Recognizing Jesus

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“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” – Matthew 11:3


“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” In human terms you might label this the multi-million/billion/trillion-dollar question. But in the most significant terminology you could ever use, this is THE question which supersedes all other questions.

John the Baptist, imprisoned with a death penalty hanging over his head, sent messengers to Jesus with this peculiar question to ask him. For some reason John had become mystified over who Jesus really was, and this after already saying of him as he came to receive baptism from John, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

With what John had said of Jesus already you would think he was absolutely sure that Jesus was and is the Messiah. But you must remember that even though Jesus called John among the greatest of prophets, John was still a mortal, fallen creature born with original sin just like the rest of us. Yet he was a redeemed man, redeemed by the very One whom he announced to the world, as it was prophesied of him hundreds of years prior in the few last words of the entire Old Testament: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.”

Jesus said of John, “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.” And then this “Elijah” sent messengers from prison to ask Jesus if He was THE ONE! Was he the one who had come to set captives free, to break down the bars of captivity? John thought of such promises of the Messiah as he languished in Herod’s prison, still a captive.

This question is also before all mankind. It is asked of you. Is Jesus the one to whom all the world must come for salvation? Is He the promised Messiah? Or shall we look for another? Another person? Another way? Another means of salvation?

This was asked of His disciples – “Who do people say that I am? But who do YOU say that I am?” Peter answered for them all – “You are the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of the Living God; to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!”

In a world where there are so many people and things which claim to offer salvation to mankind; which claim to be “the way, the truth, and the life”; can any one person, thing, or way claim this? Isn’t this the height of hubris to make such a claim? The mantra of the modern age, in fact, the mantra of all the ages is, “there are many ways to God, there are many roads to salvation!”

This is either true or it is the greatest lie of all the history of mankind’s existence. This was the lie told in primeval Eden. And this same “serpent” has been repeating this lie ever since. And, what is more, people have been believing it. This is the lie that is like the fog which creeps in on little cat feet to every mind, seeps under doors of houses, slides through the cracks in window sashes to find residence in the hearts of men and women.

It was said in the days of Noah; it was offered in the days of the prophets; it was thought in the days of the wisemen who came from afar to worship Him who came as a babe in the flesh; it was said of Him who hung on a cross; it was spread as rumor about the empty tomb; it will be shouted from the rooftops; that is, until one day “every knee shall bow and proclaim Him Lord of lords, and King of kings to the glory of God the Father.” Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?

In many ways it might seem easy to believe the lie and not recognize Jesus for who He genuinely is. There is much to compete with His claim throughout the universe, except for this: the evidence of the world shouts, the intricate design of everything that exists says, the heavens especially declare in their glory, the perfect prophecy fulfillment over millenniums of time emphatically shouts, “I am that I am!”

The one who denies all the abundant evidence of who Jesus is says “my eyes are blind to everything and anything presented to me. I would rather rot in hell than believe Jesus is who He says He is; the Savior of the world!”

Count it all joy, brothers and sisters, if the scales fell from your eyes and you recognized Jesus as Savior and Lord, and trusted Him to provide you eternal salvation through His blood. You recognized Him, not as the gardener, but as the risen Lord!


“Long my imprisoned spirit lay fast bound in sin and nature’s night; thine eye diffused a quickening ray; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free; I rose, went forth, and followed thee. Amazing love! How can it be that thou my God shouldst die for me?”

(4th verse of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain,” 1738)

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Stephen Leonard

Paul Anderson Youth Home