Micah 5:1-3(The Tanakh,the Jewish Scriptures, from Neviim - The Prophets, Treisar - The Minor Prophets)
1 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from ancient days.
2 Therefore will He give them up, until the time that she who travaileth hath brought forth; then the residue of his brethren shall return with the children of Israel.
3 And he shall stand, and shall feed his flock in the strength of HaShem, in the majesty of the name of HaShem his G-d; and they shall abide, for then shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
John 8:54-58 (New International Version, ©2011)
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
John 17:5;24 (New International Version, ©2011)
5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."
Colossians 1:15-20 (New International Version, ©2011)
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 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. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 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. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 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.
For centuries people have tried to minimize Jesus. They have tried to make Him into something less than who He truly is. Many have said over the centuries that He is but another Prophet, others say He is the spirit brother of Lucifer; then are those who think He is but a son of God, or Michael the archangel. Many views that try to minimze Jesus Christ for who He said He was.
In the passages from the Jewish Spriptures above, the prophet Micah spoke of a ruler that came from the "ancient days", and at times Jesus referred to His existence before the creation. Case in point was the verse above from the 8th chapter of the Gospel of John. No matter what accurate translation you read, Jesus claimed to exist before Abraham was, in fact He used the name I AM, which was mentioned here in Exodus when God appeared to Moses: 14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”Exodus 3:14(NKJV). That is why the religious Jews wanted to kill Jesus, because He claimed to be God. Anyone, any religion that claims otherwise is denying the truth of the Bible.
If you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, you need to understand who you are serving. He is not one who's name should be casually thrown out as a curse, or one who should just be worn on our clothes. He is who He said He was, God before the world was, Son of God, redeemer of man, risen Savior, and soon coming King. We need to honor and praise His name, and realize He is a very BIG deal! If you don't believe what you read above, pick up your own version of the Bible and read it. You owe it to yourself, because as you wait for Easter this year, you may be called to stand before your Maker before you plan on it. Make sure you know who Jesus is!
Photo "Beach Sky 2" by shortsands, 9-28-2005, from stock.xchng