WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 31, 2021
TOPIC: WHO IS THIS MAN?
BY T. O. BANSO
“When Jesus entered Jerusalem, all the city was filled with excitement. The people asked, ‘Who is this man?’ The crowd said, ‘This man is Jesus, the prophet from the town of Nazareth in Galilee’” (Matthew 21:10-11 New Century Version).
In the account of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem as recorded in the Gospel of Mathew, the people of Jerusalem asked Him a question as the multitudes came with Him into the city.
As Jesus rode on a colt to enter Jerusalem, a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9 New King James Version).
Jesus was given a royal reception as the King who came in the name of the Lord. In Luke’s account, the multitudes began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (Luke 19:38 New King James Version).
Matthew’s account says, “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, all the city was filled with excitement. The people asked, ‘Who is this man?’ The crowd said, ‘This man is Jesus, the prophet from the town of Nazareth in Galilee’” (Mathew 21:10-11 New Century Version).
Who is this man? Consider this question by the people of Jerusalem and the answer the multitude that came with Jesus gave them. The New King James Version and some other translations render the question as “Who is this?” You cannot answer a question more than your understanding of the subject matter. What you don’t know, you don’t know. The multitude gave an answer based on their understanding of who Jesus was. They said, “This man is Jesus, the prophet from the town of Nazareth in Galilee’”
Earlier in Matthew 21:9, they had called Jesus the Son of David and one who came in the name of the Lord. To them, Jesus was the Son of David and a prophet, and they were right. Although they called Him Jesus, which means “help of Jehovah” or “saviour”, it was not a name unique to Jesus. Five people are called that name in the King James Version of the Bible. The answer they gave emphasized Jesus being a prophet, and they were right. But their understanding of Jesus was inadequate. Jesus was a prophet but more than a prophet.
There are many people today whose knowledge of Jesus is still at this level. Some still call Him a prophet and don’t know Him as their Saviour. The purpose of Jesus coming to the earth is not to be an addition to the number of prophets that had come before Him.
To some people, Jesus was a great teacher. They called Him Rabbi. Some still call Him Rabbi today. They respect Him as a great teacher. They love His teachings and quote His words. But Jesus is not anything more than that to them.
Who is this man? Who is Jesus to you? To some, He is just a miracle worker and they relate to Him on that basis; they follow Him because of loaves of bread! “Jesus answered, ‘I am telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my miracles” (John 6:26 Good News Translation).
There are many today following Jesus but lack correct understanding of who He is. All they want is loaves of bread. Jesus must not only be a great provider to them; they must make Him their Saviour.
Who is this man? John 3:1-2 says, “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus , a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him’” (New King James Version).
Did you see how Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme judicial and administrative council of the Jews, described Jesus? He described Him as a teacher who came from God. But Jesus was more than that. Nicodemus’ understanding was inadequate. He missed out on the main reason Jesus came, yet he was the ruler of the Jews (John 3:1) and a respected Jewish teacher (verse 10).
Was Jesus impressed by this fantastic description of Him by Nicodemus? If Jesus were some of us, He would have got a swollen head. Not Jesus Christ. He quickly brought the man on the right track by setting before him the right priority. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3 New King James Version). That was why Jesus came to the earth. To save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
Who is this man? In John 4, when Jesus had an encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob and Jesus started a discussion with her by asking her to give Him water to drink, the woman said, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9 new King James Version). Take note that she called Jesus a Jew. That’s all her understanding of who Jesus was.
As they progressed in their conversation and Jesus told her she had had five husbands, and the one she was with at that time was not her husband; this woman answered, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet” (John 4:19 New King James Version).
In their discussion further, the woman referred to the Messiah, called Christ, that would come to tell them all things. Jesus answered that He was the Messiah. The Samaritan woman left her water-pot, ran into the city to proclaim to the people, and asked them to come to see a man who told her all the things she ever did. She said, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (Verse 29 New King James Version).
The point is this: the woman progressed from seeing Jesus as a Jew to seeing Him as a prophet, and eventually, as the Messiah. He came to the progressive realization that the person she had been speaking with was not an ordinary Jew, but the expected Messiah.
Who is this man? Who do you say Jesus is? “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’” (Matthew 16:13 New King James Version). His disciples answered Him that some said John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. He then put the question to them, “But who do you say that I am?” (Verse 15 New King James Version).
I wish Simon Peter had not answered first so that we could see the kind of answers the other disciples would have given! But Peter gave the right answer: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (verse 16 New King James Version). Christ (Greek: Christos) means anointed, It is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered “Messiah” (Hebrew: mashiyach). In response, Jesus said, flesh and blood had not revealed to Peter the answer he gave but His Father who is in heaven (verse 17).
Who is this man? In John 9, the man born blind that Jesus healed was asked by those who knew him how he was healed. He said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight” (verse 11 New King James Version). Take note of that phrase: A man called Jesus. That was his understanding of who Jesus was, and he was correct. Jesus was the Son of man but that was not all about Him.
Later, when the Pharisees asked him what he had to say about the person who opened his eyes, he said, “He is a prophet” (verse 17 New King James Version). His undersanding had increased. Moses had prophesied that the LORD would raise up for the Israelites a Prophet like him from their midst (Deuteronomy 18:15). That was a reference to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Therefore, the man Jesus healed was right. Nevertheless, that was not all about the man and prophet that healed him!
When the Pharisees were trying to make the man believe that Jesus was a sinner, he replied them: “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing” (John 9:30-33 New King James Version). The man declared that Jesus was from God. He had more revelation!
The Pharisees were angry and cast out the man. Jesus heard about it and found him. He had a conversation with the man and revealed Himself to him. Consequently, the man confessed his faith in Jesus as the Son of God and worshipped Him.
Here is the conversation between them: “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of God?’ He answered and said, ‘Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.’ Then he said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ And he worshiped Him” (J ohn 9:35-38 New King James Version). May I ask you the same question Jesus asked this man? Do you believe in the Son of God?
Who is Jesus to you? Is He your Lord and Saviour? Who do you say Jesus is? Who is this man?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Lord Jesus, thank You for dying on the Cross of Calvary to save me. I confess You as my Lord and Saviour. You are more than a prophet and more than a teacher; You are my Lord and Saviour now and forever. I pray the eyes of understanding of sinners shall be enlightened that they will know and accept You as their Lord and Saviour.
(For about 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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