The Bible is understood to be the guidebook of Christians and has at least 66 books worth of scriptures. From the creation story to the revelations about the end times, the Bible has everything a Christian needs. As the inspiration behind Christianity, Jesus Christ has given several Christians a reason to study the Bible. Some Christians would like to know how the New Testament has depicted Jesus Christ and have asked, “How is Jesus represented in the New Testament?”
The New Testament depicts Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the promised son of God who came to save the world. The New Testament has several scriptures tracing the genealogy of Jesus Christ, narrating his birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and finally, his glorious ascension to heaven. The New Testament has therefore played a crucial role in depicting Jesus as the only true savior of the world and the man behind the start of the religion of Christianity.
Christians have asked several questions about the depiction of Jesus in the New Testament. Who did Jesus say he was? Is the New Testament description of Jesus Christ the same as the Old Testament depiction? Why do the gospels describe Jesus Christ differently? These and other questions are discussed in this article; read on to get the answers.
Who does Jesus say he is in the New Testament?
In John 8:58, Jesus Christ refers to himself as ‘I AM’ while addressing his disciples. He told the disciples that before Moses was even born, he existed. ‘I AM’ was the name God used to refer to Himself when he sent Moses to Egypt to secure the Israelites from the bondage of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. By referring to himself as ‘I AM,’ Jesus Christ was telling his disciples that he was indeed God.
In John 10:30, Jesus says, “The father and I are one.” This was another time when Jesus revealed his true identity to the crowd, where some Jewish opponents were present. When they heard him mutter, they picked up stones and wanted to stone him. Jesus emphasized the message that he was God by saying he was the same as the father. To the radical Jews present, this equated to blasphemy and led them to pick the stones ready to finish Jesus.
In Matthew 16:13, Jesus refers to himself as the son of man. This was not the only time he used the title on himself; he did this at least seventy other times in the Bible. By referring to himself as the son of man, Jesus was identifying with the human race that he had come to savage from the bondage of sin. He was God but had been born a human as per the prophecies. This made him refer to himself as the son of man on several occasions.
In John 14:16, Jesus says that he is the way, the truth, and the life and that nobody can go to the father except through him. By saying this, Jesus revealed to his disciples that the only way to heaven was by embracing him and his teachings. He was revealing that he came with the truth about the kingdom of God and that everyone who would listen to him would make it to the kingdom that every Christian craves to enter.
These were not the only titles that Jesus used to describe himself. In some instances, he referred to himself as the Vine, the Teacher, and Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, the Bridegroom, and the Gate. In all these instances, Christ gave himself a title according to the role he was playing at the time and according to the heavenly roles he had been accorded.
Is the New Testament description of Jesus consistent with his description in the Old Testament?
The New Testament description of Jesus Christ is consistent with his description in the Old Testament. The Old Testament focused more on giving prophecies about Jesus Christ and the role he was going to play in the world. The prophecies were later fulfilled in the New Testament when Christ was born and ultimately saved the world. In the Old Testament, he is the Messiah to come, the world’s savior. In the New Testament, he is still described as the Messiah and savior of the world, a role he fulfilled well.
Does Jesus fulfill the Old Testament prophecy of a messiah in the New Testament?
Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of a Messiah in the New Testament that had been recorded in the Old Testament. Several prophets of God had made specific prophecies about the Messiah that came to be fulfilled in the New Testament.
In Isaiah 6:9-10, God told the prophet, Isaiah, that the Messiah would use parables when teaching, which would only be understood by those who had a keen eye for the kingdom of God. Matthew 13:14-15 confirms the fulfillment of the prophecy as Jesus became an avid user of parables during his teachings.
Isaiah 7:14 gives the prophecy of the virgin conceiving. The child would be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us. In Matthew 1:21-23 the fulfillment of the prophecy is experienced as the Virgin Mary is set to conceive the Messiah by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 53:5 gives the prophecy that the Messiah would suffer and die for other people’s sins. This prophecy is fulfilled in the New Testament when Jesus faces persecution and finally dies to save the world from sin.
Isaiah 11:1 tells of the prophecy of Jesus coming from the line of Jesse. In Matthew 1:1, the genealogy of Jesus is traced to Jesse, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
In 2 Samuel 7:12, God promised David that the Messiah would be his descendant. In Matthew 1:1, the genealogy of Jesus is first traced to David, and in Luke 1:31-32, Angel Gabriel confirms to the Virgin Mary that he would bear a descendant of David.
In Micah 5:2, the prophecy about the Messiah being born in Bethlehem is revealed. This prophecy is finally fulfilled in Matthew 2:1 when Jesus is born in Bethlehem of Judea.
There are many prophecies about Jesus Christ being the Messiah, and all of them were fulfilled. The ones discussed above were the principal prophecies about the Messiah and their fulfilments.
What is Jesus called in the New Testament?
John 20:30-31 refers to Jesus as Christ, the son of God, due to the massive number of miracles that he had performed. As it is written, some of the miracles are not noted in the Bible, but they happened.
Acts 4:12 refers to Jesus as the savior of the world. The scriptures explain that only through his name can one be saved.
In 1 Timothy 2:5, Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and humanity. Without him, there would be a strenuous relationship between the world and God.
Romans 10:9 refers to Jesus Christ as the Lord. The scriptures explain that by confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord and believing that he came to save the world, you will be saved too.
These scriptures describe what Jesus is called in the New Testament while revealing who he was and the role he played.
Why do the gospel books all have a different descriptions of Jesus?
The Gospels have a different descriptions of Jesus because they were written by different authors who each had a unique experience with Jesus Christ. While some Gospels were written by the disciples of Jesus, like Matthew and John, others were written by people who knew Jesus differently.
Matthew wrote his book for the Jewish audience. He wrote his book to prove that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah and that the Old Testament prophecies had finally been fulfilled. Mark concentrated on the great deeds of Jesus Christ. Luke wrote about Jesus Christ being the savior of the ill-fated world. John concentrated on the holiness of Jesus while proving that he was the son of God.
The Gospels might have depicted Jesus differently, but they all covered the critical aspects of his life and ministry and revealed that he was indeed the son of God who came to save the world.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.