Claims about Jesus
Already it has been mentioned that the Bible has made some great claims about Jesus: He was born of a virgin; He was referred to as a king; He was born to rescue people; He was protected by angels. The Bible records many other claims about Jesus.
Claims about Himself
Jesus made a number of claims about himself. When teaching, he made statements like: 'I am ...' or 'I have ...'. Here are some of them. Jesus claimed that:
> He was God. He made the statement 'Before Abraham was, I am'. This somewhat cryptic statement says that Jesus is eternal, like God. The religious Jews understood this statement to mean that he was equal with God.
> He came down from heaven. Jesus made this claim despite the fact that he was born of Mary. He did not try to justify these two apparently conflicting ideas. He obviously understood both to be true.
> He came to fulfill the law. The law was a set of rules and regulations, originally given to Moses by God. No one else is able to keep this law, but Jesus could and did. But on a more general level, the Bible made predictions about a man that God would send to deliver his people. In this context also, Jesus fulfilled the law.
> He is the bread of life. The people were wanting Jesus to feed them with free bread like he had recently done by performing a miracle. Jesus referred to a bread that gives life. He is that 'bread' and he gives true life. This implies that they did not have the life that Jesus was able to give. They did not have the real life that Jesus was referring to. He was the true bread, and he is able to give eternal life to those who trust in him.
> He is the light of the world. Did the people Jesus was talking to need light? Were they living in darkness? Jesus' teachings show that the people were living in darkness as a result of their disobedience to God and attitude to God. People know the difference between right and wrong, but they still choose to do wrong. They live in spiritual darkness. Jesus himself is able to give you true light. He can give an understanding and appreciation of God and of yourself, and a desire to live for God.
> He is the good shepherd. The shepherd of that time looked after their herds personally. There was a close connection between the shepherd and the sheep. They loved their sheep, and cared for them. That's what Jesus is like. Like a shepherd looking after his sheep. Are you one of his sheep?
> He came to save the world. Does the world need to be saved (rescued)? The context of this saying of Jesus relates to him judging people. But Jesus said he did not come to judge but to rescue. Although we deserve God's punishment because of our disobedience and sins against God, Jesus came to rescue us from the penalty and power of sin, bringing us into his flock, and giving us light and life.
These statements can only be understood properly if we accept that Jesus was no ordinary man, that he was God as well as being a man. The Bible describes Jesus as 'God revealed in human form'. His claims about himself make us wonder, 'Just who is he?' Jesus said about himself, 'If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will die in your sins.' An acceptance of Jesus' claims is an important issue. Who do you think he is?
Claims by God
Soon after Jesus started his public teaching, a man called John the Baptist baptized him in the Jordan River. After coming out of the water, there was a voice that said 'You are my own dear Son, I am pleased with you'. This voice was recognized as the voice of God, acknowledging Jesus as 'His Son'. In this way God claimed to have the same relationship with Jesus, as Jesus claimed to have with God. Clearly the statement also says that God was pleased with Jesus in a way that he could not be pleased with other men. The Bible shows that Jesus was one man who lived a life of obedience to God; not like us, who are disobedient, wicked, sinful.

At another time, there was another voice out of a cloud that instructed Jesus' followers to listen to Jesus. This voice was the voice of God, giving instruction to those present to listen to, and appreciate, the things that Jesus spoke. The implication is that the unique Jesus has an important message for them - and us. A message from God that we must listen to. This message is described later in Jesus' teachings.

These claims are recorded in the Bible for a purpose. Although some of the religious leaders said that Jesus was an imposter, or that he was in league with Satan, the Bible says that God acknowledged Jesus as the one he claimed to be. Surely, if God said he had an important message, then we should find out what it is and obey it.
Claims by Others
In the Bible, the four gospel books (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) contain a lot of information that highlight what the writers thought of Jesus. After all, it was these writers who recorded what Jesus said and did. Their appreciation and understanding of Jesus is pivotal to their writings.

John wrote one of the gospel books, and he said that he wrote it in order that you might believe that Jesus is God's chosen one, and that through faith in him you might have life. He also said that Jesus was full of grace and truth, and as he lived among them they saw the glory that Jesus had. He wanted you to come to know this Jesus.

The writers recorded many teachings and miracles performed by Jesus. They recorded these facts, not just so that might record the history of Jesus, but to tell us what they thought about him. They also had another motive. As you read about him, they wanted you to think about who Jesus is. The first 8 chapters of Mark prompt interested readers to ask themselves 'Who is Jesus?' and 'What has he come to do?' The writer considered these questions very important.

Jesus asked his followers who the public thought he was. Jesus then asked them who they thought he was, and Peter said: You are the Christ the Son of the living God. This is what the writers thought of Jesus.

Jesus asked his followers who the public thought he was. Jesus then asked them who they thought he was, and Peter said: You are the Christ the Son of the living God. This is what the writers thought of Jesus.

What do you think of Jesus? Who is he? Is he relevant to you?
Read next: The Life of Jesus