What are the Portraits of Jesus Christ? (Part 2)
The Portraits of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of John
The Portraits of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the Gospel of John
The Gospel of John presents a series of pictures in which Jesus Christ is the central figure of each. Each of the twenty-one chapters contains a striking portrayal of some aspect and character or work of our Lord and Saviour.
John 20:21 "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."
The portraits of Jesus Christ according to John's Gospel
The Son of God. His deity is portrayed. John 1:1, 14 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
Colossians 2:9 " For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body." (NLT).
Deity in Webster dictionary means Godhead; divinity; the nature and essence of the Supreme Being; as, the deity of the Supreme Being is manifest in his works.
Witnesses of Jesus Christ's divinity
§ Scriptural Testimony
a) God's Own Word. The Scriptures testified as to Christ' divinity. John 1:1 speaks Jesus Christ as God's Own Word that he is the incarnated Word of God Himself.
b) Testimony of the Apostles
c) The Father bears witness
d) Seven Scriptural Witnesses
-John the Baptist
-The works of Christ
-The Old Testament
-Jesus Christ Himself
-The Holy Spirit
e) Evil Spirits Confess His Divinity
The Son of Man. (John 2:1-10; 42) Here we have a scene illustrating His perfect humanity. He appears as a guest at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. He mingles with people in their social activities. Jesus Christ illustrated his identity and work through the institutions and festivals of Judaism.
Facts of Christ's humanity (fully man)
a) Manifested in the Incarnation (John 1:14) "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)
b) Shared the common experiences of humanity (John 4:6) "To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob's well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon." (The Message Bible)
"Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, "Stay here while I go over there and pray." Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, "This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me." (Matthew 26:37-38, The Message)
Many references in the Holy Bible speak about the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He shared our human feelings, the nature from childhood to adulthood, and all the characteristics of being human except that Jesus being God himself is sinless and full of grace.
"They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he was going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. (Luke 24:28-31, The Message)
c) Called the Son of Man (John 1:51) "He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
d) Called Son of David (John 7:42) "For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.”
The Divine Teacher. He instructs a teacher of Israel, Nicodemus says, "We know that You are a teacher come from God." John 3:2
Facts describing Jesus as Divine Teacher
1. Christ as Divine Teacher-John 3:1-2 "There was a man of the Pharisee sect, Nicodemus, a prominent leader among the Jews. Late one night he visited Jesus and said, "Rabbi, we all know you're a teacher straight from God. No one could do all the God-pointing, God-revealing acts you do if God weren't in on it."
2. Christ, the Divine Teacher is our God who came on flesh and dwelt among us. (The Incarnated Word) John 6:45 "It is written in [the book of] the Prophets, And they shall all be taught of God [have Him in person for their Teacher]. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to Me." (Amplified Bible)
"It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me." (NIV)
3. Jesus Christ expounds the Scriptures
4. Jesus Christ as Divine Teacher teaches the doctrine of God as stated in John 7:16-19 Jesus said, "I didn't make this up. What I teach comes from the One who sent me. Anyone who wants to do his will can test this teaching and know whether it is from God or whether I am making it up. A person making things up tries to make himself look good. But someone trying to honor the one who sent him sticks to the facts and doesn't tamper with reality. It was Moses, wasn't it, who gave you God's Law? But none of you are living it. So why are you trying to kill me?" (The Message)
The Soul-winner. He leads the darkened soul of the Samaritan woman into the light. Jesus Christ, our God himself told the woman the truth that touched the heart of the Samaritan woman by offering her the living water. Jesus is the source of living water; he came directly from God and brought divine renewal.
John 4:21-24 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed, it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The Great Physician. He showed his compassion over the people who suffered with long sickness at the pool. Jesus Christ shows His divine power by healing instantly that man who could not walk since his birth. John 5:8-10 Jesus said, "Get up, take your bedroll, start walking." The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off. That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, "It's the Sabbath. You can't carry your bedroll around. It's against the rules."
Reflection: In this miracle-Jesus healed the sick man instantly, only asking for his obedience. Are you willing to break the law of sin to be healed? Most of the time, we are praying for healing but our heart is in doubt whether healing manifests or not. I pray that as Christians we learned to give all our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, so that we have full access in the throne of our wonderful and awesome God who heals... even on a Sabbath day.
