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Author Topic: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  (Read 557 times)

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Offline Carey

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Hi,

Please assist me in gathering information for an upcoming unit I am presenting in my adult Bible study class.  We will be covering attributes of Jesus' character, things such as appearance, compassion, bravery, temper, etc.

I am asking this question here of Christians, and also of those that do not believe on a secular forum I frequent.  I would prefer answers based on what you currently know of Christ, without referencing the Bible.

It would also be valuable to note changes you have had in your views of Christ over your lifetime,  for example those of us brought up Christian have a very different view of Christ today, than when we were first introduced to the handsome man, a loving shepard, with a lamb in his arms, telling stories to a group of children (that is how I remember Him from Sunday school as a young child).  Today I know Him better, He is not a handsome man with long flowing hair, and blue eyes.   He is also a far more complex character, with a sense of humor, compassion, even bewilderment and temper.

Thank you in advance,
Carey.

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Offline The Barbarian

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #1 on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 11:06:27 »
He is God.   Completely eternally, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.   And He is man.  Wholly and completely one of us, becoming one of us, living with hunger and thirst and pain and love as humans do.   He taught us that we are all neighbors, and that in doing for those of us who need help, we are doing the will of the Father in heaven.   He died for us, suffering and dying on the cross, and then rising again to be with us.

Being at once God and man, he was in many ways subject to the limitations of man, knowing hunger, pain, temptation, anger and even fear.   

He taught us the truth.   And if we receive it, we are set free.

Like you, I got my ideas of Jesus from pictures.   My parents had an old Douay Bible, and about as soon as I could read comfortably, I started looking into it.   My first reaction was "this isn't very much like the pictures."   The OT was a bit of a shock for me, and my first thought was that I liked Jesus' way a lot better than the way men tried to make it work.

Later on, reading from The Imitation of Christ,  I realized that as the 2nd Adam, Jesus was a model for us to follow, not a ruler laying down laws for us to obey.    I often fail at it, but my goal is to be an imitation of Christ.



« Last Edit: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 11:13:32 by The Barbarian »

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #1 on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 11:06:27 »

Offline Carey

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #2 on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 13:31:33 »
Thanks Barbarian for your thoughtful answer.
Cheers,
Carey.

Offline geronimo

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #3 on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 13:40:32 »
 Amen Barbarian. great answer. +2. Guess we'll find out if 2 works as well as 1. Nope. Sorry. I owe you one. :-)
 Blessings.
« Last Edit: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 13:45:57 by geronimo »

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #3 on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 13:40:32 »

Offline MeMyself

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #4 on: Tue Mar 13, 2018 - 09:06:43 »
As a child, I always felt like Jesus loved me, but was always a bit disappointed in me. I doubted that "let the little children come to Me," would've include me... 
I saw pictures of Him turning over tables in the Temple and I was afraid of Him...
I thought He seemed busy and distracted when accounts of His ministry were read to our Sunday School class...

I never was able to see His compassion was what drove Him, that His love compelled Him...that He could and would forgive every sin and accept every sinner that came to Him.

And, as a young adult, after I discovered His compassion, His love and forgiveness for myself, I fell completely in love with Him! However, I became easily entangled by that softer side of Him...people used Him and His Word to control and guilt me into complying with what they wanted, making me doubt my own conviction and I felt trapped by phrases like "turn the other cheek!"  "forgive seventy times seven!"  "love keeps no record of wrongs!". I never learned the balanced teaching on what those things meant and I was utterly trapped by controlling manipulators that used His name against me, and I began to feel that His yoke was as heavy as I thought it would be as a child. He made me powerless, a target, a pawn...because He wanted us to always take what anyone wanted to kick in our face.

Its been a struggle to keep from seeing Him as disappointed in me...

Yesterday, I was praying again, again discouraged and feeling a failure about some things in my life...and the passage in scripture, where Christ Himself says He came to separate relationships called out to me.  I was shocked...but it helped me find the balance I so desperately needed.

