A black and white close-up photo of hands holding a worn Bible, illustrating the reverence and personal connection to Jesus Christ.

Who Is Jesus Christ To You?

The identity and significance of Jesus Christ has been contemplated and debated for over 2000 years. He stands as a central, divisive figure in human history. So who exactly is Jesus Christ?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Jesus Christ is believed by Christians to be the Son of God, the savior of humanity who died for our sins and rose from the dead.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the varied answers to the question “Who is Jesus Christ to you?” We will cover Jesus’ life story, his teachings, biblical accounts, and the ways Jesus Christ is viewed by different faiths and denominations.

We will examine his historical impact and influence as well the continuing relevance of his message today.

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ

Jesus’ Birth and Early Life

Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem around 4 BC. His mother was Mary, a young Jewish woman who became pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit while still a virgin. Joseph, Mary’s husband, was initially confused but later supported her after an angelic visitation.

Jesus’ birth fulfilled Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah.

Shortly after Jesus’ birth, wise men from the East visited bearing gifts. However, King Herod felt threatened by Jesus’ rumored kingship and ordered the execution of all boys under two in Bethlehem. Joseph fled with Mary and Jesus to Egypt until Herod’s death, fulfilling another prophecy: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Jesus then grew up in Nazareth with Mary and Joseph. The Bible says he “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” during this period. At age 12, Jesus displayed his wisdom by discussing theology with teachers at the Jerusalem temple.

Other than this, the Gospels give little detail about his childhood and early life.

Jesus’ Public Ministry

Around age 30, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and began his public ministry. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus during his baptism, and God the Father declared from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” This inaugurated Jesus’ ministry with power and divine blessing.

For three years, Jesus traveled Judea teaching, preaching, and performing miracles. He gathered Twelve Apostles who followed him, learning to continue his ministry. Wherever Jesus went, great crowds came to be healed physically and spiritually. His compassion was boundless.

As foretold, Jesus came as a suffering servant to live and die for others.

Some religious leaders rejected Jesus’ claims to be the Messiah. However, many common people heard him gladly, captivated by his message, authority, and miracles testifying that God’s kingdom had come.

Teachings and Parables of Jesus

At the heart of Jesus’ ministry was his teaching about God’s unconditional love and how people should live. In his famous “Sermon on the Mount” early in his ministry, Jesus gave demanding ethical teachings, blessing the poor in spirit, merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers.

Jesus often taught in parables, using common images like seeds, fishing nets, lost coins, wedding banquets, and good samaritans to convey deep spiritual truths. These gripping stories made it easier for people to grasp his message and recognize their need for God.

Ultimately, Jesus’ call was to follow him with utter devotion, putting God and others first. He welcomed and embraced those marginalized by society like women, children, tax collectors, lepers, and prostitutes. His radical message was loved by many but threatened the religious establishment.

Jesus’ Death by Crucifixion

As Jesus’ ministry grew, opposition mounted against him. Jewish religious leaders conspired against Jesus, viewing him as a threat to their power. Judas Iscariot, one of his own disciples, betrayed him for money.

Jesus was arrested, subjected to an illegal trial, and sentenced to death on a Roman cross.

Before his death, Jesus shared a last supper with his disciples, instituting Communion as a remembrance of his sacrificial death. He was later abandonned by his disciples and executed between two criminals.

Jesus endured mockery, beating, thirst, agony, and ultimately gave up his spirit in an act of submission to God’s plan.

Just before dying, Jesus declared “It is finished!” His redemptive work was complete. The innocent lamb of God had willingly shed his blood to take away the sins of the world, achieving salvation for mankind.

The Resurrection of Jesus

The story does not end with Jesus’ death. After being crucified on Friday, Jesus was buried in a tomb sealed with a large stone. On early Sunday morning, women followers discovered the stone rolled away and the tomb empty!

Jesus then began appearing to his disciples, demonstrating his resurrected body and victory over death. His disciples initially doubted but came to worship Jesus as risen Lord. After 40 days of appearances, Jesus ascended to heaven while two angels promised his future return.

To this day, the resurrection represents the central hope of Christian faith. Because Jesus rose and conquered death, those who follow him can experience new spiritual life now and look forward to resurrection from the dead in the future. Jesus is alive and continues changing lives!

Jesus Christ in the Bible

Old Testament Prophecies About Jesus

The Old Testament contains many prophecies about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Over 300 prophecies detail His birthplace, ancestry, life events, ministry, death, and resurrection. These prophecies were written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, yet He fulfilled everyone.

Some key Old Testament prophecies include:

  • Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, fulfilled in Matthew 1:18-25)
  • Descendant of Abraham and David (Genesis 12:1-3, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, fulfilled in Matthew 1:1-17)
  • Betrayal for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13, fulfilled in Matthew 26:14-16)
  • Crucifixion with thieves (Isaiah 53:12, fulfilled in Matthew 27:38)

Gospel Accounts of Jesus’ Life

The Gospels record eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Key events include:

  • Virgin birth in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7)
  • Baptism by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9-11)
  • Miraculous ministry showing power over nature, disease, demons, and death (Matthew 4:23-24)
  • Triumphant entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-19)
  • Last Supper instituting Communion (Luke 22:14-20)
  • Death by crucifixion (John 19:17-18)
  • Bodily resurrection on the third day (Luke 24:1-9)

Jesus in the Letters of Paul and Other New Testament Books

The New Testament letters provide insight into Jesus’ divine nature and saving work. Key teachings include:

  • Incarnation of God Himself (Colossians 1:15-20)
  • Sinless and perfect sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 4:15; 9:11-14)
  • Victor over demonic powers and ruler of all creation (1 Peter 3:18-22)
  • Savior providing spiritual regeneration and eternal life (Titus 3:4-7)

Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah who fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, provided the only way of salvation, and gives eternal life to those who believe in Him.

