Generation upon generation of believer, seeker, skeptic, and cynic alike have asked this very same question.
In short, there is no short answer.
If history is to be believed, Jesus was no more than a most peculiar Jewish rabbi who gained a passionate following in first-century Palestine. If history is to be believed, Jesus was a man who lived and died – as any man who came before, and as every man who would come after.
Though, if the scriptures are to be believed, Jesus was far more than a man; Jesus was infinitely more than a rabbi. Jesus was Christ; Jesus was Immanuel, “God with us.” If the scriptures are to be believed, Jesus was the very embodiment of love, generosity, grace, justice, and mercy. If the scriptures are to be believed, Jesus was the Son of Man who lived, died, and rose again—for His glory, our good, and for the sake of the world.
Who is Jesus? Well just ask those who feared Him most:
To the arrogant, He was schemer. To the prideful, He was blasphemer. To the wicked, He was revealer.
Who is Jesus? Well just ask those who knew Him best:
To the disciples, He was teacher. To the sick, He was healer. To the weary, He was comforter. To the oppressed, he was liberator. To the overlooked, he was noticer. To those who received his message of love, he was friend. To the lost, He was redeemer.
And to all of the above, to each and every last sinner – He was, is, and forever will be Savior.
Savior from the shame of your past.
Savior from the perils of your present.
Savior from the uncertainty of your future.
Who is Jesus? We promise that He has been waiting your whole life for you to ask Him yourself.