Where is Jesus Christ?

Jesus-Reaching-Out

photo: iStock

At the Christmas break in 1963, I brought home to the Ottawa area a friend I had come to know and enjoy at the university I was attending. Mohammed Yousuf Guraya was a Pakistani, a devout Muslim, a gentle and sensitive friend. He was trying to win me to Islam; I was trying to win him to Christ. He had started to read the Gospel of John when I took him to visit the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. We enjoyed a guided tour of those majestic structures and learned something of their history and symbolism. Our group had reached the final foyer when the guide explained the significance of the stone figurines sculpted into the fluted arches. One he pointed to represented Moses, designed to proclaim that government turns on law.

“Where is Jesus Christ?” Guraya asked with his loud, pleasant voice, his white teeth flashing a brilliant smile behind his black beard.

“I don’t understand,” the guide stammered.

“Where is Jesus Christ?” Guraya pressed, a trifle more slowly, a little more loudly, enunciating each word for fear his accent had rendered his question incomprehensible.

The tourists in our group appeared to be embarrassed. I simultaneously chortled inwardly, wondering what was coming next, and wondered if I should intervene or keep my counsel.

“I don’t understand,” the guide repeated, somewhat baffled, somewhat sullen. “What do you mean? Why should Jesus be represented here?”

Guraya replied, somewhat astonished himself now: “I read in your Holy Book that the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Where is Jesus Christ?

I think my friend Guraya had felt the impact of John’s Gospel more deeply than I had. It is in line with the framework of John’s prologue (1:1–18), where the eternal Word becomes the incarnate Word, that Jesus himself claims, “I am the truth.”

D. A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14–17 (28-29)

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  • Tim Goerz

    Aaron….great story. The same could be said for the US. I was asked on more than one occasion in Afghanistan….why “our” war was political….and how did we think we could win it if our God was not involved?….I had no answer.

  • steve

    THE MEANING OF “FOR” BY STEVE FINNELL

    “FOR”Defined: In order to obtain, to gain or acquire.

    Matthew 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

    Jesus shed His blood “for” the forgiveness of the sins of all those who obey His terms for pardon. “For” means in order to obtain forgiveness. “For” did not mean that Jesus shed His blood because the forgiveness of sins had already been granted.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Peter told them to repent, and be baptized “for” the forgiveness of sins. Peter did not tell them to repent, and be baptized because their sins had already been forgiven.

    “For” means in order to obtain.
    “For” does not mean already has obtained.

    Although “for” is not stated in all of the follow Scriptures. “For” is certainly implied.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

    Grace and faith are “for” salvation.
    In order to obtain salvation, grace and faith are essential; grace precedes salvation and faith must precede salvation.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    Being born of water and the Spirit are “for” entry into the kingdom of God. You must be born of water and the Spirit in order to obtain entry in the kingdom of God. You are not born of water and the Spirit because you are already a member of God’s kingdom.

    Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteous, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

    God’s mercy is “for” salvation. The washing of regeneration (that being water baptism) is “for” salvation. Renewing by the Holy Spirit is “for” salvation. God’s mercy, the washing of regeneration (water baptism), and renewing by the Holy Spirit are all in order to obtain salvation. God’s mercy precedes salvation. You are not baptized because you are already saved. You are not renewed by the Holy Spirit because you have already been saved.

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

    Confessing Jesus as Lord is “for” salvation. Believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the grave is “for” salvation. Confessing Jesus as Lord and believing God raised Him from the dead is in order to obtain salvation. You do not confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead because you have already been saved.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    Believing is “for” salvation. Being baptized is “for” salvation. Belief and water baptism are in order to obtain salvation.
    You do not believe because you have already been saved. You are not baptized because you have already been saved.

    “FOR” means in order to obtain.

    Jesus shed is blood in order that men might obtain forgiveness from sin. IT WAS “FOR” THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. (Matthew 26:28)

    Men repent and are baptized in water so that they may obtain forgiveness from sins. THEY DO IT “FOR” THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.(Acts 2:38)

    Although many claim that the “for” in Acts 2:38 really means “,because of” there is not one translation that I know of that translates it that way.

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

    you are invited to follow by blog. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com