About “The Purpose of Life Series”: Curiosity struck and I decided to ask Google how many people were searching out various phrases. I was absolutely floored at the amount of people who are aching to know answers to some basic truths that I hold dear. For instance, in June of 2016, there were 9,885,590 searches for, “Who is God?” (a) Knowing that, “there are many… who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it,” (b) I am hopeful to help them in their quest for knowledge.
This address is to those who do not know where to find the truth. I am hopeful to help some, I even dare to hope to help many, find answers. I will do so by teaching pure doctrine, testifying with all my might and showing how to gain a witness and knowledge on their own. You are invited to join with me as we explore beautiful truths together. If you are courageous enough to accept them, these truths will change your life and even your eternity.
As always, I accept full responsibility for the content of this post.
Who Is Jesus
Jesus is one of the most complex characters known to man. Many seek Him. Others seek to be like Him. Some even find Him.
This overview will rely on pure doctrine for answers to the question, Who is Jesus?
Who Was Jesus
In order to understand the question who is Jesus, we must first understand who Jesus was.
Before you were born, before I was born, and before Jesus born, we all existed. We existed in a state of refined matter, or rather, our spirit’s existed without bodies. (viii)
In this state of spirit, we learned of a plan. It was a glorious plan that would allow us to come to earth through birth and to gain bodies. (ix)
There were a couple of obstacles that we could not solve by ourselves. First, sin would separate us from God. (x) We would all fall short of His glory and would not be able to be in His presence again because of sin. The second problem was that we would gain a body in life, only to lose it through death.
Thus, entered Jesus. Jesus offered to come to earth, just like us. He volunteered to pay the price for our sins through the atonement. He would then allow Himself to be killed, after which His spirit and body would be reunited again through resurrection. His resurrection would break the bands of death for us as well, allowing us to experience our own resurrection. He would literally save us in two ways, from sin and from death.
Who is Jesus? Jesus was a son of God who lived with us in spirit form before the world was created. He offered a plan to come to earth that could save us all from sin and death.
One of the most treasured and celebrated stories in all the world, is the tale of Jesus’ wondrous birth. Many expected the Savior of the world to appear in great glory and save them from their enemies in a war-like fashion. They did not expect their Savior to be born under some of the most humble circumstances, even in a stable, with animals as witness.
The Parents of Jesus
Jesus’ mother, Mary, had been told by the angel, Gabriel, to “fear not” about her coming pregnancy. Mary was told that she would conceive and that the babe who would grow in her belly was the Son of the Highest, even the Son of God. Mary inquired of Gabriel how could this be? For Mary was a virgin. Gabriel responded, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (xi)
Thus Jesus, born of Mary, had God as His Father. Yes, He had flesh. He also had blood, but He was so much more. Miraculously, a God chose to come among us.
Can you imagine Mary’s plight? To be mother to the Savior of the world! The babe Mary would love and snuggle would earn the title of Christ and would literally save the world.
The Night of Jesus’ Birth
While Jesus’ birth was void of riches, a Heavenly choir sang in his earthly arrival. (xii) A new star appeared in the heavens, (xiii) and angels instructed shepherds as to where they could find the babe. The shepherds did indeed find their Savior, wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a feeding trough for the animals, called a manger. (xiv)
The Savior of the world had to be born into the world, for He needed a body to willingly offer Himself as not just a human sacrifice, but a Godly sacrifice.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is a God who chose to come to earth, by birth, in humble circumstances. He did so that He might offer Himself as a sacrifice for sin and to burst His and our bands of death.
Miracles of Jesus
The miracles of Jesus were truly wonders to behold. Among these miracles, our Savior turned water into wine, (xv) He healed the sick, and He fed 5,000 hungry people with a mere 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. (xvi) Jesus also restored a withered hand, (xvii) cured the dreaded disease of leprosy, (xviii) and even walked on water. (xix)
Raising the Dead
One of the most stunning miracles of Jesus was when He raised Lazarus from the dead. He raised the dead on other occasions, but the raising of His dear friend Lazarus was special. Jesus had stayed in Lazarus’ home along with Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. He loved these siblings.
Jesus was informed that Lazarus was ill and said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” After two days, Jesus declared that they would now go to Lazarus for, “Lazarus is dead.”
When they arrived, Lazarus had been dead and in the grave for 4 days. Jesus was first met by Martha who expressed her faith that, even still, Lazarus could live. Mary then came with a broken heart, crying about how Jesus could have saved her brother. Overcome with compassion, Jesus wept with them. He had said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” Because Jesus knew that Lazarus would rise again, His sorrow could not have been for the loss of life, but rather the compassion that He had for such heartache.
Lazarus Come Forth
Jesus approached the grave. “It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.” He commanded, “Take away the stone.” Martha then reminded Him that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days and “by this time he stinketh.” Jesus reminded her, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” At that, they removed the stone and after praising God said, “Lazarus come forth.” And he did. (xx)
It is an amazing thing to know that, in Jesus is found healing so deep and complete that life springs where death once was.