The Bread of life. He is the bread from heaven, the real manna from heaven. John 6:47-51 "I'm telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self."
The Water of Life. He satisfies the thirsty heart. He is the living water. "On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.' (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)" (John 7:37-39 The Message)
The Defender of Weak. He defends a fallen woman. This happened with the woman who was caught in adultery. John 8:3-11 The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd and told Jesus that the woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law of Moses, such act deserved to be stoned till death. They asked Jesus for his opinion. These people were trying to trap Jesus into something that they could use against him but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer so Jesus stood up again and said, "All right, but let one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"
The Holy Bible says that no one dared stone the woman... well nobody is sinless. But the emphasis here that Jesus, the Almighty God and Savior---will always defend us... but only if we are humble and willing to accept our sins. Jesus said to the woman "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."
The Light of the World. Jesus Christ even in the very beginning as described by Isaiah, is the illuminator, the light of the world, that whoever walk in darkness may walk in the light and will have salvation. John 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world." (NIV)
Jesus as the light of the world brings light to the blind. Jesus is the source of light, which brings salvation not only to Israel but also to the whole world, regardless of race or place or country.
The Good Shepherd. He watches over the flock with infinite care and gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11 "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He's only in it for the money. The sheep don't matter to him."
The Resurrection and the Life. John 11:25 "You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?" (The Message)
He proves His right to this title by calling Lazarus from the tomb. John 11:43-44 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." (NIV)
The King. John 12:12-15 He rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and is acclaimed king of Israel by the multitude.
The Servant. John 13:4-5 He washes the disciples feet in a marvelous example of divine condescension.
Jesus example of washing the feet of the apostles showed the lesson of humility. It also set forth the principle of selfless service. This selfless service was exemplified when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus also said in the Book of Luke that if anyone wanted to be the greatest, he should be a servant first; Jesus said he is among those who serve.
The Consoler. John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." Although standing under the shadow of His cross, in utter self-forgetfulness He comforts the sad disciples.
John 14:1 is one of my favorite verses in the Holy Bible, since when I was born again. In our human life, we are always seeking for medicine for healing our physical body. But also most of the time, we are seeking the ways of how to heal our troubled hearts. Well, Jesus clearly says in this verse---"trust in God; trust also in me". TRUST is the antidote for a troubled heart. Sometimes God uses trouble in order for us to trust Him.
The True Vine. John 15:1 " "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken." (The Message)
He is the source of all spiritual fruit, which is interpreted as the results of the Holy Spirit's presence.
Characteristics of Spiritual Fruit"
1. Spiritual fruit is produced in all periods of life, which is supported by the Scripture in Psalm 92:13-14 "planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,"(NIV)
2. Perennial, as described in Ezekiel 47:12 "Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing." (NIV)
3. Grown only in good ground, Matthew 13:8 says "Other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded grain--some a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty." (The Amplified Bible)
Philippians 1:11 also says, "So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God." (The Message)
4. Varieties. Gal. 5:22-23 says "But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]." (The Amplified Bible)
5. Without defect. Ephesians 5:9 speaks about it; "For the fruit (the effect, the product) of the Light or the Spirit [consists] in every form of kindly goodness, uprightness of heart, and trueness of life." (The Amplified Bible)
We are talking about fruit which is the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our life... which fruit are you?
6. Product of heavenly wisdom. The book of James Chapter 3, verse 17-18 speaks about wisdom that comes from God, the true wisdom. "Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor." (The Message)
Conditions for growing
a) Contact with the Living Water. Jesus Christ is the Living Water. If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us and our relationship with Jesus Christ will make us grow more healthy and well-nourished with the love of God that is by living in His Word. Like what Psalm 1: 3 says, "Instead you thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night. You're a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom."
b)Spiritual Receptivity. Matthew 13:23 "The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams." (The Message)
God's Word most of the time is very hand to understand. It takes the presence of the Holy Spirit to give us the wisdom to understand the Word of God. But if we really ask God to show us the meaning of what we are reading and be receptive and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, that is by listening the small voice in our heart... that is a starting point of going deeper into a deeper level of our spiritual growth.
c) Death of Old Life. John 12:24 "Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you'll have it forever, real and eternal."