The Nature and Identity of Jesus Christ

Son of God and Messiah

Jesus Christ is believed by Christians to be the Son of God and the long-awaited Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible. As the Son of God, Jesus has a divine nature and is part of the Holy Trinity along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Multiple passages in the Gospels refer to Jesus as the Son of God, and Jesus himself made statements confirming this identity (John 10:36, 11:4). As the Messiah and Christ (meaning “Anointed One”), Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies about the savior of humanity who would redeem people from sin.

Incarnation of God

The incarnation refers to God becoming flesh in the form of Jesus Christ. This is a central doctrine of Christianity which affirms that Jesus was both fully God and fully human (Encyclopedia Britannica).

In Jesus, God took on human attributes and experienced human struggles, while still retaining divine qualities. Key biblical passages about Christ’s incarnation include John 1:14 (“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”) and Philippians 2:6-7 (“Jesus, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness”).

The incarnation allowed Christ to serve as the perfect sacrifice for human sins, bridging the gap between God and humanity.

Savior and Redeemer of Humanity

As evident in titles like Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ is central to Christianity as the divine being whose death provided atonement for people’s sins, rescuing them from death and offering eternal life.

This redemption was a manifestation of God’s unconditional love and mercy towards humanity (GotQuestions.org). Scriptural evidence supporting Jesus’ role as savior include John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”) and 1 Peter 1:18-19 (“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect”).

The Significance and Legacy of Jesus Christ

Central Figure of Christianity

Jesus Christ is the central figure and core tenet of the Christian faith. Christians believe he is the incarnation of God and the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus’s life, teachings, death by crucifixion, and subsequent resurrection form the foundational beliefs of Christianity and established him as the Son of God and Savior of humanity in Christian theology.

The accounts of Jesus’s ministry, miracles, parables, and discourses as recorded in the four Gospels of the New Testament have profoundly impacted world culture and history. His Sermon on the Mount and parables like The Good Samaritan have shaped ethics and morals.

Concepts Jesus introduced like loving one’s neighbor, turning the other cheek, and the Golden Rule became widely embraced values.

Today there are over 2.5 billion Christians, making Christianity the world’s largest religion. This global spread traces back to Jesus’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations. The worldwide Christian church continues to revere Christ’s legacy 2000 years later.

Revered by Other Abrahamic Faiths

While Christianity centers on Christ’s divine identity, Jesus is also considered an important prophet and messianic figure in Islam and Druze faith. The Quran refers to Jesus as the Messiah, born of a virgin, who performed miracles – yet is not the Son of God.

Many Muslim traditions honor Jesus with high praise for his ethical teachings which aligned with Islamic values.

In Judaism, Jesus is recognized for his contribution in spreading monotheistic belief but remains a disputed figure regarding prophetic claims. Modern Jewish scholars studying the historical Jesus characterize him as compelling moral teacher who impacted Western civilization.

Across all Abrahamic faiths – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism – the lasting imprint of Jesus’s ministry makes him one of history’s most significant religious icons over 2000 years after his death.

Influence on History, Culture, and Ethics

As a central figure of Christianity, Jesus Christ profoundly shaped the trajectory of world history on a macro level. Christianity’s meteoric expansion as the Roman Empire adopted it infused Jesus’s teachings into law, philosophy, and society.

Indeed, the AD calendar demarcation between BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini – year of the Lord) recognizes Christ’s impact in dividing world history.

Jesus’s influence permeates culture and arts also. Literary classics like Dante’s Divine Comedy depicts Christ redeeming Dante in a vision. Paintings like Da Vinci’s Last Supper capturing Jesus’s final meal with disciples have become iconic.

Handel’s masterful 1741 Messiah remains one of Western culture’s most performed musical works ever composed. Christ appears in film and pop culture through movies like Jesus Christ Superstar and The Passion of the Christ.

The breadth of artistic expressions inspired by Jesus spanned millennia and mediums.

The ethical teachings of Jesus – like the Golden Rule principle to treat others as you want to be treated – formed the basis of human rights and modern social reform movements. Leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Teresa derived inspiration from Jesus’s message of compassion and nonviolence to advocate for the oppressed.

Clearly Christianity’s Jesus of Nazareth shaped faith, civilization, customs, creative arts, and morality in profound ways over 2000+ years…making him undoubtedly among history’s most significant figures by any metric.


In summary, the question “Who is Jesus Christ to you?” has been contemplated for centuries and continues to have great theological and personal significance. For Christians, he is the divine Son of God and savior of the world.

Other faiths also revere him as a great prophet or teacher, if not the Messiah. Even for nonbelievers, it’s hard to deny the immense impact and legacy Jesus left on human civilization. His life story, moral teachings, and example continue to inspire people around the globe today.

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