Who is Jesus? Such a simple question, yet so complicated. So many “answers” out there. But only one correct answer.
Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” The questions about Jesus of Nazareth are nothing new. Since the day He was born, people have been asking about the baby in a manger. This scene with His disciples comes when Jesus is nearing the end of His ministry and His life. He’s had the disciples with Him close to 3 years; He’s been ministering and working miracles and changing lives among the people for the same amount of time. He’s been praying to the Father, maybe reflecting on where He’s been and where He’s going. It’s time to see if anyone is actually is actually getting it all, understanding what is going on.
And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Many different answers to the question. Some say Jesus’ own cousin and herald John the Baptist, who everybody knows lived and died, and had his head removed only recently. Others, a prophet who’s been dead 1000 years. Still others, a prophet like the prophets of old, a prophet like Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah. Many different answers. All dancing around and avoiding the truth.
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” We have a winner! Peter didn’t defer to all those Pharisees, all those smart intellectual types with all their fancy analysis. He boldly proclaimed Jesus was (and is) the Christ, the Messiah, the savior. “And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
ESV. Peter had seen all the same things as the rest of the twelve, all the same things as those all around them. We have all been exposed in our lives to the same information, the same Good News of Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what we believe
. We can explain, expound, bring all our empirical evidence, but the acceptance of Christ is always going to be by faith. It is not, and can not, be revealed by flesh and blood. …”Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,”
Revelation 19:1 ESV. Salvation comes from God. It is revealed to us by and through God. It is not our job to save souls, and no one but God ever saved our souls. It is our job to carry the message of the Gospel, bring souls to Jesus, and He will do the saving.
“Who do the crowds say that I am?” There are more answers now than ever. Myth, man, mystic, Messiah, false Messiah…just some of those starting with the letter M! Some say He is just another God-option, along with Allah, the gods of Buddhism, whatever you want to substitute as God.
Many atheists these days simply say Jesus of Nazareth is an invention of later religious zealots and never actually walked the earth (seriously!!).
Many others say He was a great moral teacher, which is not an option He gave us. He claimed to be the son of God, in these terms He either was or wasn’t. If he wasn’t, how can He be a great moral teacher? If He wasn’t the the son of God, then He was a liar and a madman. If He was and is the son of God, offered up by the Father as the ultimate, once for all atonement for our sins, maybe we should pay attention to what He said!! “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV. “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”” Matthew 22:37-40 ESV
“But who do you say that I am?” That is the question. It doesn’t matter what the world around us says. It doesn’t matter if they believe Jesus was just another great moral teacher. Who do YOU say He is? As Paul said to us – “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 ESV
JESUS IS LORD!!
“Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.””
Luke 9:18-20 ESV