Who or What; Was or Is; Which is Right?

Yeshua, called Jesus by most of the world, is recognized pretty much as the Messiah by the Christian world, although He is also called the Lord, to the exclusion of THE Lord, and God in the Flesh, although there is only one God, and the son of God, which He can’t really be if He is God, can He?

Here is an excerpt from my book, “Back to Basics: God’s Word vs. Religion” regarding who or what Yeshua is or was:

Let’s not overlook the fact that He was in existence from the Beginning- He may have been born of a virgin, as the prophecy states, but He certainly wasn’t born as a human is born. He was fully human, but He was not of human origin. He was subject to human frailty and temptation but He was also so completely filled with the Ruach HaKodesh He was, as no other person ever has or will be, able to overcome His humanity.

I know, I know…this sort of “He was – He wasn’t” back-and-forth can give you a headache! Was He human? Yes. Was He God? Yes. Did He die? Yes. Well, if He was God how could He be human, and if He was God how could He have died, and if He was human how could he be God, and if He was Human how could He do those miracles, and if and if…. YIKES!! That’s why it is just so much easier to just take things on faith. Although, being faithful doesn’t mean accepting ignorance. We still need to know what the truth is, and the only way is to hear it from His own mouth. The way He allows us to hear Him is that He gave us The Bible, The Manual. Reading that, and asking Him to guide our understanding by the Spirit, is the best and most productive way to know His word. Since Yochanan (John) tells us in his Gospel at first that there was the Word and the Word became flesh, if we know His Word then we know Him.

Some things we know, historically, about Yeshua was that, first and foremost, His was born into a Jewish family and His name was never ‘Jesus’- that is a translation of a transliteration. For the etymology of the name Jesus do a search on “what’s in a name” in the Search window at the bottom right of this page. We also know His mother and father, what the family business was, that He was circumcised, had been to Yerushalayim at least once (and was left behind there for a week alone), He was baptised by Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist), had a wandering ministry, healed many people of different diseases, taught 12 Disciples who lived and travelled with Him for about 3 years, and was sentenced to death by crucifixion. We also are told by the same dependable writers and witnesses that He was resurrected and wandered among the people for about 40 days (40- another well used number in the Bible) until He rose into heaven.

So, where’s that leave us, with regards to the title of this blog? Is Yeshua a “who”, meaning a human being, or a “what”, as in a proper noun such as Messiah? We know He existed and was killed, so do we refer to Him in the past tense as with a dead person? If so, when He was resurrected He became alive, again, and He is forever alive so shouldn’t we say He “is”, as we do when referring to a living person? He was the Messiah for those people, but, then again, He is our Messiah today. He was God’s son and God in the flesh- didn’t He say if you see me you see the Father? To know Him is to know the Father? If so, that fits in with the old Jewish adage that the Torah is to be a mirror so that when we look into it we see ourselves. John says that Yeshua was the Living Torah, that the Word became flesh. Since Torah is still valid and the Word of God, and Yeshua is the living Torah, then Yeshua is alive, so we should say He “is” and not that He “was”, anything. As a living entity, He is a “who” and not a “what”, wouldn’t you agree?

Who He was is why He was able to do what He did, and what He is is why He is able to do what He does. (say that three times fast!)

It’s all a bunch of literary hoopla. It doesn’t really matter who, what, was, is… whatever! Yeshua was the Messiah, He is the Messiah, and there is only one true Messiah; even after all is done and Yeshua takes on whatever mantle of leadership or divinity that He will wear at that time forevermore, who or what He was or is will not change.

God is eternal, Yeshua is eternal ( Yeshua said, “…before Abraham was, I am.”), and past and present are irrelevant when discussing the eternal.

What is important from this discussion is to understand and accept that Yeshua always has been and, until the end of this existence will continue to be, the only hope we have for salvation.

I have collected this laundry list of questions, and I figure when I see Yeshua’s face I can ask Him because He will know the answers. But you wanna know something? When I do see His face, I don’t think any of those answers will have any meaning for me.

Once I see His face, all that is important to me now won’t matter anymore.


  1. Steven R. Bruck
    Shelly Larmore May 7, 2015 at 09:07

    Yep yep yep! I find it all confusing as a new believer but I’m learning just to take it on faith and accepts it as it is which is kind of tough for a person who likes to problem solve! But I’m getting there!

    • Steven R. Bruck
      Steven R. Bruck May 7, 2015 at 09:41

      I am a problem solver, too- I am a help desk pro, so my whole existence is about solving things.
      But faith is above solving-it’s trusting.
      If this will help, I have an Acid Test question I ask myself when questions arise:
      “How does this affect my salvation?”
      If the answer doesn’t do anything to get me or keep me saved, it isn’t all that important to know.

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