Of course, the greatest of the miracles of Jesus is the atonement, but we will delve into that later.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is a God of miracles who can heal the sick, feed the hungry, and even raise the dead.
The Teachings of Jesus
How Jesus Taught
In order to understand the teachings of Jesus, we must first understand how He taught. For, His way of teaching was often that of parables.
One such parable was told to a Pharisee when Jesus was dining with him. A woman, who was a sinner, heard that Jesus would be eating with the Pharisee. She came and brought “an alabaster box of ointment,” which she used, along with her humble tears to wash Jesus’s feet. She used no cloth, but wiped His feet with her own hair.
The Pharisee said within himself, “this man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner.”
Jesus responded to the Pharisee’s internal judgment with a parable about two debtors. One owed the creditor 500 pence and the other owed him 50 pence. Neither debtors had money to repay their debts, and the creditor generously forgave both of them.
Jesus then asked, “Which of them will love him most?” Of course, the answer was the debtor who owed the most. Jesus then further explained and said, that the woman had not ceased to kiss His feet, yet the Pharisee gave Him no kiss. Jesus also reminded him of her anointing His feet. In His great kindness, Jesus then said, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: not to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (xxi)
Although Jesus explained the meaning of this parable, He did not always do so. Those who were spiritually prepared understood the meaning of the parables, yet those who were not, considered them simply stories. (xxii)
A New Commandment
Among Jesus’ teachings was a “new commandment.” This commandment was to “love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (xxiii)
The teachings of Jesus lead to eternal life and exaltation. They testify of Jesus, the Holy ghost and of God the Father. Additionally, Jesus taught with more than words, for His actions served as testimony to all that He taught.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is a teacher who used various methods to testify of the way to eternal glory and exaltation.
Note: If you are among those asking who is Jesus, then the atonement is a critical subject to study and have written on your heart.
The day and night leading up to the death of Jesus proved to be sacred and of utmost import to the future of every living creature.
In preparation for this great sacrifice, Jesus had a sacred evening with His apostles. During the meal known as “The Last Supper,” Jesus told his apostles, “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”. During the last supper, He instituted the sacrament (xxiv) and performed the sacred ordinance of the washing of the feet. (xxv)
Then entered Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane. He took with Him the apostles Peter, James, and John, but asked them to wait and pray at a distance while He proceeded further. His distress was apparent as He told them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”
There is no possible way that our human intellects can understand what happened next. It was during this period that He did suffer in such agony that He literally bled from every pore (xxvi) and “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (xxviii)
As Jesus knelt and prayed, He came to know and intimately understand every single horrific event experienced by every creature to grace the earth. During His experience in Gethsemane, He came to know every single pain that anyone has or will experience. Jesus came to feel every ache, small or large. He felt the grief of every death and the weight of every single sin. This guiltless, precious, and perfect being came to have every crushing burden placed upon His shoulders.
The Gift of a God
This was no task for a mere mortal. No. This was the greatest gift to all, and it was a gift from a God.
The gift of the atonement makes repentance possible. If we repent, the great chasm between us and God is bridged. The suffering of Jesus makes it possible to heal, to forgive, and to be clean. Burdens can be made light and hearts can mend. Jesus suffered that you might have the possibility to return to the presence of God.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is a God who descended below every heartache, physical ailment, and sin through the atonement. He atoned so that all of us can be clean, whole, and even perfect in Him.
One of the most heart wrenching stories is of Jesus’ death. During The Last Supper, Jesus told the apostles that one of them would betray Him. That one was Judas Iscariot.
Judas acted as an informer to the chief priests by instructing them as to a time and place when they could arrest Jesus without a crowd. For Jesus was well loved and attracted great crowds.
Of Judas, Jeffrey R. Holland said, “…it is wrenching to think that one of His special witnesses who sat at His feet, heard Him pray, watched Him heal, and felt His touch could betray Him and all that He was for 30 pieces of silver.” (xxix)
Thirty pieces of silver was the cost of a slave, and for this Judas sold his exaltation.
Judas came into the Garden of Gethsemane, even on sacred ground, with those who would arrest Jesus. Judas gave Jesus a kiss of betrayal and with that kiss came the arrest of a God. Jesus, who could have commanded legions of angels to rescue Him, willingly walked in clothes, now stained with their sins, to His slaughter.
The Arraignment and Trial
Jesus was then unlawfully examined (xxx) before Israelite leaders, who quickly declared Him worthy of death. They then turned Jesus over to Pilate, who then turned Jesus over to Herod. Herod, was disappointed that Jesus showed him no miracle, and after Jesus did not answer his questions, he and his soldiers mocked Jesus. (xxxi) Herod then sent Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate declared, “I find no fault at all,” (xxxii) yet astonishingly delivered Jesus to be scourged.
