Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Who Do You Say That I Am?

I believe that following Jesus is so much more than just saying you believe, going to church and sticking a bumper sticker on your car. Traveling the #NarrowRoad requires action and commitment. Each Tuesday in 2015 we will dive deeper into my opinion of what it means to truly follow the Risen Savior. Thanks for joining me here today!

Back in the late 1960s and early 70s I grew up around a number of people who believed the following: Jesus was a great teacher, a prophet, and an example of how we should live our lives. He was a great man. But that didn't necessarily mean he was the Son of God. And for a brief period in my teen years I bought into that a little bit. Maybe they were right. Maybe Jesus was just a really cool dude.

But then I began to look at scripture and see what Jesus had to say about himself. In Exodus we learn that Moses is to tell the Hebrew people that God's name is I AMJesus knew that, and used that name over and over again to identify himself to his Jewish audience. He is especially provocative with this in John 8:58“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!”  In John 8:12, Jesus once again claims the name of God as his own- "I AM the light of the world." In John 4:25-26 Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah to the Samaritan woman at the well- "The woman said, 'I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.' Then Jesus declared, 'I, the one speaking to you—I am he'.”  Not much doubt there, huh?

When he asks Peter the famous "Who do you say that I am?" question in Matthew 16:15-16 and Peter responds, "the Messiah; the Son of the living God," Jesus congratulates him on his answer. Time and again in the gospels Jesus tells the world that he is the long-awaited Messiah, the only begotten Son of God. He knows who he is and he understands his mission.

So what does all of that mean to us today? It means that before there can be steps taken on the #NarrowRoad there has to be a confession of faith. Who do we say Jesus is? And from my perspective, here are the choices. Either Jesus was who he said he was, or he was the crazed, demon possessed wacko the Pharisees thought him to be. Either Jesus was the Messiah, sent to save us from ourselves and our sins, or he was the most outrageous liar who ever lived. I have spent a lot of years looking, and I can find no middle ground. How can someone be a "perfect example of how to live our lives" and go around telling such over-the-top lies? How can someone be a "great teacher and prophet" if everything he claims to be in untrue? We are left with a choice. And before we can be the radical Jesus Freaks that the narrow road calls for, we must answer the same question Peter did: "Who do you say that I am?" And we must answer it for all the world to hear.

As for me, I know that I know that I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and the God incarnate who gave his life to save mine. Today I invite you to leave a comment and share your answer to the question- Who do you say Jesus is? Be bold! The #NarrowRoad lies ahead, but to travel it we must all take the first step. Have a blessed day!

Because of Jesus,

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