Who do people say Jesus is? Better yet, if you were to ask your friends or your coworkers the question, “Who is Jesus?” how would they respond?
You’d probably find a variety of answers, but I’m guessing that if you asked enough people, you’d begin to find the answers get a little repetitive. You’d find some who’d say Jesus is their Lord and Savior, but you’d also find many who’d say “Jesus was a good teacher,” “…a spiritual man,” “…someone who promoted love and peace,” and probably some who would just call him a “fraud.”
But what about you? Who do you say Jesus is?
This past Sunday at Living Shepherd we heard Jesus spring this question on his disciples. “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”
Don’t let anyone convince you that the Bible is the story of dead men. It’s not. It’s the story the Living God told in his very own Words. It’s the story of the Living God who created all things and clearly laid out his expectation of perfect obedience—the story of the Living God who watched the crown of his creation throw it all away as they bowed down to worship the god of their own intellect and chose to do their own thing. It’s the story of the Living God who responded not with hatred and rage but with a promise to save. It’s the story of the Living God who repeated that promise to save in more and more detail, so much detail in fact—spread out over such an incredibly long period of time—that the odds of this promise being fulfilled shot beyond ridiculous and soared past impossible.
And yet, when Jesus asks Peter, “Who do you say I am?” Peter doesn’t flinch. He knew the story of the Living God. The prophetic detail was so rich—so clear—Simon Peter knew that there before him stood the fulfillment of that promise to save—the Christ—the Messiah. He knew the promises the Living God had made to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob—promises about who this Messiah would be. Ridiculous? Impossible? Completely illogical? It didn’t matter! It was clear! There before him stood, “the Christ. The Son of the Living God.”
“Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. Peter recognized Jesus because he knew the powerful story of the Living God. A story so detailed and stretched out over such a long period of time it seemingly had no chance of being true. And yet it is! Don’t take my word for it. Read the story for yourself! You’ll find it to be worth a lifetime of study and an eternity of bliss with the Living God who saved you from your imperfections.
Blessings on the rest of your week!