Dying our old self is not as easy as we think because we have to fight our own flesh. Our best enemy is ourselves. But Jesus said that unless the seed is buried on the ground, it would not sprout and produce a new seed many times over. I remember the sermon of our Pastor about the corn seed. One seed of corn will produce as many times over. We need to offer ourselves to Jesus Christ as living sacrifice, crucifying our flesh. And what is the best thing to do is by surrendering all our sins to God and bring it all at the foot of the cross. Let it go... let us not live with those garbage again... let us clean house and let the new seed sprout with life and hope for the real thing that we are destined to have as heirs of the eternal Kingdom of God.
d) Chastening, or Pruning. Have prune your trees at home or your flowers that need trimming and pruning? It is the same with the taking care with the vine of our faith. John 15:2 says, "He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."(NIV)
e) Abiding in Christ. (John 15:5; Rom 6:22; Heb 12:11)
John 15:5-8 "I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples. (The Message)
Romans 6:22 "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)
Hebrews 12:11 "No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.(NLT)
Christian graces of Spiritual Fruit
As Christians we are very much familiar with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are thoroughly illustrated in the following Scriptures:
2 Peter 1:5-9 "So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books."(The Message)
Romans 5:3-5 "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." (NLT)
2 Cor. 6:6, 8:7 "In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love." (NLT)
The Giver of Spirit. He promises to send the Helper into the world after His own departure.
Jesus Christ promised the Holy Spirit upon the young and the old, bestowed in answer to prayer, it is given to those who are waiting upon God. It empowers for service. Upon receiving the Holy Spirit personal cleansing precedes, and we have then the fullness of the Christ Jesus through spiritual fullness.
John 16:7-15 "But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the. Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me. Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more. Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged. There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’" (NLT)
The Great Intercessor. John Chapter 17, Jesus offers up His wonderful intercessory prayer for the church. Jesus Christ revealed His own identity as the same God in the very beginning. Even when Philip asked Him to reveal the Father.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is not only the mediator but He is also our great intercessor. He intercedes for:
-Sinners as described in Isaiah 53:12; 59:16
-Weak believers, Luke 22:32
-Enemies, Luke 23:34; John 11:22
-Sending of the Comforter, John 14:16
-Our acceptance depends upon, Romans 8:24
-Salvation through Hebrews 7:25
The Model Sufferer. John 18:11 He submits to the Father and drinks the cup of suffering pressed to His lips by the Father's hand.
Jesus was the model for obedience. He felt the human weakness but he surrendered to the will of the Father.
The Uplifted Savior. John 19:18, also John 3:14 He becomes obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
He was the ultimate obedient son and servant even to the point of death.
The Victor of Death. John 20 Four times He conquered death. First, at the bedside of the little girl (Matt. 9:24-25); second, the coffin of the widow's son (Luke 7:11-15); third, at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:43-44); finally, He entered the very stronghold of death and came forth victorious (John 20:11-17; Rev 1:18)
The Restorer. He welcomes the wandering but repentant Peter back to the fold and commissions him to feed the sheep and lambs. John 21:15-17
Jesus asked Peter if he loves Jesus for three times. Peter was sad because he loves Jesus. If we define love... we have numerous definitions, but let us just say that the love Jesus was asking from Peter was the kind of love, which refers to the entire personality, including the will, is involved. Love refers to spontaneous natural affection or fondness in which emotion plays a more prominent role than will. Most of the time, Christians are in this kind of situation where we have to choose between Christ and the world. The world has a lot to offer like special offers, but Christ has more than a lot to offer. Just think of the eternal salvation, eternal life, and eternal blessing. We can go on counting the offers of Christ Jesus for those who choose to believe Him and follow Him and walk with Him and live in His word until the end of time. He is the restorer... if he had restored Peter... he will always restore us.
How are you going to draw the portrait of Jesus in your life? You have your choices... the most important thing is that our intimate relationship with Jesus. How can we be called children of God if our Father does not know us? How can we call a family, "family," unless we know each other in the family. At least we should know the difference of "I know Jesus" from "I know about Jesus".
The New Living Translation Study Bible (NLT)
The Message (MSG)
The Thompson Chain Reference Study Bible
New International Version