Christ is love, but His also tells us to walk away when people don't accept us (our message)
Christ is forgiveness, but He also got ticked at the self righteous, those who did things in God's name that weren't godly at.all.
Christ is compassionate, and defended the bullied and criticized.
Christ had boundaries.  That is what helped Him be effective in His ministry.  He ignored His critics, didn't fellowship with them deeply, but also didn't chase them off. He was wiling to forgive them, but they refused to humble themselves, so He focused on those that would be humble.  He valued what others wanted to chase away and criticize.  He championed the least of these...and stood up to the powerful.  He took time away from people, so He could recharge His batteries by spending time alone with God.
He wasn't a pawn, until the exact right time that the cross came into view; and He surrendered utterly to God's will.

We can follow His good example in saying "no" to the bad and only keeping our "yes" directed at the Father.

And...I don't know if any of this is helpful or makes sense at all... ::smile::

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #4 on: Tue Mar 13, 2018 - 09:06:43 »



Offline Carey

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #5 on: Tue Mar 13, 2018 - 09:31:15 »
Thank you MM, I appreciate your response.   

Cheers sister,
Carey.

Offline 3 Resurrections

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #6 on: Wed Mar 14, 2018 - 01:44:13 »
Carey  -  Hmmm, a view of Christ "without referencing the Bible"?  That's a tough one.  How about a reference to one of the Narnia Chronicles by C. S. Lewis?  Everybody who ever read any of those books to their kids knows that Aslan was supposed to be a symbol of Jesus Christ.  Here's a quote from "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" that describes my life's experience so far with Christ in a nutshell.

"Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."  "Ooh", said Susan.  "I'd thought he was a man.  Is he - quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."..."Safe?" said Mr. Beaver...who said anything about safe?  'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you."

Growing up in a Christian home, I was cocooned from infancy onward with Bible stories, pictures, education, and parenting that gave me a secure sense of Christ's care for me.  Beyond a minimum amount of rather normal teenage independence asserting itself in the early 70's, my obedience to Christ's commandments as a believing child of God seemed a fairly straightforward plan to me: faithfully obey everything on the to-do list, and I could expect that the blessing of God's favor and fellowship would follow.  It was a safe environment for sure to grow up in.  Too safe. 

Of course, married life to a fellow believer and the start of a family put a reality check on this safe environment big time.  So much of a reality check, with some severe family problems emerging, that it felt as if God had pitched me overboard without a life preserver.  For some twenty years or so, bitter despair about these conditions in the family settled like a black fog over everything.  Problems that were totally beyond my ability to control or relieve them continued without much letup.  The heavens seemed literally turned to brass, and no amount of prayers, obedience, or efforts on my part seemed to be heard or noticed by the One that I thought loved me.  Truly, it felt as if I was a trapped beetle impaled on a pin in God's insect collection, just to prove He could do what He wanted to with me.  In the meantime, my desperate struggles only served to provide vast amusement for a sadistic, all-powerful creator while I was slowly dying inside. 

There is a common expression in Christian circles that says, "God will never give you more than you can handle."  Wrong.  It seems that God will quite often give you more than you can handle on your own for the very purpose of removing anyone or anything at all you may have depended on instead of Him.  It was a long painful lesson to learn, that may still need repeating as needed - that my careful, faithful obedience to Christ's commands did not obligate God in any way to reward me with a life filled with blessings or even a continual sense of His close, abiding presence.  He doesn't and never did owe me a single thing.

We are all given a choice of either falling on the Savior and being broken, or of having Him fall on us instead and grind us to powder.  Neither of these encounters with Christ leaves a person unaffected or unchanged.  As a child of God, I have had much of the safe little world of my youth broken into pieces by Him.  From the perspective of advancing years, though, I am beginning to sense the good purpose He had in mind behind what once felt like torture.  I can even bring myself to express gratitude for the process, now that a look over my shoulder shows me where I was being steered all along. 

So, if Christ actually does compare to Aslan in the world of Narnia, I can finally agree with Mr. Beaver..."Course He isn't SAFE.  But He's GOOD.  He's the KING I tell you."


