Chapter 3: Who is Jesus?

Stating that another fellow human being is Jesus, can easily attract scorn––from those accustomed to viewing Jesus in a Trinitarian context. However, when Jesus came to shed light, it seemed that stubborn humanity preferred to remain in the comfort of confusion.

“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:37-40) (ESV).

The subject of Jesus cannot be understood through theological studies. The understanding of that subject comes from God’s revelation. Jesus came directly from God, to show humanity the significance of Godliness. The only difference between Jesus and humanity is that Jesus had full knowledge that had not yet been accessed by those of this world.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. This implies that Jesus is the model of how to lead a life that pleases God. True Christians cannot be viewed as different from Jesus. During His presence, Jesus never sought to be worshipped by anyone.

He specifically taught His disciples the principle of servitude. Before crucifixion, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, to demonstrate what He meant by servitude. His disciples regarded Him as Lord, considering His superior knowledge of God’s Kingdom. But Jesus never instructed them to worship Him. He taught them to pray to their Father, not to Jesus.

Truth––being also a Godly attribute––needs exploration and answers produced. Having used all data of comparable magnitude––including non-biblical language––as a guiding principle, I have established that the doctrine of the Trinity is not biblically sustained. The Trinitarian doctrine portrays human effort in attempting to explain Godly things, unnecessarily.

God cannot be likened to anything physical. In Genesis, we find that God created Man in His image. This reveals that physical humans cannot represent God’s image. John affirmed that reality when highlighting that it is impossible to declare loving God, when unable to love one’s brother (1 John 4:20)

The most significant example of God’s incarnation was through Jesus. However, the same incarnation was extended to humans, after His resurrection. This implies that it can be possible to invalidate God by invalidating another fellow human being. It is also possible to love God when loving another fellow human being. Before Jesus there had been confusion in understanding the significance of God.

The terms, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, appear as showing three modes of identities. Jesus used those terms to describe the process by which one attains the newness of life. For instance, the only way for humans to access the Father is through Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the deposit that seals a convert to become God’s child, like Jesus.

The truth remains that there is no human language that can adequately describe God, whose divinity transcends all things created. A Christian is expected to only rely on Jesus’ teachings, in the correct context. This is why Jesus describes Himself as the way, the truth and the life (Luke 14:6).

Concerning “Jesus Christ,” the term “Jesus” is the personal name, while “Christ” is a designation. We are not going to discuss much about the designation. Humans are identified by names and Jesus––born of a woman––was no exception. “Jesus” is a Greek expression for the Hebrew term, “Joshua” which means “Jehovah is his help, or Jehovah the Saviour.”

The name Jesus identifies with humans, without associating with the divinity, for reasons shown hereunder. The confusion arises from a failure to appreciate Jesus’ representation of sinful humanity. His personality is idolized instead of being emulated.

The name “Jesus” on its own does not bear divine connotation––like other expressions describing God. This is revealed when meticulously analysing Hebrew Scriptures. Below are the seven characteristics of the Man Jesus:

  1. The physical Jesus was the Son of God; but so are we God’s children, whether we accept Him as our personal Saviour or not. His being “Son of God” was primarily in consideration of Him being human. He had to be identified by Judas’ kiss, because Jesus was as human as all of us are humans. All humans are God’s sons, created in God’s image (Gen 1:26).
  2. While Jesus affirmed himself as being God’s Son, he often also declared Himself as the Son of Man. This ascribes His identity as associated with the created humans. In other words, in His human capacity, Jesus was our representative, in behaviour, leading to His crucifixion.
  3. Because of identifying with humans––who later crucified Him––the humanness of Jesus could not be worth idolizing. This is why Jesus refused to be called “good Master” (Matt. 19:17 KJV). There is nothing that needs idolizing in Jesus’ humanness (Matt. 12:32).
  4. The one expressing disappointment, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) was not God, but Jesus in His human capacity. He was, at that time, as human as all of us are humans. Jesus uttered the words of anguish that most humans would utter in distressful agony.
  5. God, being Spirit, cannot experience physical pain, as humans do, confirming that Jesus’ humanness could not be associated with the so-called “Trinity.” As a human being, Jesus prayed just as we would have similarly prayed.
  6. Jesus did not seek to be idolized (Matt 20:28). His mission was superior, as compared with the prophets of all time. But He never succumbed to desiring to be served or worshipped. There was God in Him––yet He related with us in our human capacity.
  7. Showing our respect to the physical Jesus can be good, as long as we maintain the hindsight of what Jesus also said in Scriptures like Matthew 25:44-45. This is in agreement with John’s admonition (1 John 4:20).

The name “Jesus” carries no divinity, as born similarly to how all humans are born. However, Isaiah’s prophecy depicts Jesus’ miraculous birth as revealing God’s qualities:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) (KJV).

Certainly, no other Hebrew scripture describes Jesus’ qualities more lucidly than the prophet Isaiah. However, Isaiah did not confirm the name “Jesus”, as known today. But certainly, one cannot describe Jesus without encompassing the other co-essential identities, as described in other parts of the Bible.

The being of Jesus was and is God. However, the name “Jesus” is associated with physical humans. How possible it can be for God to become human is sustained in the mystery of Man’s creation (Genesis 1:26-27). That mystery provides the simplest approach to understanding Jesus, as to also understanding humans.

Through Jesus, God took on the human form to save humanity (Heb. 2:14–18). In Jesus we see a mere human, declaring Himself as being God. This was a serious offence, according to Jewish statutes (Lev. 24:16). The seriousness of that offence was carried by Jesus, on behalf of humanity, since Adam. On that cross Jesus represented humanity:

“And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself” (Luke 23:35-37 KJV).

The person being insulted on that cross was not God, but Jesus—bearing our likeness. Jesus endured the mockery and insults on our behalf. He willingly suffered the excruciating pain inflicted on Him on behalf of humanity.

At that point, Jesus fulfilled His mission of bringing humanity into oneness with God. Bear in mind that humanity was created in God’s image, which implies being like God in form and nature. But, for those with ears to hear, the term “Jesus” refers to humanity, not God.

“Then they also will answer, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them saying, Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me,” (Matt. 25:44-45ESV).

Those mocking Jesus on the cross did not suppose they were mocking Christ. One would also not be aware of the fact that one would be mocking Jesus when ill-treating another fellow human being. Similarly, one may also not be aware that one loves Jesus when assisting another fellow human being.

Paul had not imagined he had been persecuting Jesus when persecuting the early disciples: And he said, Who are You, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.’” (Acts 9:5 EMTV). This is just as John also concurs:

“If anyone claims, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how is it possible for him to love God whom he has not seen?’” (1 John 4:20 EMTV).

Jesus carried sinful characteristics––but only for helping humans to appreciate God’s characteristics. We cannot identify with God before identifying with Jesus. Even though relating to God, Abraham could not necessarily identify with God, as in Jesus’ goodness and righteousness (Romans 4:2).

As God’s children, humans ought to appreciate Jesus’ principles, as being the only gateway to Heaven. “….I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 KJV).

Accepting Jesus as personal Saviour simply means looking at His behaviour, as portrayed in the Gospel books, taking seriously His teachings as Paul confirms:

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:5-8 KJV).

Who is Jesus? Anyone appreciating the behaviour, as described by Paul, has figuratively died––hence, rightfully assuming the name of Jesus as his/her own. This is why Jesus refused to be called “good Master” (Matt. 19:17). Jesus bore sinful characteristics of humanity, leading to His crucifixion, though not a sinner Himself. True Christians, emulate Him:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (l John 3:16 NIV).

But the most illustrative analysis of the description of Jesus is revealed in the prodigal son parable. Allegorically, a loving Father allows his younger son to go wayward, squandering his would-be inheritance (Luke 15:11-32).

The law of cause and effect implies that the wayward son lost everything. At his point of repentance, his decision to go and request his father to treat him as one of His servants is completely justified and well-deserved.

Ironically, his father gives him a hero’s welcome, apparently, at the detriment of his elder brother, who had remained loyal, all along. For the first time, the elder brother feels prejudiced against his loyalty (verses 28-30). Compare this with what happened at the point of Jesus’ death on the cross:

“Eli, Eli, lema sabahthani?” that is “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? The words of Jesus, at that point, portray a dejected individual––similar to how the elder brother of the prodigal son felt in Luke 15:28-30. But the beauty of God’s fervent justice is revealed in his pronouncement to His long-loyal elder son:

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead and is alive he was lost and is found.’” (Verses 31-32) (ESV).

Indeed, this has since been fulfilled, as our elder brother, Jesus, declared at His resurrection:

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20) (ESV).

While the term “Christian” is traditionally adopted as depicting a follower of Jesus––I would rather opt to identify with Jesus’ humanness. There is no other human, ever to achieve the feat of being Christ.

The term “Christ is a divine title––unlike the term, “Jesus,” which refers to one like us. We should emulate Jesus in human behaviour, as recorded in the four gospel books. Claiming to be Christian––which could be misconstrued as Christ-like––may not be biblically accurate. “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:5).

Though being human like us, Jesus was also the Christ—and we cannot bear that title. I do appreciate fully that the term ‘Christian’ describes Jesus’ followers. I do not intend to sensitize the wrongness of Christians viewing themselves as Christ’s followers. Nor do I imply that those calling themselves as such may not necessarily be Christ’s followers.

But my view seeks to emphasize the point that the thirty-three and a half years of Jesus’ mission on Earth was to reveal the mystery of humanity. That principle of servitude is the only faultless way towards perfection, as demonstrated by Jesus.

Calling oneself Christian, causes non-Christians to construe inference of being superior over non-believers, which is not true. When Christ instructed His disciples to preach––the usage of “Christian” as identifying disciples––was not among those specific commands (Matt 28: 20).

The Christian term was first adopted at Antioch by non-Christians who may not have necessarily intended to compliment those early disciples (Acts 11:26). A true Christian cannot be easily identified among fellow humans, just as Jesus was not.

Adopting the Christian term, as an identifying label, is probably what causes failure to penetrate other religions. It may also be on this point that Christians are divided. Yet without knowing what causes division. Paul’s inference of being everything to everyone confirms the viewpoint of avoiding the identifying label. Paul could not have related to non-Christians, when calling himself “Christian” at the same time (1 Cor. 9:19-23).

Jesus represented an ideal man––created in God’s image. Instead of looking at Jesus as being one of us, some Christians prefer disconnecting with Him. His existence is considered mystical, whereas our existence is viewed as common.

Ordinary humans are viewed as not deserving respectful treatment. But John declared that the only sign showing our respect for Jesus was in respecting other fellow humans, as though respecting Christ (1 John 4:20-21).

Humans cannot identify with Christ’s divinity but with Jesus’ humanity. The matter of identifying with Christ’s divinity becomes possible, only when Christ lives in a person. “It’s no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

The issue of identity––if taken into consideration––should be left for others to see Jesus’ behaviour in a converted person. Moreover, a true Christian does not necessarily go about claiming to be anything, except doing good things to others.

The term “Christian” invokes the superiority attribute. That, unfortunately, contradicts the principle of humility, as attributed to Jesus––whose human behaviour we should emulate. Understanding this is only possible when the doctrine of the Trinity is invalidated.

When John’s disciples came seeking confirmation of Jesus’ identity, Jesus simply confirmed it by His actions, then claiming to be the Christ (Matt. 11:2-6). My strong persuasion is that it ought to be the doings that should identify Christ’s followers––from the standpoint of outsiders.

Claiming to be “Jesus” or “Christian” is not necessary. Empowered by the Spirit, there is no need for Christians to stand on mountaintops claiming to be anything. There is a difference between adopting Jesus’ principles and the behaviour of the majority of Christians.

When talking about a new civilization, it is imperative to look at two personalities: The first one is represented in ordinary humans as known to descend from Adam. The other is represented in Jesus, revealing the reality of the New Civilization.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

The Print copy is now available at for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at  for $6.99