How Many Jesus Were There (Jesus in the New Testament

By Paul King •  Updated: 09/29/23 •  17 min read

The New Testament presents multiple portrayals of Jesus, each showcasing him in unique roles and situations. To truly understand how many Jesus figures exist within the New Testament, we must delve into the scriptures and examine the various aspects of Jesus’ life and teachings.

First and foremost, Jesus of Nazareth is the central figure in the New Testament. He is depicted as the Son of God, sent to Earth to fulfill the prophesies of the Old Testament and bring salvation to humanity. In Matthew 1:21, an angel appears to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ This verse establishes Jesus’ role as the Savior.

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus teaches and imparts wisdom to his disciples and followers through parables and teachings. One such parable is the Parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:25-37. In this story, Jesus illustrates the importance of showing compassion and love for others, regardless of social or cultural differences. By telling this parable, Jesus not only teaches a valuable lesson but also showcases his compassionate nature.

Moreover, the New Testament also highlights the miracles performed by Jesus. These miracles serve as evidence of his divine power and authority. One notable miracle is the feeding of the five thousand, as described in Matthew 14:13-21. Jesus takes a small amount of bread and fish and miraculously multiplies them to feed a large crowd. This miracle not only showcases Jesus’ ability to perform supernatural acts but also emphasizes his role as the provider and sustainer of his followers.

In the New Testament, we see Jesus in various roles and contexts, all of which contribute to a multifaceted understanding of his nature. Whether it’s his teachings, miracles, or his ultimate role as the Savior, the scriptures present a comprehensive portrayal of Jesus.

By studying the Bible and reflecting on the stories and teachings within, we can gain a deeper understanding of Jesus and the significance of his life. The New Testament offers us a rich tapestry of Jesus’ character, showing us his humility, wisdom, compassion, and divine power. It is through a diligent study of the scriptures that we can truly grasp the multifaceted nature of Jesus as depicted in the New Testament.

Key Takeaways

Historical Context: Understanding the New Testament’s Portrayal of Jesus

The portrayal of Jesus in the New Testament is deeply rooted in the historical context of the time. By examining the political, social, and cultural climate of the first century CE, we can gain a greater understanding of Jesus’ life and the challenges he faced.

During Jesus’ time, Palestine was under Roman occupation, which had significant religious and political implications. The Romans had a strong presence in the region, and their rule often clashed with Jewish religious beliefs and practices. This tension is reflected in the New Testament writings, as Jesus frequently interacts with Roman authorities and challenges their power.

One such instance is found in Matthew 22:15-22, where Jesus is questioned about paying taxes to Caesar. The Pharisees and Herodians, who were political opponents, sought to trap Jesus with this question. Jesus responds by saying, ‘Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’ This statement not only addresses the issue at hand but also highlights the complex relationship between religion and politics during Jesus’ time.

Furthermore, understanding the Jewish religious beliefs and practices of the time is crucial in comprehending Jesus’ teachings and actions. Jesus was born into a Jewish family and was raised in accordance with Jewish customs. His teachings often reference Jewish scripture and traditions.

In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus reads from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue, proclaiming, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.’ This passage aligns with Jewish beliefs in the coming of a messiah who would bring liberation and justice to the oppressed.

By examining the historical context, we can appreciate the complexities of Jesus’ life and the challenges he faced. The political and social tensions of Roman occupation, as well as the influence of Jewish religious beliefs, shaped Jesus’ teachings and actions.

As we delve deeper into the subsequent section about ‘Jesus of Nazareth: Examining the Central Figure of the New Testament,’ exploring the historical context becomes even more crucial for a comprehensive understanding of Jesus’ life and significance. Through the stories and teachings found in the Bible, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the impact Jesus had on the world and the message of love and redemption he brought.

Jesus of Nazareth: Examining the Central Figure of the New Testament

Examining the central figure of the New Testament, scholars have extensively studied Jesus of Nazareth to gain a deeper understanding of his role and significance in the religious text. In doing so, they have sought to unravel the complexities surrounding Jesus’ humanity and the impact he had on his followers. Despite being portrayed as the Son of God, Jesus’ humanity is a prominent aspect of his character.

One story from the Bible that exemplifies Jesus’ humanity is the healing of the blind beggar Bartimaeus. In Mark 10:46-52, it is written:

‘Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means ‘son of Timaeus’), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’

Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’

Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’

So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.’ Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’

‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.’

This story showcases Jesus’ compassion and willingness to engage with those in need. Despite being surrounded by a large crowd, Jesus takes the time to listen to Bartimaeus and meet his request for healing. This interaction highlights Jesus’ understanding of the struggles and desires of humanity, as well as his ability to bring about transformation through his divine power.

