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Elaina Panesso
Elaina Panesso Newbie Writer | Makeup Artist | Model | Serious Goofball
7mo Florida, United States Story
Jesus Who?

Does anybody know who this Jesus guy is and where He comes from? 

One of the things you’ll hear Christians say about Jesus is that He is the only way to God.  How can that be and what does that mean?  Is it because He says that if you ask anything in His name that it’ll be given?  

Nope…  It’s a little deeper than that.  

The people and disciples called Him the good teacher and I’m going to point out 3 reasons to help us get a clearer understanding of who Jesus is and why He, in fact, is the only way to God.

The scripture a lot of people know and relate to Him is actually one of my favorites:

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Then directly following that, we are lead into verse 17 that reads: For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

This is so huge and really, tells us everything we need to know about who Jesus is and what His mission is about. He came here not to condemn the world, but to save it.  People feel that living like Jesus is an impossible feat and yes, while perfection is an impossible task, the strive is where it’s at for Him to see our hearts. He didn’t come here to say, “y’all can’t do it like I can” but instead to say, “see the example I set before you, live in this way and obtain everlasting life”.  

But before we dive in, let’s take a moment to get to know Him.  

Jesus is the Son of man and the Son of God.  He was born of a virgin woman named Mary who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit and to me, Him being born of a virgin is so significant because in that day, the only way that would happen, would be by a miracle.  

Which brings me to a term I’m sure almost everyone has heard of: The Trinity 

The Trinity is comprised of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  This is important to know in order to really understand that Jesus is holy and a part of God made through the Holy Spirit. And we know this by the scripture Matthew 1:23: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Now, Jesus is a part of God and a teacher, ok, but the word says that God created us in His likeness and there’s preachers all over, so why would Jesus be the only way to God and not a world renown pastor?  Well.. simply because we are all imperfect.  Jesus set an example for us while He was in the flesh and blood and this brings me to my first point. 

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

God is love. And since Jesus is part of God, then we can deduce that Jesus is also love.  We must always remember that any and everything we experience and go through is meant for our benefit in some way and that anything They do for us comes from a loving place.  

Through His passion for us, the grace of God, and His desire to show His undying love for us, Jesus led a life that He knew would end with Him carrying the cross and requiring Him to endure extreme pain and suffering at Calvary.  And because of His precious sacrifice, we reap the promise of everlasting life.  

Jesus was the epitome of humility.  How do we know this?  Well, in John chapter 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet and Peter’s like, “What?! Jesus, there’s NO WAY you’re washing my feet, let me wash yours!” Jesus looks at him and says, “16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

Let’s take a minute to reflect on this and think about feet.  Have you ever seen any funky lookin feet?  I know I have.  Back in this time, these guys had sandals, basically flip flops, no roads to walk but loads of sand and mud to trudge through, so just take a second to think about how dirty their feet were…  Admittedly, I have a problem with germs, I am really weird about touching people and I ALWAYS have to have hand sanitizer with me.  I’ll hug ya, but I don’t like grabbing people's’ hands because I don’t have any idea what the last thing was that you touched and Lord KNOWS I hope you didn’t just come from the bathroom and then shake my hand…  But Jesus Christ, the Lord and Messiah, got down on His hands and knees to wash the disciples’ feet as the greatest act of humility the world could ever know.  Could you see Trump washing someone’s feet?  If someone suggested he do so, he’d probably look at them and say, “You’re fired”.  

Think about it, even for a friend, if they were super gross and dirty, would you really be able to humble yourself and love them enough to wash their filthy feet?   I know I would have a hard time with it.

 I know I would struggle with it and I have no problem washing my own feet or my son’s, but Jesus loves us so much that he would argue us for the opportunity to show his humble love and to let us know that not one of us is greater than the other and that we are all one in the same.  This is what it truly means to love each other as ourselves.

In order to effectively lead someone, what must one first gain?  Trust.

Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

This scripture tells us that not only are we to trust in the Lord, but that we can rest in doing so, because if we pay attention, He will guide us.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather God be the one to lead me anywhere I may roam as He would be the safest and most loving shepherd of them all.

And really... We can bring back John 3:16 at this point and call it a day because if you know that someone is willing to lay down their life for you, that you can trust them without fail, am I right?  Begrudgingly, I’ll admit I know that if I’m going to struggle with washing someone’s feet, I might think twice about hanging on a cross for someone… 

In Matthew 5, Jesus refers to us as being the salt and light of the world.  This is probably my favorite part of my whole message because it references food.  Verse 13 says:  “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”  Basically, what Jesus is saying here is that we are what make this boring world good; we make it rich with flavor.  We have to be careful though, because it is possible to add too much salt and that’s never good and makes for a bitter dish.  We want to make sure we are always mindful that in everything, we are sober -even in spreading the gospel because it is very easy to push people away.  This is why it is so important to be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove.  And if there’s not enough salt in a dish, when you taste it, it may still be good, but you can tell that it’s lacking in something.  When we prepare a meal, we have to do little taste tests here and there to make sure it’s ready to be served.  Likewise, we have to continuously study the word and be mindful of the amount we intake because we can’t properly prepare a meal with a half-known recipe.  Being the salt of the world is an awesome thing but it is also a great responsibility but Jesus showed us how to do this flawlessly.  We are that extra bit of spice in this earth to liven up the bland souls and bring them to the unfailing love and joy of the Father.  Jesus was such a character and if you want a good read, look up some of His stories and pay attention to how He behaved with people.  Wise doesn’t even touch it.  Inspirational is more accurate.

