WHO IS JESUS ANYWAY?

LUKE 9:18-20: “While he was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back.” “But you,” he asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” CSB

OBSERVATION: Who is Jesus? This is the most important question that anyone can ask. It is a question that will determine the outcome of one’s entire life. It is a question that will be answered, whether intentionally, or unintentionally – by how we live.

There are those who dismiss Jesus as a mere myth of the Christian faith. They believe the Bible is merely a fable written by men. To take this position is to dismiss the entire historical record. It is in essence a position of ignorance and convenience. Ignorance, because it denies the testimony of history. Convenience, because in doing so they do not have to deal with the teachings of Jesus.

There are those who dismiss Jesus as merely a great teacher or prophet. They are like those who thought Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead, or Elijah come back from heaven. They think they honor Jesus by giving him credit for His wisdom and moral teaching. Yet, they dishonor Him because they reject the very essence of what Jesus said. He said – “I and the Father are one.” And, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” This too is a matter of convenience, because it allows one to put Jesus in a general camp of teachers. If you choose to follow His teachings, well and good. However, if you do not, there are no consequences.

When Jesus addressed the disciples directly, He was not interested in what others thought. His question was directed at them personally. “Who do YOU say that I am?” And to this Peter said,

“God’s Messiah.”

In the Gospel of Matthew we read Jesus’ response to Peter’s answer.

  • “Jesus responded, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:17-18 CSB

Peter’s answer superseded an honest evaluation of the facts (history). It stood miles apart from the answers of the crowd. It was a confession of faith that flowed from a revelation from God the Father. It would become the very foundation of the Christian faith. This foundation is –

“Jesus Christ is Lord!

Yet, there are those who proclaim that Jesus is Lord, and still do not understand what this means. In the Gospel of Luke we see those who were eager to get in line with the right answer, but they were unwilling to pay the price of true discipleship. It is not enough to call Jesus Lord. We must be willing to forsake all for this profession of faith!

  • “Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26 CSB

Jesus was a counterculture radical. He was not a radical in the sense that we view radicals today. His was not a movement of anarchy or civil unrest. His was a movement of truth that tore at the very fabric of both the religious community and the social norms of His day. To profess Jesus as Lord meant being willing to die for everything He said. His teaching was not merely the great orations of a world class teacher. They were the proclamation of the God of Creation. If we say that we love Jesus, but are ashamed of His words and teachings, we will find ourselves in the same camp as those who merely dismiss Jesus as a fable, or another teacher in the line of all the renown teachers of the world.

If Jesus is Lord, than everything He said is the revelation of the heart, mind, and will of the Father. We cannot proclaim to believe in God and then dismiss the Word of God, or pick and choose only the portions that we like, are comfortable, and agree with our world view. We must surrender our world view for His. We must die to our self will and take up our cross to follow Him – completely!

So, this is the context of the world’s greatest question. And as we ponder the context, how will we respond when we hear Jesus say,

“Who do YOU say that I am?”

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy to follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
This entry was posted in Luke. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to WHO IS JESUS ANYWAY?

  1. eghoff777 says:

    At its core, our faith asks us to surrender our will to Him, to live according to the new covenant and our responsibilities in it. As far as I know, there is no other way.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s