Offline Carey

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #7 on: Wed Mar 14, 2018 - 09:03:04 »
Thank you 3 Resurrections, 

I appreciate your testimony on this topic.  I am sorry for the troubles you endured, but thankful you came through it still faithful and grateful.

God bless,
Carey.

Online Dave_UK

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Re: “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
« Reply #8 on: Thu Mar 15, 2018 - 03:59:24 »
Quote from: 3 Resurrections
..."Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."  "Ooh", said Susan.  "I'd thought he was a man.  Is he - quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."..."Safe?" said Mr. Beaver...who said anything about safe?  'Course he isn't safe.  But he's good.  He's the King, I tell you..."

He is "The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David"! (Rev 5:5) My Nelson's NKJV study Bible leads one on to Gen 49:8-10 regarding the Lion, and to Isaiah 11:1 concerning the Root -adding that both are messianic titles of Jesus.

Thank you "3 Resurrections", I "enjoyed" reading your post, C.S.Lewis's Narnia stories have always been among our family favourites. Aslan might roar but he didn't bite - his subjects/followers did the fighting under his supervision!  Most of us are familiar with 1 Peter 5:8 - the lion "anti-type of Aslan" - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour".  That phrase "Be sober", reminds me of my old mum's saying "When the drink is "in", the wits are "out" - that could be another topic for us forum posters!

  Your mention of family problems also "struck a chord" - my wife hasn't managed to overcome an eating disorder, despite much prayer and ministry (*).  Her problem is classed as Bulimia - but she doesn't make herself sick - just exercises "like crazy" to keep the weight off! It only became more noticeable after our daughter reached age 11 - but mercifully, the problem is nowhere near as bad now, as it was formerly - when silly/ridiculous quantities were secretly consumed.  (Comfort eating???) Our daughter also seems, at times, to go through "unwise eating" phases (secret comfort eating during her teens - typical "teen angst"!) - but in her case, we are more concerned about her "drifting away" from the Lord.  She is 47 now, been divorced once (from a two-timing cheat, "into" pornography!), married again and separated from hubby #2  due to his intolerable mood swings (bi-polar) urging her frequently to "Get Out!" - so eventually she did!  I won't  be more of a "tale-bearer", so will just say that most of us parents worry about what our kids are up to - they don't always tell us, or behave with wisdom and concern! (neither did we, when younger I suspect).

 We believe the Lord through His Spirit, has re-assured us He is in control "Leave the situation in My hands!".  We had another "bump" recently about our daughter's behaviour, and got very very suspicious - then the Lord told me "Dismiss those thoughts from your mind!". A timely response because my wife and I were both thinking a lot of negative thoughts about what our daughter might be doing, although we did not express them to each other vocally.  So through His simple message to us, He has relieved us of much worry/anxiety - we try to do what He tells us!

He ain't dead - He is alive and cares for His people, bringing our petitions to the Father!  He is "a rewarder of those who seek His face"!He is so kind and merciful.  He is the very best!

(*  Think it is much more difficult to continue praying for a long-term condition - one tends to "go off the boil" - also another reason for not receiving a positive answer to prayer, is the determined/fixed attitudes of the person being "prayed for".  IMO the lack of a positive response from the Lord indicates that something is radically wrong - a "blockage" somewhere, and there may be an unwilling attitude to an alteration of life-style!?  E.g. My wife (74, and probably the fittest gal in town for her age) is unwilling to cut out or reduce the amount of exercise she does, because she is frightened of "putting on the pounds", also being of an athletic nature, she just enjoys exercise. There is another factor to her problem, in that as a child she was neglected and food was not forthcoming on a regular basis - hence when the opportunity arose, she used to overdo things (so she tells me), and this childhood habit became ingrained.  My wife finds it difficult to resist the "packaging blandishments" of some items in the grocery section of the supermarket - if the packaging says "NEW!" she has the urge to "buy it and try it"!)

« Last Edit: Sat Mar 17, 2018 - 02:41:49 by Dave_UK »

 

     
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