What would your family say if you asked them the question “who do you say that I am?”?
What about your friends? How would they describe you? Co-workers. Waitresses? People you share the road with? I’ll give you a minute to ponder upon this.
When they think of you would they say they think of Love? Joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness? Self- Control? Humility? Courage? Purity? Wholeness? Wisdom? Compassion? Forgiveness?
These are all traits that describe Jesus Christ. You know, the baby whose birth we just celebrated. This person that many people reject. Why is that so? What’s so bad about any of those traits? Aren’t they traits we all desire, no matter our background, skin color, religion, financial status, age, gender, or any other difference we may have? These are all unifying traits. Traits that bond us. Join us together. Bring us together. Just doesn’t make sense to me that he is such a controversial figure in this world.
How about you? How would you describe yourself? Who do you say you are? Go ahead. Take another minute. Write down who you say you are.
Jesus asked this question of His disciples. Matthew 16:13-15 (NKJV) 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?”
Peter gave the answer. Impetuous Peter. Outgoing, gregarious, transparent and enthusiastic, bold, spontaneous, impulsive, and outspoken Peter. Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The dialog continues in verses 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Jesus does not protest that He is THE Christ, the Son of the living God. That’s huge! Christ means anointed or chosen one. The Messiah. The One who fulfills prophecy. Why would Jesus agree to this if it were not true? If He could not live up to it? Live up to all the prophecy. He would be foolish to do that.
Men who were with him like Thomas the disciple, declared to Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28) . Jesus does not correct him. The apostle Paul describes Him as, “…our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The apostle Peter says the same, “…our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1).
Here’s some things Jesus said about himself
John 10:30 God
John 8:58 I AM
John 14:6 THE Way, THE Truth, THE Life
There’s no arrogance. No egotism. No condescension. Just statements of truth. A life lived as a testament to reality.
Would you claim something about yourself or allow others to make these big, important claims about you if they weren’t true? Knowing the ridicule, the taunts, the rejection? Maybe some people would take that chance, but the claims wouldn’t stand the test of time. Eventually the truth would be revealed and the person would be shown a fool.
Everyone who personally knew Jesus claimed Him to be a good man. A good teacher. Kind. Loving. But His claims to be the Messiah? YES! He is who He says He is.
C.S. Lewis said that believing Jesus to be only a good teacher is not an option. He clearly claimed to be God. If He is not God, then He is a liar, and therefore not a prophet, good teacher, or holy.
In his book Mere Christianity, Lewis writes the following: “I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to.”
What about this Jesus. Who do you say he is? This question comes to every human on the face of the earth. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. Your answer is important. It reveals who you are.