It’s Funny that Jesus asked Peter, His disciple, this question, “Who do you say I am?” Peter quickly answers, “You are the Messiah”. That doesn’t sound so funny, but if you realize that Peter answered correctly on the outside, but on the inside, still had no real clue. The truth is, the Messiah that Peter expected was not who Jesus was. Peter was expecting (as was all Israel) a warrior messiah, a conqueror-liberator that would free Israel from Rome. Who is Jesus? He is indeed a conquer-liberator…..Jesus conquered sin and freed us from its grasp. So…..who do you say Jesus is?
Mark 8:27-30 (TNIV)
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” 29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus is more than a man with good ideas. It’s funny that Thomas Jefferson thought just this. He cut and pasted his own Bible with his own view of Jesus. He stripped all of the miracles out and stripped Jesus down to a man with good ideas.
Jesus is more than just another spiritual leader or another prophet. Peter was correct in saying that Jesus was indeed the Messiah….yet in the time to come, Peter would deny Christ three times and melts into the woodwork after his death on the cross because Jesus simply wasn’t the Messiah he thought he was. In the end though, after the resurrection, Peter saw who Jesus truly was, that Jesus came as God in the flesh to conquer sin and to liberate our souls. In fact, tradition has it that in the end, Peter was crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to be crucified like Jesus.
So, again, who do you say Jesus is? It is important to humbly know and understand that indeed, Jesus is the Messiah, our Savior, our liberator. Jesus died that we might have a new life in Him. What is important as you ask yourself this question, “Who is Jesus?” is that you move from curiosity to commitment…from admiration to adoration.
I saw a quote on FaceBook yesterday that certainly personifies this:
“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” – G.K. Chesterton