WHO IS THIS MAN?
Some named Him a Prophet, a man with a purpose, and some say He’s just history. Some named Him teacher, but few ever realized His true identity.
His Name is Master, Savior, Lion of Judah, Blessed Prince of Peace. Shepherd, Fortress, Rock of Salvation, Lamb of God is He. Son of David, King of the Ages, Eternal Life. He’s the Holy Lord of Glory… His Name is Life
There are several places in the Word where the same question is asked by different people. That question is still being asked today. Sometimes it is asked of us. Are we giving the right answers? The question is, “Who is this Man?”
Luke 5:17-21 “One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”” (Luke 5:17-21 NIV). This passage tells the story of some men who carried their paralyzed friend to see Jesus, believing Jesus could heal him. Jesus was speaking in someone’s home and there was no room for anyone else to enter the house, especially with a man on a stretcher. With some hard work and ingenuity his friends carried the man up onto the roof and let him down through the ceiling. Because of the faithfulness of his friends, Jesus healed the man on the spot. This threw the Pharisees and other “religious scholars” into a frenzy. In the words of the religious leaders, “Who is this fellow…?”
With the healing miracle happening right there in front of them what was their question? Was it, “How did He do that?” Or was it, “Did these men plot to create this magic act?”
No, their question was “Who is this fellow…? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 5:21 NIV)
People have been asking that question ever since. Who is this man? Even the Disciples, who lived in Jesus’ presence for 3 years or so asked the same question.
My favorite Scripture concerning that particular question, “Who is this man?” happens when the Disciples were crossing the sea and a big storm blew up. That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:35-41) (NIV)
Another question that can arise here is: If the Disciples believe Jesus can help them by saving them from the storm, aren’t they safe with just His presence in the boat?
So Jesus stands up and does what they have asked, He calms the storm around them and saves them and what do they do? They ask the same question the non-believers ask, “Who is this man?”
There is another place we can visit in this theme. In the hymn “Be Still, My Soul” (534) we find the words: Your hope, Your confidence let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know the Christ who ruled them while he dwelt below.
Which would you think is harder to do, calm the storm, or heal the paralytic? I don’t think I can do either. But, to the Creator, neither was hard. He was Creator of both. The waves and wind obeyed because it was their Creator who was speaking to them.
This question, “Who is this Man?” is asked on a continual basis today. As we gather in our Sanctuary every Sunday morning we are a small minority compared to all those in Morgan County who are not in church today. Each of them should be saying, “Who is this Man who has those people in church this morning?”
Who is this man that calls us to gather every Sunday morning to worship Him? (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)
Who is this man who continues to heal people through the power of prayers? (James 5:14-16)
Who is this man who gives us the Peace that passes all understanding when we are in the middle of the storms that come in our lives? (Philippians 4:7)
Psalm 18:1-3 tells us that Jesus is still our refuge in time of storm:
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies. (NIV)
Who is this Man? He is our Savior (Psalm 22:3), our Refuge (Psalm 59:16), our Rock (Psalm 61:1-2), our Redeemer (Psalm 19:14). He is the one we can call on and know He is always there (Matthew 28:16-20).
Psalm 91:1-2 lets us know we can find rest in His shadow. With His arm stretched over us we are safe. Our Eternal Security is in Him.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge
and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2) (NIV)
Bostwick UMC 6/27/21