“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
Jesus asked this question to his disciples two thousand years ago, but time does not erode the relevance and significance of this question. Jesus still wants us to individually answer who he is. To answer this question though is challenging because there is confusion about who Jesus is matched with very little knowledge on who exactly Jesus is.
Confusion about Jesus. While we were in Kruger, I asked our game walk guide about hyenas. They are viewed as scoundrel scavengers when in reality they rarely scavenge. They are highly intelligent hunters, that scavenge less than lions. Like the hyena, there is the confusion of who Jesus is. This should not come as a surprise though, as even while Jesus was on earth people were confused. Some said he was a reincarnate John the Baptist, others said he was another prophet, while Peter said he was the Messiah, but even in this, it would seem that the disciples thought Jesus to be only a politic messiah.
Today Jesus is said to be a myth, a good person, a prophet, a good teacher, a psychopath, a way of making me better or rich and some even say that he is the only way to God, the one and only Lord and Saviour of the world.
In your own time this week:
- Who do people say Jesus is?
- Why do you think there has always been confusion about who Jesus is?
Who is Jesus? This latter group has the identity of Jesus correct. When Jesus asked the question of his identity to the disciples, Peter gets it right. As Peter said, “You are the Messiah.” Matthew records that this confession comes from the understanding given to Peter by the revealing of the truth by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:17).
In this confession, Jesus is the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. He who came in human form to earth (perfectly human and perfectly God) to take the sins of the world upon himself. That he died on the Cross, dying in our place so that we can be reconciled to God, then raised to life again from the dead so that death is destroyed and we may have the hope of heaven.
It is both challenging and encouraging to note that Jesus is concerned to know from each of his disciples who they think he is. Jesus desires our personal proclamation of who he is and time has not eroded the relevance and significance of this question. Jesus still wants us to individually answer who he is.
In your own time this week:
- Who do you say Jesus is?
- If you do not think Jesus is the Messiah, what would make you believe that Jesus is the Messiah
Prayer: Our Father, show me who your Son is, so that I can confess him as my Lord and Saviour, as my Messiah. Give me the strength to honour you with my life.
Robert Oscroft Swan
Young Adult Pastor of Summerstrand United Church
69 ErasmusRoad, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
082 689 7696