Thursday, August 22, 2013

Who Am I?

When you meet someone for the first time most of us gather an opinion about that person. We decide within a few minutes of meeting them whether we want to get to know them more or not. Usually within a few minutes you can gather an idea of who they are and what they believe; and based on these perceptions you gather an opinion about them. This same principle is true in our relationship with Jesus. Jesus knew that people were gathering opinions about Him; He knew that some were saying He was good, others were saying He was bad. Matthew, Mark and Luke all record this conversation Jesus had with His disciples; but the Lord wants to have the same conversation with us today.
“When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16
The disciples have been walking with Jesus for some time. They have heard Him teach, seen Him do miracles, heard the Father call Him the beloved Son (Matthew 3:17); they had formed an opinion of Jesus based on the perceptions they had gathered. We can think one thing about a person, but as we get to know them, our opinions and perceptions can change. The same question that Jesus asked the disciples, He is asking us today. “Who do you say that I am?”
Now that you have learned from Him, walked with Him, talked with Him, and saw His power in your life, who do you say that He is? “This is the question placed before all who hear of Jesus; and it is we, not He, who are judged by our answer. In fact, we answer this question everyday by what we believe and do. If we really believe Jesus is who He says He is, it will affect the way we live.” (David Guziak, Blue Letter Bible)
Who do you say that Jesus is? Not what do others say about Him, but what do you say about Him? The word “say” in the Greek language means to affirm. It means to have an opinion about someone or something and to speak it. If you say that Jesus is your Lord, do you speak it, do you live it? The people during the time of Jesus didn’t really know who Jesus was. They knew of Him, but they did not know Him. They thought He was a great teacher, or a great prophet, or a great healer, but they never took the time to get to know Him to find out exactly who He was.

The world we live in today has the same opinions about Jesus. Some say that He was a great teacher, some say that He was a prophet, and some say that He never existed, that it was all a made up story. But Jesus is not asking us today what the world, the men of this age say He is, He is asking who we say He is. He wants to know what you think about Him. You, personally, deep within your being have formed an opinion of Jesus. Who is Christ to you?
If you want to know someone, you have to get to know them. If you want to be friends with someone you spend time with them, you learn about them; you ask them questions, they ask you questions. You get to know one another through continual communication. Can you really know someone if you never take the time to learn about them? If you know Christ as your salvation, but would like to know Him as Lord of your life, how would you do that? You would spend time with Him, learning from Him, and listening to Him. You would get to know Him.
We confess Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, just like Peter did. We say that He is Lord, He is God, He is our all in all, but is He truly? If we confess Jesus as Lord, then our lives will affirm that truth, not just our words. We must seek and search our hearts and give the answer Jesus is waiting for; who do you say that I am?
Who is He to you? Is He your Lord, your God? Is He your prayer vending-machine, you go to Him when you need something and then think of Him no more? Is He your hope? Is He the one you go and praise on Sunday but then forget about Monday through Saturday? Who is Christ to you? We cannot say we know Christ if we do not live for Him. We cannot say He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God if we do not walk it as well. It is a simple question that Jesus asks, but requires from us a humble willingness to bow before Him and search the depths of our hearts to answer it.
If you want to know Christ, if you want to grow in your relationship with Him, then answer the simple question- Who do you say that Jesus is? In this you find the answer you need. May His Word guide you and bring you to the foot of His throne, may your praise be to Him and may He be glorified in us and through us. In Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen and Amen.