Shocked by the Bible, Joe Kovacs
Did you know baby Jesus was a demolition expert before He soiled His first diaper? He was a master stone engraver before His first hiccup. He was also an inventor, tour guide, and champion wrestler. Baby Jesus was all these things and many more–even before He spent His first five minutes in a Bethlehem manger.
It sounds unbelievable, but like the U.S. Army motto, “We do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day,” Jesus did more than any man or woman could do in an entire life span before He was wrapped in swaddling clothes some two thousand years ago.
Perhaps this will surprise even longtime churchgoers who never put the pieces together to see the whole picture of Jesus’ life, especially the early years. I mean, the really early years. Not the years of His childhood on Earth. I mean the years before He was born a baby to Joseph and Mary. Baby Jesus was alive long before showing up in the manger, and He certainly was no baby.
According to the Bible, the Jesus of the New Testament had an extensive history before He was born as a human being. He had numerous “guest appearances” in the Old Testament, often doing the unexpected. Among His exploits: firebombing a city to demolish it (Genesis 19:24), using His own finger to etch His handwriting into stone (Exodus 32:16), wrestling with His loved ones (Genesis 32:24), and designing and creating the universe (John 1:3).
Those learning this for the first time may be blown away by the information that’s coming. It’s different from what most people think or teach. But we’ll take our time and ease into it, so it becomes clear who this baby Jesus really is.
What’s in a Name?
To explore the long résumé of Jesus, start by looking at the New Testament. Among these twenty-seven books, Jesus is known by a variety of names and titles. For instance, He is:
♥The Word (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13)
♥The Saviour (Luke 2:11; Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:13)
♥The Son of God (Luke 1:35; Matthew 8:29; John 1:34)
♥The Son of man (Matthew 13:41; 16:27; Luke 24:7)
♥The first and the last (Revelation 1:11; 17; 22:13)
♥King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16)
♥Lord of lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16
The gospel of John wastes no time providing Jesus’ true identity. John, who calls Jesus “the Word,” says Jesus is God Himself, the Creator of all things: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (1:1-3).
The New Living Translation emphasizes the fact that Jesus was not making His debut in the manger, but has been alive forever: “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God” (v.1).
This person Jesus, whom John calls “the Word,” was apparently alive with God the Father at the very beginning. Not only that, but He also was God. John says it was “the Word” who created everything and who eventually left His place with God the Father to become a human being.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth…He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew hom not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name.” (1:14, 10-12)
The scenario is reminiscent of the 1995 song “One of Us” by Joan Osborne, in which she asks, “What if God was one of us?” The gospel of John has the answer, pointing out that God already was one of us. Long after He had created it all, Jesus lived, breathed, ate, worked, sweated, preached, and died here on planet Earth.
This first chapter of John is the key to understanding the entire Bible. And what it points to is that Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament. Write that down somewhere and memorize it.
Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament. His appearance in the manger in Bethlehem two thousand years ago was not His beginning. His existence did not commence in the womb of His human mother, Mary, Jesus Christ was alive a long time prior to that. He, along with God the Father, was in existence forever, not as a human being, but as a member of the very Family of God.
I have spoken with countless individuals who are under the mistaken impression that the God of the Old Testament is a mean, harsh “God the Father,” and things changed for the better when He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world during New Testament times. This is not the case. Jesus Christ also interacted with humans in Old Testament times.
If you search the Bible, the phrases “God the Father” and “God our Father” do not appear anywhere in the Old Testament! It’s true. Not once. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Squatta. They are just not there. Feel free to go ahead and read the entire Old Testament right now to be sure. I’ll patiently await your return.
Amazingly, while those tides are absent in the Old Testament, they seem to be everywhere in the New Testament, where “God the Father” can be found a dozen times, and “God our Father” is in eleven verses. For example:
“And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:11)
“Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 1:2)
“Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) (Galatians 1:1)
As I pointed out earlier, John’s gospel indicates Jesus is the Creator of all things and that “without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Paul reiterated that everything came into existence because Jesus created it: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
The book of Genesis makes statements such as these:
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (1:1)
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (1:3)
“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.” (1:25)
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (1:27)
Substitute the name Jesus for the word God in each of those verses, and it becomes clear that Jesus was the Creator of the world, as John revealed in the opening to his gospel.
(TO COME: PART TWO, Holy Moses Was Wholly About Jesus!)
Shocked By The Bible, Joe Kovacs