“Jesus had no doubt whatever as to who he was, from where he came, why he entered our world, and what the future held for him.”—AUTHOR HERBERT LOCKYER.
BEFORE we can accept and put faith in the things Jesus taught, we need to know something about him. Who really was Jesus? Where did he come from? What was his purpose in life? In the Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—we can hear the answers from Jesus’ own lips, as it were.
He lived before he was born on earth Jesus once said: “Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.” (John 8:58) Abraham lived some 2,000 years before Jesus’ birth. Yet, Jesus lived even before that faithful patriarch walked the earth. Where, though, had Jesus existed? “I have come down from heaven,” he explained.—John 6:38.
The Son of God Jehovah has many angelic sons. Jesus, however, is unique. He referred to himself as “the only-begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18) That expression means that Jesus is the sole direct creation of God. The only-begotten Son is the one through whom God created all other things.—Colossians 1:16.
“The Son of man” Jesus used this expression more than any other to refer to himself. (Matthew 8:20) He thus showed that he was neither a materialized angel nor an incarnation. Rather, he was fully human. By his holy spirit, God transferred his Son’s life from heaven to earth, causing conception in the womb of the virgin girl Mary. As a result, Jesus was born as a perfect, sinless human.—Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35; John 8:46.
The promised Messiah “I know that Messiah is coming,” said a Samaritan woman to Jesus. He replied: “I who am speaking to you am he.” (John 4:25, 26) The word “Messiah,” like the word “Christ,” means “Anointed One.” Jesus was anointed, or appointed by God, to fill a special role in the fulfillment of God’s promises.
His primary mission Jesus once said: “I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.” (Luke 4:43) Although he performed many good deeds for people in need, preaching about God’s Kingdom was his main focus in life. What he taught about that Kingdom will be discussed later.
Clearly, Jesus was no ordinary man. As we will see, the life he had in heaven gave added meaning to the words he uttered on earth. Is it any wonder that he preached a message that would affect the lives of millions around the world?