Since the day Christ asked the question of His own nation countless millions of many nations in every generation have put the same question to their own hearts and consciences and to their fellow-men. In order to answer such a question intelligently concerning any man, it is necessary to get acquainted with him. There is a certain acquaintance with Christ which can be experienced only by those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. But there is available for any man a written record of the character and achievements of the One who asked the question. Had the question been asked by any other man concerning himself, it would have suggested the spirit of self-importance or egotism on the part of the man. But to any one who has made even a hasty superficial study of the written record, the question asked by Christ seems most proper and in order. And really it behooves every individual to give to the question an answer which will be well pleasing to the One Who asked it.
The most sensible decision that any sensible person can reach so far as this Man’s relation to the record is concerned is, that the historical Jesus is the Bible Christ. The record has existed for nearly nineteen hundred years. It has been discussed, criticized, hated and condemned by millions. It has been honored, cherished and defended, even unto martyrdom by other millions, just as intelligent, courageous and true as those who have been its bitterest enemies. Never since this history was written has this record been the object of such vicious and insidious assaults as at this present time, when all the forces of Satan are turned loose against it. But multitudes are still submitting the record to the test, “if any man willeth to do His will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself.” John 7:17.
No man has ever been wise enough to produce evidence to invalidate the Bible record of Jesus Christ. Some have persuaded themselves that the record is too unique to be true; and their verdict is, that the narratives were either written by enthusiastic religious men who were deceived, or they discount the record as a willful forgery. No one is more ignorant than the one who declares that the Scriptures are the imaginations or inventions of ignorant men. Moreover it must be admitted, that if the records concerning Christ be forgeries, they are the forgeries of very clever men. If the writers were deceived, were they deceived by Christ? The Pharisees accused Him of deceiving the people. “Are ye also deceived?” John 7:47. Concerning Christ, “some said, He is a good man; others said, Nay; but He deceiveth the people.” 7:12. Christ did not prove His goodness by deception.
If the narratives be forgeries, then what is our conclusion concerning Christ? Was He a fictitious character? Is the Christ of orthodox Christianity unreal? Did such a man as Jesus Christ ever live on earth? If so, was He a good man or a deceiver? Without a trustworthy history to study, who knows? If the Bible narratives of Jesus Christ be the untrustworthy or untrue writings of deluded or dishonest men, to whom shall we turn for reliable information that will enable us to answer intelligently the question, “what think ye of Christ?” Some say, “we do not know what to think.” Why not forget Him altogether and decide that the question was never asked and that the Christ who was supposed to have asked the question never existed? Impossible for any intelligent person to do this. Christ has so found His way into every avenue of human experience that any thinking person must acknowledge that He is an up-to-date living reality. If unreal, truly He has more influenced human life and thought than all the real men of all ages combined. The Jews in His day said. “And destroy Jesus”. It was impossible then. It is impossible today. No one can blot Him out of human history. But without the Bible I cannot answer the question.
Surely the Jews did their very best to get rid of Jesus Christ. They have tried to forget Him. They have tried to ignore Him. They have tried to explain Him away by every argument. And in spite of their determined efforts, behold today, every thinking rabbi, whether associated with an orthodox or a liberal congregation, is now declaring that Jesus of Nazareth was the best man who ever lived on this earth and that He has exercised more influence for good upon the human race than all other men combined. Are they deciding that He was good, because of His good influence, or because they have carefully examined His written biography? Why can they not see their utter inconsistency in either bowing to the religious authority or acknowledging the superiority of the most extraordinary Man who ever lived on this earth, while at the same time they are discrediting and condemning the only record that can truly establish His right to their respect and admiration ?
There is only one other group of men more inconsistent than the inconsistent Jews, the so-called Modernist Christians. They believe virtually what the Jews believe but they go a step further and bear the name of Christ and claim to be His disciples. They bow in His name to worship the true Deity; call Jesus Christ the fairest flower of humanity; exalt and praise Him as the highest expression of the one and only God; even claim that they believe in the Son’s revelation of the Father; and at the same time they declare that the record containing that revelation is either the work of frauds or ignorant men, writings which no intelligent man of this enlightened age can accept to be worth more than fiction. If they have learned that Jesus Christ is the noblest, truest, purest expression of the mind and heart of the true and living God, they have learned that great fact by reading narratives that are false, if not fraudulent, and if their learning and thinking have been based upon that which is false, their opinions are worthless and they know not what they think they know.
Any intelligent and satisfactory answer to the question must be based upon the Scriptural record of Christ. If on that basis, Christ is worthy of admiration, He is likewise worthy of adoration. He should be both respected and worshipped or neither respected nor worshipped.
He is mentioned by noun and pronoun about seven thousand times in the New Testament Scriptures. The same supernatural story is woven into every part of those Scriptures. After studying these twenty-seven records, we should decide that the Jews of the first century who took up stones to stone Him, “because Thou being a man makest Thyself God”, were far more consistent than are the Modernist Jews and so-called Modernist Christians of the twentieth century who join with Judas to betray Christ with a kiss. John 10:30 to 38.
Without the Scriptures I know not what I think. By the Scriptures I think that Christ is, “Wonderful” – “Counsellor” – “Mighty God” – “Everlasting Father” – “Prince of Peace” – “Man of Sorrows” – “Plant of Renown” – “The Lily of the Valley” – “The Rose of Sharon” – “A Righteous Branch” – “The Sun of Righteousness” – “The Bright and Morning Star” – “The King of Israel” – “The King of the Jews” – “Messiah” – “The Lion of the Tribe of Juda” – “The Root and Offspring of David” – “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” – “Captain of our Salvation” – “Apostle and High Priest of our Profession” – “The Lord of Glory” – “The Prince of Life” – “The Just One” – “The Holy One of God” – “The Lamb of God” – “The Light of the World” – “The Good Shepherd” – “The True Vine”’ – “A Prince and a Saviour” – “Son of Man” – “The King of Glory” – “The Christ the Son of the Living God” – “The Bread of Life” – “The Lord’s Christ” – “A Great Prophet” – “The Christ of God” – “Immanuel” – “One Altogether Lovely” – “Chiefest Among Ten Thousand” – “The Lord Our Righteousness” – “The Lord Whom Ye Seek” – “Jesus Who is called Christ” – “The Son of God” – “A Friend of Publicans and Sinners” – “Christ our Passover” -“Our Peace” – “The Son of His Love” – “The King Eternal” – “Merciful and Faithful High Priest” – “Our Forerunner” – “Author of Eternal Salvation” – “Author and Finisher of our Faith” – “The Great Shepherd of the Sheep” – “The Lord that Bought Us” – “An Advocate” – “The Holy One” – “The Word of God” – “The First Begotten of the Dead” – “The Seed of the Woman” – “Shiloh” – “A Root out of Dry Ground” – “Jesus Christ the Son of David” – “The Bridegroom” – “The Stone Which the Builders Rejected” – “The Head of the Corner” – “Son of the Highest” – “The Only Begotten of the Father” – “The Word” – “A Man Approved of God” – “The I AM” – “The Resurrection” – “The Way” – “The Truth” – “The Life” – “He That Cometh from Heaven” – “Abraham’s Seed” – “Melchisedec”.
“BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHICH BEARETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.”
“I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE ENDING, SAITH THE LORD, WHICH IS AND WHICH WAS AND WHICH IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY.”
Now, what think ye of Christ?
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.