The First Christian
I have seen these statements for years: Jesus wasn’t a Christian and Jesus didn’t come to establish a church. Folks need to read the Bible. Jesus did both. Jesus is God in the flesh, the incarnation long promised by God through the Old Testament prophets. Everything that God does is intentional-we have to keep this in mind. Jesus was not a wise sage who told good stories. He said of himself, before Abraham was, I Am. I Am is the personal of God. The Pharisees knew what he meant, and they tried to kill him when he said it. John 8.
The teaching of Jesus and his actions are what it means to be a Christian. We are called by Jesus to live by his commands and as those who experience his work of atonement on the cross. The word “Christian”, means Christian-like one’s. Jesus is The Christian that is the measure of all that is Christian.
Jesus came to establish a new covenant in his blood. He called both Jew and Gentle (thus fulfilling OT Prophecy) to follow him. He established and called out a people. He told his followers what would happen to them after his death, resurrection, and ascension, how they would be treated as his followers. The word “church” means the called-out ones. So yes, he established his church, “upon this rock I will build my church.”