Then this:

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

One of my favorite songs when I was a kid was This Little Light of Mine, so this passage is particularly special to me.  Think of a pitch black room, then imagine a someone lighting a candle.  It doesn’t matter where they are in that room, you will be able to see that candle, whether it is right up next to you, or all the way on the of the room.  We are that candle in this dark day and age.  I was just reading a devotional on salt and light and one of the things referenced was that light travels faster than sound and what that spoke to me was the that your reputation precedes you and that is so, so true.  When I say Albert Einstein, you think things like genius, funny, and white hair.  When I say Adele, things that come to mind are incredible voice, lots of awards, questionable relationship choices.  Getting the point?  We are called to be the light of the world to be like a beacon to those in need, so this is why our names and reputations are so important.  Do we have to be perfect?  Well, of course that’s the ultimate goal, but no…  We will never be perfect.  We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, but this is also why we have each other because we aren’t just to be a light ourselves, but to also be a light to one another and lift each other up in times of need.  Think of that candle in the room again.  When the room is dark, you can’t see anything, but even with just a little tiny bit of light, you can see the flicker in the distance and when you get closer, you can begin to see clearly.

Jesus was God incarnate.  He had wine with men but never got drunk, cried with men but never fell into depression, was angry with men and although he may have flipped a few tables, never sinned against them, and in the end, died for all men and women to save them.  All of the physical things we go through and struggle with, He experienced and overcame to show that with self control, we too can do the same.  What He did was set an example of how to be and that is the absolute most important thing to understand about how and why Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life.  He never faltered.  Even on the day He died, He was tempted after being hung on the cross by one of the men at Calvary.  The man was taunting Him saying if He was truly the Son of God then He should just end everything and get off the cross and if it were me, I probably would’ve hit him with a lightning bolt and then really considered his idea.  But Jesus didn’t do that.  Even through all of the pain and suffering, His love was so great that He gave His own life to save each of us, to truly show what it means to love someone wholly and completely.  But not just someone; everyone.   Just imagine the feelings He had to have; loving people through their betrayal, through their lies, through their denouncement, and still having faith in them and in His mission enough to continue on to the cross and bare the weight of the world on His shoulders.  He sacrificed Himself for us so that we may live.  What better love? I can think of none.

Really, to sum it all up, Jesus was the example of how to truly love and lead in regard to God’s standards.  I want to highlight two verses from John chapter 14 where Jesus was talking to His disciples about Heaven and how to get there.  Thomas, the disciple (they labeled him as the twin because he was always doubting), of course, would’ve been the one to ask Jesus:

John 14:5-6 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”  6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

In Hebrews, it makes mention of Jesus’ word being the word of God and since we know that God’s promises are yes and amen; that His yes is yes and is no, no; that He is either hot or cold and never lukewarm; and that He is incapable of lying; then we now also know that this is true according to the word: Jesus is the only way to God.

Now, knowing that, we could stop there but we won’t.  The real reason Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life is because He lead the perfect example of how to human.   How to be the best possible version of yourself in each and every situation you may face.  Everything He did, He did it honestly and in love.  No greater example could we have than Jesus.  John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this to lay down one’s life for his friends.  Jesus does not just for one or some of us, but for all of us.  What greater love?  Again, there is none.

Jesus was a humble and loving leader who we can all aspire to be like because He is the example set forth by God to see how we can be.  Should we really learn to die to ourselves and try to become the best versions of us, we would make our lives so much easier.  And it’s really not that hard, the hardest part is self. Seeking God through Christ and overcoming yourself is the key to unlocking the door to everlasting life. And the best part about it?  We really can do it.

Think of a farm for a second...

If you plant peas, when it’s time for harvest, what will you yield?  Peas, right?  Same as strawberries, or potatoes.  Well, life is no different.  If you sow good, then you’ll reap good as it says in the Bible, right?

There’s a reason why we’re on the farm at the moment.  We’re driving the tractor home with this little gem: 

If you can’t remember anything from this and why Jesus really is the only way to God, just honor Him by remembering the one thing thing He was trying to teach:

Sow good, reap life. 

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Elaina Panesso
Newbie Writer | Makeup Artist | Model | Serious Goofball

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