23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” 25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied. (John 8:23-25 NIV)
Jesus. Just the mention of His name creates all kinds of conversation. Was He a teacher who taught the most practical and down-to-earth lessons ever recorded? Was He a philanthropist who loved people and worked for the betterment of humanity? Was He a religious leader who had come to establish a new religion? Was He a great miracle worker who came to heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, and make the lame walk again? Was He a revolutionary who had come to turn over the acceptable societal norms like Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, Jr. or Nelson Mandela? Who was Jesus?
The question is still being addressed in our day. The same things that people thought about Jesus in past generations are being asserted, defended, debated, and discussed in our day. Jesus was a teacher. He did love people and He did work for the betterment of humanity. He was a religious leader. He was a great miracle worker. He was a revolutionary like the world has never experienced in times past or will ever see in any time to come. Jesus was all of these things, but He was much more.
Jesus was recognized as much more than the people of His day had ever experienced before, but the cornerstone of Jesus’ call and passion was to offer His perfect, unblemished life for broken and sin-scarred people who would trust in Him. Jesus told His followers, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 NIV)
Our greatest need can’t be met by an educator, philanthropist, religious leader, miracle worker, or revolutionary. Our greatest need is forgiveness…and so God sent us a Savior.