Jesus was then scourged, had a crown of thorns placed upon His head, and was mocked. (xxxiii) He was made to wear a robe dyed in royal purple, while soldiers smote Him with their hands, and shamefully spit upon Him. (xxxiii) After bearing all of these afflictions, and more, plus the entire weight of the world through the atonement, Jesus was made to carry His own heavy cross to the hill Golgotha. (xxxiv) Due to His afflictions, however, progress was slow, so the soldiers made a man named Simon finish carrying the cross of Jesus. (xxxv)
They nailed His hands and feet to a cross. This perfect being was placed between two genuine sinners. (xxxvi)
At one point, the spirit of His Father, even God, must have been withdrawn. We know this because of the heart wrenching question from Jesus, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (xxxvii) Yet, he had to know what it was like to feel completely alone so He would completely understand us. (xxxviii)
The death of Jesus was ultimately not executed by man. In order for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to be complete, He had to willingly give up the ghost. With the words, “It is finished,” He did just that. (xxxix)
To ensure His death, a sword was thrust into Jesus’ side and out poured blood and water. It truly was finished.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is a God who willingly suffered betrayal, abuse, and finally death.
Having suffered death, Jesus was laid to rest in a sepulcher, or a tomb, donated by a man named Joseph of Arimathea. Jesus’ body was treated with oils and spices, then carefully wrapped in burial clothes with a napkin placed over His head. (xl)
A large stone was then rolled across the door and soldiers kept vigil to make certain that there was no disturbance.
But, there was a disturbance.
Mary Magdalene As Witness
Mary Magdalene went to dress Jesus’ body but instead, found an empty tomb. Distraught, she quickly ran to tell the apostles of His missing body. Peter and John rushed to see for themselves and upon arriving, witnessed no body either. They only saw the linen clothes and the napkin that covered His head.
Peter and John went home, but Mary stayed, sorrowing. While crying, she again looked into the sepulcher, but this time, instead of an empty tomb, she was greeted by two angels. Mary was seeking the living among the dead. (xli)
The angels queried, “Woman, why weepest thou?” Mary replied, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.” She then turned around and saw another man whom she thought was the gardener. Mary asked the supposed gardener, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”
She then heard the voice that she loved, cherished, and recognized. Mary heard the voice of Jesus, now the Christ, call her by name. She was commanded, “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God.”
Mary Magdalene became the first witness of Jesus’ resurrection. (xlii)
The Witness of the Disciples
The same day that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, Jesus appeared to a group of disciples in a room where the doors were shut. They had taken refuge together for fear of the Jews.
To the group, Christ uttered the blessed words, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” He then gave them the wondrous gift of the Holy Ghost.
Eight days later, Jesus appeared to another group of disciples, this time allowing His doubting apostle Thomas to touch the nail prints in His hands, and to thrust his hand into His side. (xliii)
Later, Jesus again appeared to His disciples and broke bread and ate fish with them. Eating served to prove that His spirit truly was reunited with His body. (xliv)
Jesus later spent 40 days with His apostles, teaching them and giving them new instruction. (xlv)
Jesus did die, but the glorious news is that He now lives! Because He lives, you and I can live again as well. (xlvi)
Who is Jesus? Jesus is a God who literally burst the bands of death. By so doing, we can be resurrected as well.
“Wise men still seek Him.”
Finding Jesus is a noble quest that we should each engage in. Finding Jesus might be in the flesh or He can manifest Himself to us in a spiritual manner.
We have record of Jesus physically appearing to some in the scriptures. Among others, He appeared to Moses in a burning bush. (xlvii) Abraham saw God face to face. (xlviii) Jesus and Heavenly Father appeared to Stephen on the day of his martyrdom. (xliii) Jesus and God the Father also appeared to Joseph Smith in reply to his heart- felt question which church should he join. (xliv)
Jesus teaches us, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (l) Enoch was taught, “and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.” (li) Both of these beautiful promises are prefaced with something we must do. To have Jesus manifest Himself to us, we must keep the commandments and love Him. To have Him abide in us we must walk with Him.
Of course, finding Jesus would include recognizing who He is and His glorious mission. Finding Jesus would mean that we not be ashamed of Him or his gospel.
Finding Jesus should not be a trite hope. To see the Savior face to face should be a most sincere goal.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is a God that has manifested Himself both spiritually and physically to men and women on the earth and continues to do so.
Who Is Jesus
Who is Jesus then? Let’s recap this complex and wondrous, eternal Being. In the pre-mortal realm, Jesus chose to come live among us. He offered a plan where He would become our mediator. Our Savior taught glorious truths that, if followed, will lead us to exaltation. Jesus performed many miracles including healing the sick, walking on water, and raising the dead. Our Great Redeemer suffered unimaginable agony through the atonement and willingly offered His life as an eternal and infinite sacrifice. Amazingly, after He had been dead for 3 days, His body and spirit were reunited through resurrection. When Jesus burst the bands of death, our bands of death will also be loosed, making possible our eventual resurrection as well.
Who is Jesus? Jesus is your Savior and my Savior. He is the way, the truth and the light, and stands today on the right hand of His Father. He loves you more than life itself, and proved this by His death.
You can gain an idea of your great worth as well because a God chose to descend below all things so that you can have eternal joy.
Note: If you want to know more about Who Is Jesus, then the missionaries have a glorious message for you!! You can contact them by clicking here.
More from The Purpose of Life Series: