Jesus 101

Some have called Acts 10:34-48 “Jesus 101,” because it’s like an introductory course on Jesus. This makes sense because Peter is speaking to a group of uncircumcised Gentiles. They had very little knowledge of Jesus or God so Peter had to keep it simple.

Acts 10:34–48:

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, [35] but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. [36] As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), [37] you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: [38] how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. [39] And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, [40] but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, [41] not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. [42] And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. [43] To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

[44] While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. [45] And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. [46] For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, [47] “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” [48] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days. (ESV)

Unit I in Jesus 101: Jesus is the anointed one. (verse 38)

This is where Jesus gets his other name, Christ. Christ means anointed one. It’s also another word for Messiah. There is no way Jesus would be accepted by the Jews as the Messiah, the Christ, if he had not been anointed.

And boy was Jesus anointed. When he was baptized by John in the Jordan River he was anointed by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and a voice came from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son.”

In I John 5:1 the Apostle John writes: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.”

The uncircumcised people to whom Peter was speaking were also anointed by the Holy Spirit as Peter spoke. It amazed the people who were with Peter because these people were not Jews.

We, too have been anointed by the same Holy Spirit through Holy Baptism. We are Christians, little Christs, because we have been anointed by God with the Holy Spirit.

In John 15:16 Jesus says “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.”

Unit II of Jesus 101: Jesus went around doing good. (verse 38)

Jesus was not anointed just to sit around and let others serve him. He did not let his anointing go to his head. Instead he was anointed to serve. He was always looking for people that he could help.

As Jesus says above in John 15, he chose us to go and bear fruit, to help and serve others.

Unit III of Jesus 101: Jesus healed all those oppressed by the devil. (verse 38)

In I John 3:8 John writes that Jesus came, “So that he might destroy the works of the devil.” In our Baptism ceremony, as we are anointed with the Holy Spirit, we renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways.

Again in I John 5 John writes, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (I John 5:4) The world is the devil’s realm. When we overcome the world we overcome the devil.

Unit IV of Jesus 101: Jesus died and rose again. (verses 39-40)

“They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God witnesses.”

In Acts 2:24 Peter says that it was not possible for death to hold Jesus. The good news is that, through faith in Jesus, death cannot hold us either. Yes, death will eventually grab on to each one of us. But through the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection death cannot hold on to us. We will rise to eternal life.

Unit V of Jesus 101: Jesus is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.

This is what we confess in the Apostles Creed: “he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead.”

When we think about judgment day it is important to remember that Jesus died for us. The same one who died for us is the one who is coming back to judge us. If he died for me will he then raise me from the dead to condemn me? Hardly.

Unit VI of Jesus 101: All that Jesus did was foretold by the Old Testament prophets. (verse 43)

“To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Jesus did not appear out of nowhere to be our Savior. His coming and work of redemption was unanimously foretold by the prophets of old.

So these are the six units of Jesus 101:

Jesus was anointed by God

Jesus went around doing good

Jesus overcame the devil

Jesus died and rose again

Jesus the one appointed to be judge of all

Jesus is the one foretold by the prophets through whom we receive forgiveness of sins.

Even those who are experts in Jesus never tire of hearing about Jesus. Those who complete Jesus 101 are not to stop there. We are always to seek to know Jesus more.

We are Christians because we have been anointed by God with his Holy Spirit just as Jesus was. We are anointed to bear fruit by loving others.

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