There are a large number of Christians who think that they know who Jesus is, but never really contemplated about who he really is. For instance they know that Jesus was a man who lived on the earth for a little over 30 years and was crucified by the Roman government at the behest of the Jewish hierarchy. They know that his mission was to die for our sins, but that is as far as they know. In other words they know the Christmas and Easter stories, but that is the extent of their knowledge.
The Gospel of Saint John tells us from the very start who Jesus really is.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
The Apostle John tells us that all things were made by him and without him was not any thing made that was made. This tells us that Jesus is one and the same as the one mentioned in Genesis 1:1.
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
John also says that in Jesus was life and the life was the light of men. This is the same light that was from the very beginning. Jesus is the light that was before the creation of the universe as we know it which was created on the fourth day.
So we see that the world was made by Jesus and there is nothing that is made that was made without him. So when man hung Jesus on the cross, they were hanging their creator on the cross. Can you see the anguish that Jesus felt when the very beings that he created were set upon executing him. Is it any wonder that for a period of three hours there was total darkness over the whole world.
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
This darkness was even reported by the Incas in Peru. For a period of three hours Jesus turned off the Sun and all of the stars. Thus the universe was cast into total darkness for a short period of time while Jesus was hanging on the cross.
Now that we know that Jesus is not only our Saviour but also our creator where is he in relation with the Father. Is he a separate being from the Father or a different manifestation of the Father?
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
As can be determined from the above scriptures the apostles didn't really realize who Jesus was. Jesus told them that when they saw him they also saw the Father. But people have this desire to relegate God to a person like themselves. In the second and third century the ``Christian Fathers'' were in the process of changing the concept of one God into a three person godhead.
From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary [Easton]:
Trinitya word not found in Scripture, but used to express the doctrine of the unity of God as subsisting in three distinct Persons. This word is derived from the Gr. trias, first used by Theophilus (A.D. 168-183), or from the Lat. trinitas, first used by Tertullian (A.D. 220), to express this doctrine. The propositions involved in the doctrine are these: 1. That God is one, and that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; Isa. 44:6; Mark 12:29, 32; John 10:30). 2. That the Father is a distinct divine Person (hypostasis, subsistentia, persona, suppositum intellectuale), distinct from the Son and the Holy Spirit. 3. That Jesus Christ was truly God, and yet was a Person distinct from the Father and the Holy Spirit. 4. That the Holy Spirit is also a distinct divine Person.
Before this time the Christian community was all agreed that Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Ghost were all the same being but manifested in different ways. Now I don't know of any person that can speak the universe into existence or turn it off at will. But God is not a person, but a spirit that is not encumbered with time and the constraints that we are constrained with. So when you get the Holy Ghost, you are getting a portion of Jesus inside of you. When you seek Jesus for a miracle, it is Jesus that performs that miracle.
Finally, when Peter told the people to be baptized in the Name of Jesus was he fulfilling the great commission of Matthew 28:19?
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The answer to the above the question can be answered by answering the following questions
Answering these three simple questions shows that Peter did follow the great commission when he commanded the people to be baptized in Jesus' name.
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