The Really Big Question
“He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’”
Jesus, recorded in, Matthew 16:15 esvbible.org
The question. The big question. The most important question.
What say you?
Jesus had asked His followers who people thought He was.
They had several answers, including, John the Baptist, or Elijah, or one of the other prophets (all of whom, by this point, were dead).
At least this was good company.
But then Jesus asks them the really important question, and Peter answers without hesitation, “‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (v 16).
Now, was Peter answering only for himself, or on behalf of the whole band of disciples? Seems obvious they concurred.
Jesus commends Peter for His answer, and it is following this confession that Jesus first tells them of His impending arrest, trial, bad treatment, crucifixion, and resurrection.
They don’t get it, yet.
But the question is just as important for all the followers of Jesus today as it was then.
There are some interesting opinions on who Jesus is, opinions found in many churches, including,
* The confused Jesus of open theism who doesn’t really know what’s going to happen.
* The compliant Jesus of the prosperity gospel who must give you whatever you demand.
* The casual Jesus of some seeker churches, who just wants to be your buddy.
* The cheerleader Jesus of the self-esteem movement.
* The cool Jesus of the emergent church movement.
* The conflicted Jesus of evangelicalism, where He is a CEO, or sales manager, or therapist, or life coach, or, whatever.
* The cooperative Jesus of the purpose-driven life, which diminishes the grace and providence of God.
* The companion Jesus of spiritual formation, who wants just you alone, in the garden, with Him.
These see Jesus as all kinds of things, except as who He really is, the Messiah, Lord and Savior, master, friend, teacher and servant example.
This raises some additional questions for us.
How do we see Him?
What do we say about Him?
How do we serve Him?
To answer His question properly, meaning biblically, we need to do three things.
1. We need to clear up all confusion we may have about Jesus.
We can become confused by reading or listening to some of the people who preach and teach, and write about, any of the false ideas listed above.
We clear up the confusion by going to the Bible, and reading the Bible, reading the wonderful Old Testament prophecies about Him, reading the marvelous gospel accounts of His life, and reading all of the Bible, and all it says about Jesus.
2. We need to confess, with uninhibited joy and confidence, that Jesus is Lord.
This was the immediate response from Peter, and Jesus tells him, and in so doing tells us, that our awareness and conviction and confession of Jesus as Savior and Lord is a gift from God to us.
3. We need to wholeheartedly commit to our belief that Jesus is Lord, and to all that means for us as His followers, bearing witness to His gospel, and demonstrating our witness through our good works.
The Church in those early days, had a ringing declaration, to be shouted and shared whenever possible, Jesus is Lord!
“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus is accursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.”
(1 Corinthians 12:3)
The followers of Jesus finally had it figured out.
They answered the question.
But, what say you?
Soli Deo gloria!