Scholars have also explored the historical and cultural context of Jesus’ time. This context helps us understand the challenges and societal norms Jesus faced during his ministry. For example, in John 4:4-26, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at a well. This encounter breaks cultural barriers, as Jews and Samaritans were not supposed to interact. Jesus not only engages in conversation with the woman but also reveals his true identity as the Messiah. This interaction demonstrates Jesus’ willingness to challenge societal norms and reach out to individuals who were marginalized.

In addition to his interactions with individuals, Jesus’ impact on his disciples and the subsequent spread of his teachings is also significant. Jesus called his disciples to follow him and learn from his teachings. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commissions his disciples, saying:

‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

This commissioning highlights Jesus’ desire for his disciples to continue spreading his message and teachings to all nations. Through their dedication and commitment, the disciples played a crucial role in the early spread of Christianity.

By examining Jesus’ humanity, scholars aim to comprehend his relatability and the challenges he faced as a human being. Jesus’ interactions with individuals and his teachings provide valuable insights into his character and mission. Through stories like the healing of Bartimaeus and the encounter with the Samaritan woman, we gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’ compassion, willingness to challenge societal norms, and his desire to bring about transformation in the lives of those he encountered.

These stories and teachings continue to inspire and guide believers today.

Jesus the Teacher: Exploring the Teachings and Parables of Jesus

Exploring the teachings and parables of Jesus provides valuable insights into the moral and ethical principles he aimed to impart to his followers. Jesus was not only a teacher but also a profound storyteller, using parables to convey profound truths in a simple and relatable manner. These parables were symbolic stories that illustrated spiritual lessons and invited listeners to reflect and internalize the teachings.

One such parable that illustrates Jesus’ teachings on love and compassion is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this story, a man is beaten and left half-dead on the side of the road. Both a priest and a Levite pass by without offering any help. However, a Samaritan, who was considered an outsider by the Jewish community, stops and tends to the man’s wounds, taking him to an inn and paying for his care. When asked who the man’s neighbor was, Jesus replied, ‘The one who showed him mercy’ (Luke 10:36-37). This parable emphasizes the importance of showing love and compassion to all, regardless of societal divisions.

Another parable that highlights Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. In this story, a son demands his inheritance from his father and squanders it all in reckless living. When he realizes the error of his ways, he returns to his father, who joyfully welcomes him back and forgives him. This parable teaches that God’s forgiveness is limitless and that we should extend the same forgiveness to others. As Jesus said in Luke 6:37, ‘Forgive, and you will be forgiven.’

The teachings and parables of Jesus are not only about love and forgiveness but also about the kingdom of God. In the Parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a tiny mustard seed that grows into a large tree. This parable emphasizes that even the smallest acts of faith and obedience can have a significant impact and contribute to the growth of God’s kingdom. As Jesus stated in Matthew 13:31-32, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants.’

Understanding the teachings and parables of Jesus is crucial for comprehending the ethical framework he laid out for his disciples. These stories provide practical guidance on how to live virtuous lives and cultivate a deep relationship with God. However, it is important to note that the teachings of Jesus extend far beyond just the parables. The entire Bible, including the Old Testament, provides a holistic understanding of his teachings and their significance.

In addition to his teachings, Jesus performed numerous miracles, further exemplifying his divine nature and the extent of his teachings. From healing the sick to feeding thousands with just a few loaves of bread and fish, these miracles demonstrated Jesus’ power and compassion. One notable miracle is the raising of Lazarus from the dead, as recounted in John 11:1-44. This miracle not only showcased Jesus’ authority over death but also served as a profound symbol of the eternal life that believers can attain through faith in him.

Jesus the Miracle Worker: Unraveling the Miracles Performed by Jesus

Unraveling the miracles performed by Jesus provides profound insight into the supernatural acts attributed to him. These miraculous events hold immense significance in the New Testament and have captivated both believers and skeptics alike. By delving into the significance of these miracles, we can gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’ role as a divine figure and his message of hope and salvation.

One of the remarkable miracles performed by Jesus is the healing of the paralytic man. In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus is teaching in a house when a crowd gathers, blocking the entrance. Four friends of a paralyzed man go to great lengths to bring him to Jesus, even lowering him through the roof. When Jesus sees their faith, he says to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’ (Mark 2:5). This statement sparks controversy among the religious leaders who question Jesus’ authority to forgive sins. To prove his authority, Jesus tells the paralytic to rise, take up his mat, and walk. Miraculously, the man stands up and walks, astounding everyone present.

This miracle reveals Jesus’ compassion for the sick and suffering. He not only heals the paralytic physically but also forgives his sins, offering him spiritual restoration. This act of healing demonstrates Jesus’ divine power and authority, as only God has the power to forgive sins. It also emphasizes Jesus’ mission to bring about transformation and restoration in people’s lives.

