Is Jesus Still the Same Today?
Jesus remains the same and never changes according to the Bible. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” Hebrews 13:8 (NASB). Let’s begin with YESTERDAY. Is Jesus the same yesterday? In Exodus 4:29-31 (NASB), Moses and Aaron spoke to the leaders of Israel for the first time in Egypt. Their meeting took place before Moses and Aaron went before Pharaoh. The Scriptures say, “Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the sons of Israel; and Aaron spoke all the words which the Lord had spoken to Moses. He then performed the signs in the sight of the people. So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped.”
This Old Testament passage of Scripture teaches us four principles that we find in the New Testament. The way God operated in Moses’ day was the same way He operated in Peter’s day. We learn that Moses and Aaron 1. Spoke all the words of the Lord to the people of Israel, 2. Performed miraculous signs, 3. Experienced the people believing as a result of the miraculous signs, 4. Saw the people respond in worship.
In the New Testament, we discover God working in the exact same four ways. Jesus had already been crucified, buried and resurrected. He already appeared to the disciples and over 500 people. Peter stood and spoke these words in Acts 2:22-24 (NASB), “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”
The results of Peter’s proclamation were the start of the very first church. Acts 2:41-47 (NASB) records the results of Peter’s preaching, “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
We learn in Acts 2 that 1. Peter spoke the words of Jesus to the people of Israel, 2. The people believed as a result of Peter’s testimony of Jesus, 3. The apostles performed many miraculous wonders and signs and more people believed, 4. The people responded in praising God.
We learn from these two passages that God uses the same methods of revealing truth and performing miracles. The results of God’s methods are people believed and worshiped. If we are not experiencing the same results in our ministries today, perhaps we are not following the same methods that God used throughout the Bible. Too often we abandon the miraculous outpouring of God in exchange for an outpouring of our own strength. Jesus’ final words in Acts 1:8 to His disciples before his ascension were, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
My fear in ministry today is that we have intellectually ascended far above the need for the power of the Holy Spirit. We have elevated our own abilities and strategies so much that we no longer need or rely upon the power of God. We believe Jesus is the same today just like before, but with our own actions, we negate the very principles that are clearly outlined in Scriptures. If Jesus truly is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore, then let’s believe Jesus can do the same in our churches today as He did in the days of Moses and Peter.