


But Jesus… well, his story is a lot more interesting.  In order for him to come to earth as a baby, he first had to leave his home in heaven.  At first glance, this might not seem like a big deal.  But it’s a huge deal.


The part about him being born to a young virgin girl is amazing enough … but let’s look further back.  Jesus is heavenly royalty.


As I thought about the royalty of Jesus, I remembered a piece of trivia in a book I have.  Its title: The Jesus I Never Knew.”

By Philip YanceyIn the second chapter of this book he describes the logistics of a trip Queen Elizabeth II made to the U.S.


For the trip, she took “Four thousand pounds of luggage included two outfits for every occasion, a mourning outfit in case someone died, forty pints of plasma, and white kid leather toilet seat covers. She brought along her own hairdresser, two valets, and a host of other attendants.”  He continues: “In meek contrast, God's visit to earth took place in an animal shelter with no attendants present and nowhere to lay the newborn king but a feed trough.”


He left that royal throne and existence to come to earth.  Earth, where things were (and still are) shattered, broken and dirty.  Earth, where the sin of humanity had caused injustice upon injustice, and death upon death.  He was coming as a representative of the royal family.  This is an intriguing Person.  Someone who would leave heaven to come to earth.  That’s someone I want to know more about.


Jesus is the Image of the Invisible God


Colossians 1:15 NKJV


15 He [Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.


No one has seen God.  God is invisible.  But when Jesus came to earth, the people who met him were shown the invisible God.


Colossians 1:19 (NKJV) tells us:


19     For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,


That means that all of God was in all of Jesus.  And people got to see him.  Talk to him.  Eat with him.   Laugh with him and pray with him.  When Jesus was on earth, we got a picture of God in flesh.





         In Hebrew it is NETZER.

 in Arabic, it is AN NASIRA.

In Greek, it is Nazaret (Nad-zer-et)


Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament.  It is mentioned in the New Testament 24 time, but never after the Book of Acts.


In the first century, it was a fairly new village, having been settled about 221 B.C. by Jews returning home from Babylon.  It likely was made up predominantly of one extended family, all returning at the same time.

The city is located in the western Galilee region of Israel.  At the time of Christ, Nazareth was a Jewish city.  Afterwards, it became a Christian center.  It is today the largest Arab city in Israel, with 70% Muslim, remainder mostly Christian.  There are over a dozen churches in Nazareth.  If you walk its cobblestone streets, you will undoubtedly find many spice markets.


It is also one of the high tech. cities of Israel.  The population of Nazareth at the time of Christ was between 100 and 150.  In 2019, its population was 77,445.


While we are on this map, let me point out a number of places mentioned in the biblical record.


CANA – where Jesus performed his first miracle turning water into wine (John 2).


NAIN – where Jesus brought back to life a widow’s son (Luke 7:11-16).


GATH HEPHER – home of the prophet Jonah (Joshua 19:13; 2 Kings 14:25).




He and His parents had a brief stay in Egypt, until the death of King Herod.


Matthew 2:13 NKJV (Their Flight)


13     Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."


However, King Herod was unable to snuff out the baby born in Bethlehem to a young Jewish girl named Miriam (Mary).


Matthew 2:19-20 NKJV (Their Return)


19     Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20     saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead."


Thus far, we have addressed some very basic questions pertaining to Jesus Christ.  And during the rest of this series, we are going to examine who Jesus is by looking at some of the questions people frequently ask about Him.





It was Dr. James Allan Francis who penned the following words that aptly describe the influence of Jesus through the history of mankind:

"Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

"He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. . . .

"While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth—His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

"Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

"I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life."