Another remarkable miracle is Jesus’ calming of the storm. In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus and his disciples are sailing across the Sea of Galilee when a furious storm arises. The waves crash into the boat, threatening to capsize it. While the disciples panic, Jesus remains asleep. They wake him, saying, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ (Mark 4:38). Jesus then rises, rebukes the wind and waves, and says to the sea, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Miraculously, the storm ceases immediately, leaving the disciples in awe.

This miracle showcases Jesus’ power over nature and the spiritual realm. He commands the wind and waves, and they obey him. It highlights Jesus’ authority over all creation and his ability to bring about calmness and peace in the midst of chaos. The disciples’ response to this miracle is significant as well. They ask, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’ (Mark 4:41). This question invites us to contemplate Jesus’ identity as the Son of God, the one with power over creation.

By examining these miracles and others found throughout the New Testament, we can gain a deeper understanding of Jesus’ identity and mission as the Savior. These miracles provide evidence of his divine power and authority, showcasing his compassion for the sick and suffering, his ability to bring about transformation and restoration, and his power over nature and the spiritual realm. As we explore these miraculous acts, we are invited to reflect on Jesus’ message of hope and salvation, and to ponder the profound impact of his life and teachings.

In the subsequent section about ‘Jesus the Savior: Investigating the Role of Jesus as the Savior in the New Testament,’ we can further explore the implications of Jesus’ miraculous acts and their significance in fulfilling his role as the Savior. By delving into the biblical accounts and teachings, we can deepen our understanding of Jesus’ mission to bring salvation to all who believe in him.

Jesus the Savior: Investigating the Role of Jesus as the Savior in the New Testament

The role of Jesus as the Savior in the New Testament is clearly defined through an examination of his miraculous acts and their significance in fulfilling his mission. Throughout the Bible, we see Jesus portrayed as the ultimate Savior who came to redeem humanity from sin and offer salvation.

One of the most powerful examples of Jesus’ divine power and authority is seen in his acts of healing the sick. In Mark 5:25-34, we read about a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had spent all her money on doctors but only grew worse. However, when she heard about Jesus, she believed that if she could just touch his cloak, she would be healed. In faith, she reached out and touched his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. Jesus, feeling the power go out from him, turned to the woman and said, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’ This miraculous healing not only demonstrated Jesus’ ability to heal physical ailments but also showed his compassion and willingness to restore wholeness to those who believe in him.

Another example of Jesus’ authority over all aspects of life is seen in his ability to cast out demons. In Luke 8:26-39, we encounter a man who had been possessed by a legion of demons. This man lived in the tombs and was so violent that he could not be restrained. When Jesus approached, the demons begged him not to torment them. Jesus commanded the demons to come out of the man and they obeyed, entering into a herd of pigs. The man was then found sitting at Jesus’ feet, in his right mind and clothed. This extraordinary event not only showcased Jesus’ power over evil forces but also highlighted his ability to bring about transformation and deliverance to those who are oppressed.

Furthermore, Jesus’ ability to raise the dead serves as a powerful testament to his divine authority. In John 11:38-44, we witness Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus arrived at his tomb. Despite the doubts and skepticism of those around him, Jesus called out, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ Miraculously, Lazarus emerged from the tomb, still wrapped in burial clothes. This incredible miracle not only displayed Jesus’ power over death but also foreshadowed his own resurrection, affirming his role as the Savior who conquers sin and death.

It is through these miraculous acts that Jesus reveals his identity as the promised Messiah. In Matthew 9:5, Jesus declares, ‘For the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’ His miracles were not merely displays of power but were signs pointing to his divine nature and mission. They emphasized the urgency of repentance and the necessity of belief in him for salvation.

However, the ultimate demonstration of Jesus’ role as the Savior came through his sacrificial death on the cross. In John 3:16, it is written, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ Jesus willingly laid down his life to atone for the sins of humanity, bearing the weight of our transgressions. This act of love and mercy reveals the extent of Jesus’ sacrifice and our desperate need for redemption.

Understanding Jesus’ sacrifice is crucial for comprehending the depth of his love and the hope of eternal salvation. Through his miraculous acts and ultimate sacrifice, Jesus fulfills his role as the Savior, offering redemption and eternal life to all who believe in him. As stated in Acts 4:12, ‘Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’

Paul King

I post written versions of my powerful sermons exploring topics like prayer, praise, biblical truths, and more expressions of faith. My church has a deeply spiritual culture, which I try to convey through vivid storytelling and applications in our everyday life. I spread the Good Word with lots of conviction and passion.