Who Was Jesus Before He Became Jesus?

Photo by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi

It might sound like a strange question, but there is a lot of confusion surrounding that question. I have heard more than once in my life that the God of the Old Testament was harsh and hard, but the God of the New Testament is a God of love and mercy.

I suppose if you read both the Testaments on a surface level, without really digging into all that was going on, you might be able to make a weak argument for that. On the other hand, if you dig deep into God’s Word, study His plan for mankind; and realize all the things He’s been doing throughout history to bring His plan to fruition you might come up with a different conclusion.

So we need to ask the question, who was Jesus before He became Jesus, and is He different than the God of the Old Testament?

What do you say we start at the beginning?

Genesis 1:1-2 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Who was that hovering over the face of the waters? Who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

Let’s look at a few scripture that might give us some more clues.

John 1:1-4 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Did you catch that? In the beginning was the Word and all things were created through the Word. Who is the Word? Who was Jesus before He became Jesus??

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Word was the one who came down from heaven and dwelt with man for 33 1/2 years, Jesus the Christ.

Look at the scripture below and what Jesus was praying.

John 17:5 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

So again, who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

How about when three strangers came to Abraham in the heat of the day and Abraham ran out and invited them to rest and eat. As the story progresses, we find they were no ordinary men, but that two of the men were angels and the third man was the LORD. They had come to Abraham in the flesh and visited him for a while.

If you remember, during their conversation, Abraham was told the LORD would come to him again at the appointed time and Abraham would become a father. Remember what Sara did and what the LORD said?

Genesise 18:10-14 10 And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”

(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

13 And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

Also look at the LORD’s conversation with Abraham about what He was getting ready to do in Sodom.

Genesis 18:1-22 16 Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. 17 And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.

So who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

John 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

Before Christ’s Sacrifice where the veil was torn, we had no access to the Father. No man ever had direct contact with the Father. In all the cases I’ve shown you so far, it has been Jesus before He divested Himself of His Glory and came down to save mankind and made a new and better covenant with us. It is only now since Christ’s sacrifice that we can go directly to the Father in our High Priest’s name.

Who do you think wrestled with Jacob until morning in Genesis 32?

Genesis 32:22-30 22 And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 27 So He said to him, “What is your name?”
He said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

So who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

What about Abraham’s encounter with one called Melchizedek?

Genesis 14:18-20 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.

Hebrews 7:1-3 7 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

Did you catch that? Melchizedek king of righteousness, king of peace, without father, without mother, without genealogy.

So who was Jesus before He became Jesus?

I hope I have shown you that the One who came to this earth to die for our sins, is the God that has been working out His plan with man though all of history. The God of the Old and New Testaments is one and the same Personage.

Our God has loved us before the foundation of this world, and continues to love us and intercede to the Father for us, like He has done from the beginning.

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  • floyd

    Well done, Mike! I haven’t heard or read a better defense of Christ in all of scripture. Seriously good stuff. And I’m not easy to impress!

    • Mike

      Thanks Floyd, your comments mean a lot to me.