The New Testament letters (especially those of the apostle Paul) are full of rich statements about who Jesus is and what he has done for us. These passages generally come into the letters when Paul or another writer wants to supply a reason for hope, faith, or some expression of Christian love or behaviour. Everything that we are as Christians has its foundation in what God has done in Christ. We do well to keep Jesus before our eyes as much as possible. The following selection of grand New Testament passages about Jesus are a great way to do this. I offer them to you with the suggestion that you might try to commit them to memory as a way to enrich your understanding of the Lord and to deepen your walk with him.
(As Paul encourages the Philippian Christians to be humble and concerned for others, he offers Jesus as the reason: in his coming to earth from heaven, and in his self-giving on the cross, Jesus is the ultimate model of humility.)
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
(In this passage in praise of Jesus we read first about who Jesus is, as the unique Son of God who exactly mirrors his Father, and then about what he has done in relation to us, in dying for us, bringing us together, and continuing to care for us.)
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
1 Timothy 2:4-6
(One of several passages that highlight the absolute uniqueness of Jesus–he is the only one who can join us to God, because he is both perfectly God and perfectly human.)
(God) wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.
(The author of Hebrews makes a comparison and contrast between the work of the priests of old, making sacrifices on behalf of the people but still sinful themselves, and that of Jesus, who makes the one sacrifice of himself on our behalf, doing so as one who knows what it is to be human but also has never been guilty of sin.)
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.