TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Comprehensive Edition

I.  General

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Chapter 3  Part I

General

The NT makes remarkable claims about aspects of Jesus Christ’s being and his character. In doing so it shows Jesus Christ’s nature to mirror that of God, and so points to his deity (his “God nature”). The NT also often refers to Jesus Christ’s “name”, making it a further concept that is important to grasp.

Jesus Christ’s Eternity

Jesus Christ is alive

Rom 6:10  [Paul, speaking of Jesus:] For the death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he lives, he lives to God.  NET

Jesus Christ existed in the beginning . . .

1Jn 2:13a  [John, to believers:] I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who has existed from the beginning.  GNT

Jesus Christ existed in the beginning, before all time.

. . . Jesus Christ was before all things

See also:

John 17:5  [Jesus, to God:] And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.  NET

Jesus Christ will be alive forever

Heb 7:24-25  But because Jesus lives forever, he will never stop serving as priest. 25So he is able always to save those who come to God through him because he always lives, asking God to help them.  NCV™

Jesus Christ is self-existing – he is “the life”

John 5:26  For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.  ESV

John 11:25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The person who believes in me, even though he dies, will live.  ISV

Descriptions of Jesus Christ as “the life” reflect the fact that he has life inherent (cf. 5:26 ) as part of his essential nature, and as such is self-existing. Primarily they point to Jesus Christ as the source of life – the one who gives life – as the latter part of this verse suggests.

Jesus Christ remains the same

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!  NET

 Questions for Section A

Jesus Christ’s Pre-Eminence

See also:

Jesus Christ is greater than all people

John 3:31  [John the Baptist, speaking of Jesus:] The one who comes from above is superior to all. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is superior to all.  NET

Jesus Christ is greater than all things

Col 1:15-18  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, 16for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. 18He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.  NET

The term “firstborn” (v. 15) points to Christ’s pre-eminence. It alludes to the privileged status of a firstborn son in a Jewish family.

Jesus Christ has divine glory

Matt 25:31  When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.  NET

Note that “the Son of Man” was the title Jesus used for himself the most – approximately 80 times. It is a messianic title (cf. Dan 7:13-14), but it also underlines his humanity.

A vision of Jesus Christ, indicative of his surpassing greatness and glory

Rev 5:11-13  [John, describing a vision:] Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels in a circle around the throne, as well as the living creatures and the elders. Their number was ten thousand times ten thousand – thousands times thousands  -12 all of whom were singing in a loud voice: “Worthy is the lamb who was killed to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and praise!” 13Then I heard every creature – in heaven, on earth, under the earth, in the sea, and all that is in them – singing: “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be praise, honor, glory, and ruling power forever and ever!”  NET

The “Lamb” (vv. 12, 13) is a name for Jesus Christ, alluding to his sacrificial death which in a number of aspects mirrored the offering of a lamb at Passover and/or as a sin offering.

Jesus Christ has mighty, sovereign power

Eph 6:10  [Paul, to believers:] Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power.  GNT

Phil 3:20-21  [Paul, to believers:] But our citizenship is in heaven – and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself.  NET

Jesus Christ has superlative knowledge and wisdom

John 16:30  [The disciples, to Jesus:] Now we know that you know everything and do not need anyone to ask you anything. Because of this we believe that you have come from God.  NET

Luke 21:15  [Jesus, to his disciples:] For I will give you the words along with the wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.  NET

Jesus Christ has wisdom far superior to that of any adversary that believers may encounter.

Jesus Christ is everywhere

Eph 4:10  So Jesus came down, and he is the same One who went up above all the sky. Christ did that to fill everything with his presence.  NCV™

Matt 18:20  [Jesus:] For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them.  NET

Jesus Christ is with all believers everywhere – always.

 Questions for Section B

Jesus Christ’s Character

See also:

This section largely does not include references speaking specifically about Jesus’ character during his time on earth. These can be found in Jesus Christ’s Personality (cross-referenced above) in 11. God’s Promised Messiah.

Jesus Christ is holy

Acts 4:27  [Believers, to God:] Then they turned against your holy Servant Jesus, your chosen Messiah.  CEV

Heb 7:26-28  Jesus, then, is the High Priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he has no fault or sin in him; he has been set apart from sinners and raised above the heavens. 27He is not like other high priests; he does not need to offer sacrifices every day for his own sins first and then for the sins of the people. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, when he offered himself. 28The Law of Moses appoints men who are imperfect to be high priests; but God’s promise made with the vow, which came later than the Law, appoints the Son, who has been made perfect for ever.  GNT

Jesus Christ is righteous . . .

1Jn 2:1b  [John, to believers:] But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One …  NET

. . . Jesus Christ judges in righteousness and with justice

Ps 72:2  He will judge Your people with righteousness, And Your poor with justice.  NKJV

This is from a messianic passage, understood to be ultimately fulfilled by Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is faithful

2Thes 3:3  But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.  NET

Jesus Christ is loving

Eph 3:18-19  [Paul, to believers:] And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. 19Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.  NCV™

Jesus Christ shows grace . . .

1Tim 1:14  And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.  NKJV

. . . and Jesus Christ is merciful

Jude 1:21  [Jude, to believers:] Remain in God’s love as you look for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you eternal life.  GW

Jesus Christ can display anger

Rev 6:16-17  They [people in the end times] said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who is seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to withstand it?”  NET

 Questions for Section C

Jesus Christ’s ‘Name’

In biblical times, a person’s name represented or embodied their whole person – including their nature, authority and significance or purpose. This concept is in view in references to the “name” of a person.

Jesus Christ’s “name” signifies Jesus Christ himself

Rom 10:12-13  For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  NET

The fact that Jesus Christ’s “name” is synonymous with him is illustrated by the equivalent phrases “call on him” (v. 12) and “calls on the name of the Lord” (v. 13).

Jesus Christ’s “name” is correlated with his authority and power

Acts 3:6-7, 16  But Peter said [to a crippled man], “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.[Peter, speaking of Jesus’ name:] 16And his nameby faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.  ESV

Peter gave the command in the “name” or by the authority of Jesus Christ, his name representing or incorporating his authority and power – “By the power of Jesus Christ” (NCV).

Jesus Christ’s “name” signifies him in his attainment of forgiveness of sins

1Jn 2:12  [John, to believers:] I am writing to you, little children, that your sins have been forgiven because of his name.  NET

Jesus Christ’s “name” signifies him in his attainment of salvation and eternal life

Acts 4:12  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.  NET

1Jn 5:13  [John:] I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.  NET

Jesus Christ’s “name” signifies him in his gospel and cause

Acts 9:15-16  But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man [Saul] is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 16For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”  NET

Saul (later known as Paul) was to take the message about Jesus Christ to the Gentiles. This would result in him suffering greatly for Jesus Christ and his cause – the cause of spreading the gospel.

Note: God has given Jesus Christ a name that is superior to all others

See also:

In addition to “Jesus Christ” or “Christ”, some of the following references are – or appear to be – speaking of an additional name (or names) bestowed on Jesus Christ, without actually stating the name. As referred to in the comments below, possibilities include “Lord”, “Lord” (as in him being the Lord or ruler of all things) and the “Son” of God. Two further names of Jesus Christ are stated below in Revelation 19:13, 16. All these names, given him by God, imply Jesus Christ’s superiority to all others.

Phil 2:9b-11  God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth  -11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.  NET

 Questions for Section D

Pray for persecuted Christians