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Depending on how much you’ve read on this subject, you may think there are as many explanations of who Jesus is as there are explainers. How can someone so widely mentioned be so poorly known? Jesus’ name appears everywhere. We hear it used daily in religious services. We hear it used daily in profanity. Yet ask someone who is using Jesus’ name in these ways, “Do you know Jesus?” and you are likely to get a blank stare. What is it about the person behind this name that keeps people asking the question: Who is Jesus? And perhaps the deeper question: Can Jesus really be known?

First, these are good questions to ask. Much confusion exists because people haven’t been encouraged to ask questions. Some people have been told that “faith” doesn’t ask questions. Nonsense. Faith is full of questions. Having faith doesn’t mean that every question must be answered, but it doesn’t mean that questions shouldn’t be asked either.

So, who is Jesus and can he be known? There are plenty contemporary opinions on this subject, many of them contradictory. One of the reasons for this website is to encourage you to examine the original documents of the Christian faith—the Bible. It’s amazing how often opinions get sorted out and clarified when we read what the Bible actually says. The Gospels—the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament—tell the story of Jesus’ life. They reveal that this question was an extremely popular one when Jesus was walking the earth. He was aware of the question, and he even asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man [a term referring to Jesus] is?” The disciples gave him assorted answers. Then he asked, “But who do you say I am?” Speaking for the rest, Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” Jesus agreed with him. (See Matthew 16:13–17).

The answer to the question, “Who is Jesus?” has to start with exploring Jesus’ own claims. He described himself as God Mark 2:1-12. He also demonstrated himself to be fully man (he wept, thirsted, and died). He claimed to be both Savior (Luke 19:9-10) and Friend (see John 15:13-15. For that, you will need to explore the New Testament books that record his life. The question is important enough that it deserves the investment on your time.

As to the question of whether or not Jesus can be known by someone today, . . . as you discover who Jesus is, you will also find out you can know him, if you want to. In one of Jesus’ last prayers he said, “And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth” (John 17:3).

How do you answer the question “Who is Jesus?” right now? If you honestly don’t have an answer or feel like you’ve been using someone else’s answer, the Bible is the ultimate source for finding the answer. Numerous other articles on this website will point you in the right direction.

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“For me, the greatest blessing of the NLT is how it opens up the meaning and impact of the Scriptures to people. I think it is a wonderful translation, and a gift to the Church.”

James Karsten
Grant Reformed Church
Grant, Michigan

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