Monday, May 04, 2009

Who Was Jesus?

Jesus was God in the flesh. He was resurrected and is yet alive, with total power to end in due time all fighting and war. He was also a messenger with good news from above, not a revolutionary reformer of a political party. He told his disciples after his resurrection, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18). In the near future, he will use that power. Jesus will return to this earth and rule over all nations (Rev. 11:15). In the process, he will prevent humanity from destroying itself. Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus constantly stressed concern for neighbor must equal concern for ourselves. "Love your neighbour as yourself," Jesus commanded (Matt. 22:39). That certainly includes our political neighbors - other nations. Jesus was not optimistic that mankind was capable of such outgoing concern, apart from his help. He looked into a distant future and saw the international order entering a period of chaos. "Then there will be great tribulation," said Jesus, "such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21). That time of international stress and tension would lead to a crisis at the close of this civilization. Said Jesus, "Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved" (verse 22). While pessimistic about man's ability to find lasting harmony, Jesus did say that peace would ultimately come to this earth. "Those days" of world turbulence "will be shortened," said Jesus. How could Jesus be so positive about such a distant future? Because he was more than a human being. In our day, the greatest message of hope for peace is Jesus' promise in the last chapter of the last book of the Bible. "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me....Surely I am coming quickly" (Rev. 22:12, 20).

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