“He saith unto them, but who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:15,16)
All of us, I am sure, have had the occasion to see someone on the street or in a crowd who looks somewhat familiar, yet someone we cannot really place or put a name to. Perhaps we ask ourselves, “Who is that man/woman?” Our eyes see him or her and deep in our mind something tells us we should know who it is, yet, we simply cannot put a name to the face. But, what about our Saviour and Redeemer? Would we, who have never seen Him in the flesh recognize Him, after all, He walked the earth some two thousand years ago. So, would we recognize Him if He were to return to this earth today? What recognizable feature would we, as His followers, be drawn to, so that we could say, “yes, that is definitely my Lord, the one that we have been waiting for?”
Jesus with two disciples on the road to Emmaus—they didn’t recognize Him—would we?
When Jesus was born, other than the fact that His birth was foretold more than seven hundred years before it happened, very few people realized what had taken place. He, the baby Jesus, was outwardly no different than any other newborn. John 1:14 tells us that Jesus, the Word, was made flesh, and Paul in Romans 1:3 states that Jesus was of the seed of David according to the flesh. Thus we can readily see that at His birth Jesus appeared as any other normal human being, and did not have any distinct outward signs to set Him apart from the rest of His Israelite brethren. He went through all the same trials and errors, when learning to walk and learning to talk as you and I went through. The only thing that is apparent is the fact that as an adolescent He had a very acute and inquisitive mind, this is evidenced when Jesus was debating with the teachers in the temple when He was but twelve years old. (Lk 2:46). A sharp mind yet nothing else to set Him apart and be recognized as the Son of God, even Mary and Joseph did not understand. (Lk. 2:50).
After this event we hear or read nothing about Jesus until He was about thirty years old (Lk. 3:23), a space or void of about eighteen years. So, what happened in those eighteen years? That He was away from His hometown of Nazareth is brought out by the fact that the people of that town were not really sure of who He was when He first started to teach in their synagogue. (Lk. 4:22; Jn. 6:42). They knew His parents, but were not sure about Jesus Himself. Now whether He was gone and for how long and where He went is mainly conjecture, for we have no Biblical proof, but the lore and legend of Cornwall in south-eastern England holds that at the spot where Joseph of Arimathea later built the first Christian church, Jesus is supposed to have built a wattle hut during one of His stays in that country. (Drama of the Lost Disciples, p. 72). The same lore holds that Jesus was under the tutelage of His great uncle Joseph during this 18 year interim, and since Joseph of Arimathea was in the tin business, concentrated in Cornwall, England, the chance that Jesus spent some of that time with His uncle in England is quite possible. But, even in this there is nothing to set Him apart by which we could recognize Him as the Son of Man. So, who was that man?
Would we recognize Him if we met Him on the street or would we walk past Him, perhaps turning around for another look and wondering, “Who is that man?” I think not!
Jesus was about thirty years old (Lk. 3:23) when He began His public ministry, for it was not until after His baptism by John that God sent His Holy Spirit, through which Jesus was able to perform all the miracles which He soon thereafter became famous and known throughout the region.
Now, some two thousand years have past in which mankind has worshipped Him as their Saviour and Redeemer, the Son of the living God, their Lord. Some commune with Him on a daily basis, others only once in awhile, yet they all claim to know Him. Some reject Him and many others are known to love Him, but would we, today, recognize Him if we met Him on the street or would we walk past Him, perhaps turning around for another look and wondering, “Who is that man?” I think not!
If we consider all the things that Jesus taught His disciples, including ourselves, as found in the Holy Scriptures, we will, with the help of the Holy Spirit, always be able to recognize our Saviour. We will never be unsure of whom He is, for He is our Shepherd and we who are called are His sheep, and His sheep know His voice and follow Him. There will never be any doubt as to the fact that He is the One that calls us into His glorious light. When He returns and we know that that will be soon, He will not come as He did the first time, as a tiny baby, who grew, I am sure into a handsome man, but He will appear in all the Heavenly glory and radiance that He is entitled to as Lord of lords and King of kings. All eyes will behold Him and recognize Him for who He really is. Oh! What a wonderful day that will be, and what a wonderful experience that will be for all those who love Him and kept His commandments.
Some of the last words of Jesus are found in the last book of our Bible, the last chapter where Jesus proclaims, “Behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Rev. 22: 12-13). “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Rev. 22:16).
YES! We all will know Him. HALLELUJAH!