“Who is Jesus, Really? Bonus Resources

One of the most important series we’ve ever done is this one: Who Is Jesus, Really?

Here are some of the bonus resources to help you on your spiritual journey:

There’s a great web series on YouTube called In Pursuit of Jesus with Rasool Berry, a new friend of mine who traveled around the world to discover more about Jesus through the different cultures he encounters.

Recently, I interviewed Rasool Berry and Soo-Inn Tan of Graceworks on the Post-Christian Podcast.

The Gospel of John:
An Eyewitness Account of the Life Of Jesus

In his Gospel, John writes to increase the faith of those who read it (whether seeker or long-time Christ-follower):

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” – John 20:30-31

John writes about these 7 miracles, throughout his Gospel account and each shows Jesus’ revealing His power over all that limits us and each new location we see the response of some who believe and some who oppose Him.

The Seven Signs show Jesus goes beyond our boundaries and include:

  1. Water into wine (John 2:1-11). Jesus brings quality to life. (bonus: include John 2:12-25 for another example of Jesus’ passion for relationship over religion).
  2. Healing of royal official’s son (4:46-54). Jesus demonstrates power of distance, space, and time. (bonus: include John 4:4-45 for an example of Jesus’ love for the outsider whose transformation leads others to God)
  3. Healing the invalid at Bethsaida (5:1-9). Jesus demonstrates power over time (38 years of sickness ended). (bonus: include John 5:10-24 for Jesus’ interaction with those upset at him for healing on the Sabbath. Once again relationship is more important than religion).
  4. Feeding the 5,000 (6:1-15). Jesus brings quantity to life.
  5. Walking on Water (6:16-21, see also Matthew 14:22-33) Jesus demonstrates powerover natural law. (bonus: include John 6:22-71 to see how Jesus responded to critics who did not feel He was the only way to connect with God).
  6. Healing the man born blind (9:1-7) Jesus demonstrates power over life’s struggles. (bonus: include John 9:8-41 to see how the healed man shared about his experience with Jesus in a skeptical and hostile environment).
  7. Raising of Lazarus (11:1-46). Jesus demonstrates power over death. (bonus: includeJohn 11:45-54 to see how others imposed on Jesus what they wanted him to do).

In these 7 different messages called His “I Am” statements, Jesus proclaimed:

  1. “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51
  2.  “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12
  3. “I am the door for the sheep.” (John 10:7,9
  4. “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14)
  5. “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25
  6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6
  7. “I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5

John wanted those bold enough to read his eyewitness account of Jesus to discover who Jesus really is. The number 7 to the Jewish mind means complete or perfect. These 7 signs and 7 proclamations reveal the complete picture of who Jesus really is.

The Challenge:

With an open heart and open mind, dive into this series fully!

  • Join us every Sunday – either online or in person at one of our local Austin campuses.
  • Watch the story on TV. There is a great film about the life of Jesus called The Chosen. It was filmed in Texas with many actors from Austin.
    There is also a film on The Gospel of John starring one of the stars of Lost.
    Both are free on YouTube.
  • If you are really open-minded, I want to encourage you to read through the Gospel of John during this series. 

Before you read each day pray: “God, if you are real, show me who you are.”

Three easiest ways to read through the Gospel of John:

  • The Three Day Plunge – Read 7 chapters a day for 3 days in a row.
  • The Seven Day Challenge – Read 3 chapters a day for 7 days.
  • The Twenty-one Day Experiment – Read 1 chapter a day for 21 days.

Trusting What Was Written

We can trust that what we are reading is authentically from the eyewitness John.  John was Jesus’ best friend and followed Him faithfully throughout His ministry and after Jesus ascended into heaven (40 days after He rose from the dead), John spent the rest of his life telling others of what he had seen and experienced – even when his life was threatened for doing so.

What’s remarkable is when you compare the existing manuscripts from the New Testament to other ancient writings.

Famous atheist turned Christ-follower Josh McDowell wrote:

“All told, the sheer number of New Testament manuscripts and the earliness of the extant (existing) manuscripts give us great reason to believe the New Testament accurately transmits the contents of the originals. Of just the known 5,800+ Greek New Testament manuscripts, there are more than 2.6 million pages! That equates to one mile of New Testament manuscripts (and 2.5 miles for the entire Bible), compared with an average four feet of manuscript by the average classical writer. Combining both the Old and New Testament, we have more than 66,000 manuscripts and scrolls!”

Josh McDowell

So for those of you who are believers, you have great evidence for the authenticity of the Scriptures. What’s even more remarkable is that we have even more evidence today than our grandparents or great grandparents did because of scientific and archaeological advancements over the past 100 years! More and more of what we read in the Bible is being proved as historically accurate.

Quick overview God’s Presence in the Bible:

Heaven Meets Earth

  • In Eden
  • In the tabernacle
  • In the Temple
  • In Jesus
  • In the Body of Christ
  • At the end of all things when God makes all things right.

Heaven and earth together in Eden

After the fall of humanity, heaven met earth at the Tabernacle – where God’s presence dwelled among the people of Israel.

Later it was the Temple in Jerusalem where the nations would come to discover God.

Then it was in the person of Jesus who referred to Himself as “greater than the Temple” and the One who could forgive sin (only priests could do that on God’s behalf before Jesus). In fact, John in his eyewitness account starts with a beautiful creation poem that said that Jesus was the Word of God – the expression of God on planet earth and he dwelled among us – the literal translation was that he “tabernacled among us”

Then those who follow Jesus are referred to as the Body of Christ. Through us heaven comes to earth. That’s why Jesus taught us to pray: “Our Father in heaven, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

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