Who is This?

Earlier in the gospel of Mark (4:35-41), Jesus was asleep in a boat with his disciples when a great storm descended down on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples were terrified and awoke Jesus who then rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. The disciples were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him?” This question is one that has been asked throughout the past twenty centuries, “Who is this man that heals the sick, drives out demons, calms the sea and even walks on water?” Who is he?

In his book, The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey writes, “It occurs to me that all the contorted theories of Jesus that have been spontaneously generating since the day of his death merely confirm the awesome risk God took when he stretched Himself out on the dissection table—a risk He seemed to welcome. Examine me! Test me! You decide!”[1]

In The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell observes, “The writers of Scripture invite us to examine this person Jesus for ourselves and to conclude for ourselves His significance. But we cannot focus the investigation just on His teaching or works. First and foremost, we must focus the investigation on His identity.”[2]

Who is Jesus in reality? Let’s let Him answer for Himself. When Jesus gets into the boat the first thing He says is, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” This is where it is important to know the original language, in this case, Greek. In Greek, Jesus said, “εγω ειμι” Take courage! εγω ειμι. Don’t be afraid! εγω ειμι literally translates I AM! “Take courage! I AM! Don’t be afraid.” Why did He say ‘I AM?” He was pointing back to Moses and the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-14), when the Lord appeared to him and told him to go back to Pharaoh and demand of him, “Let my people go!” Remember, the Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for over 400 years. Now, it was time for their deliverance. Exodus 3:13-14 states, “Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your father has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name? Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

When Jesus climbed into the boat with His disciples and said, “εγω ειμι,” He was letting them know, I AM the God who appeared to Moses in that burning bush.  I AM is now here appearing to you in this boat. Jesus is the great I AM! He is God in the flesh, Immanuel. The miracles give evidence to this fact. Furthermore, we have all the eye-witness accounts of the Apostles. John writes in 1 John  1:1-3, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.”

[1] Philip Yancey quoted in Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), 136.

[2]Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), 136. , 136-137.