Who is Jesus Christ?
He claimed that He is God. For the Jews, this was the ultimate blasphemy punishable by death. And put him to death, they did. But He rose from the dead, as he said He would. He backed up His claim to divinity with mighty deeds, inspiring words and life-changing teachings. He was born in manger and was unheard of until the ripe age of 30. But when he came upon the scene, he changed the course of history like no other. The world today is a better place because of all that his followers and believers have done in His name. He was the son of a carpenter and everyone knew that. But He declared Himself the Son of God and called God His father with the intimate and endearing “Abba”.
Who is Jesus Christ for me?
It was Ima whom I remember first talking to me about Jesus. She taught me how to pray and talk to him. And I have tried to keep on this conversation with Him all these past 60 years or so. I have seen the mighty deeds He has done in my life. I have had a life-journey so much more beautiful than any I could have written for myself. I have received gifts way beyond by my wildest imagining and expectations. Yet, there are still moments, I doubt His presence and influence in my life. There are moments when I turn fatalistic and say that these things were just meant to happen like they should.
I have been inspired no ends by His words. In my younger days, I remembered collecting and memorizing His sayings: “What does it profit a man . . . ” “Come to me all of you who are burdened . . . ” “Learn of me because . . . ” “If anyone would be my disciple . . . ” “To whom much is given . . . ” Even today, I relish reading and meditating on His words. Yet, there are moments when I turn cynical and say that all these are empty words, nice to hear and say but without any effect on my life and actions.
I have studied and taken to heart His life-changing teachings and have made these the basis and foundation of the major decisions in my life. From the earliest days when I first became aware that I was my own person, I have always turned to Him in prayer before I made any major decision: entering and then leaving the seminary, getting married and having a family, career changes, moving to the US. I have tried to share what I have learned about Him and His teachings in my classes and with groups I have associated with. Yet, there are moments when I turn pessimistic and say I am the same sinful and mediocre person I have always been, unaffected and unchanged by the teachings of the Christ I profess to believe in.
So, I struggle in faith and love with the fervent hope that I shall not be confounded but justified in this faith, hope and love around which I have built my life.
Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him.