Who Is Jesus?
The Gospel of John is a foundational book of the Bible for revealing who Jesus is. In fact, many pastors will encourage new believers to read the book of John to help them develop their understanding of Jesus. In John’s first chapter alone we are introduced to Jesus as the eternal God, Creator, Life-giver, God incarnated as a man, and God’s sacrificial Lamb who takes away our sins. It is also interesting to focus in on the direct statements Jesus made about himself throughout John. We don’t have the space to look at all of them here, but let’s look at one.
“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd, and I know my own and my own know me…” John 10:11,14
The Shepherd/sheep metaphor is found throughout scripture and is a familiar picture that has provided comfort to the people of God throughout the ages. It’s a metaphor that teaches us about God’s love, care, concern and protection. Jesus picks up this metaphor and adds some more nuance.
In the context that Jesus says this, he contrasts himself (a good shepherd) with a hired hand who has no genuine ownership or concern for the sheep. Jesus is pointing to a special relationship he has with his people. He knows his own. They belong to him, they are his own, and therefore, he has a particular concern for them. We are not just an abstract, nameless mass of humanity that he is indifferent about. He knows specifically and individually those that are his (2 Tim 2:19), even leaving the 99 to go after the one stray sheep (Luke 15:4).
When we ask the question, “Who is Jesus,” we should be able to answer that theologically. Theologically, he is God who came as a man to lay down his life for my sins in order to offer me salvation from wrath and the gift of eternal life. We should also be able to answer that question relationally. He is my good shepherd who has a special concern for me, who knows me intimately. What’s more, this relationship and intimate knowledge goes both ways because Jesus also says, “my own know me.”
Does this resonate with you? Do you know who Jesus is? Do you know him as intimately as he knows you? Is he your good shepherd with whom you have a relationship with, or is he merely a faraway being that loves the world but has no idea who you are?
Sometimes we aren’t aware that our personal knowledge of who Jesus is can be incomplete or lacking. I pray that you get to know him as your good shepherd.
Jesus, may you give to these readers “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you” Ephesians 1:17.