It’s a big week for Jesus. You know, Easter and all that. So, as long as we’re all thinking about Him to one degree or another, He’s got a question for us.
(Actually, it was initially for Peter. But it’s for you and me, too.)
Jesus was standing around shooting the breeze with the disciples one day, and He asked them who people thought He was. They offered the most recent results of the Gallup Poll – John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, one of the prophets (Matthew 16:13-14).
It’s interesting to me that popular opinion thought it was more likely Jesus was one of these guys REINCARNATED than the Son of God. I mean, wouldn’t both ideas be pretty far-fetched? If you’re gonna believe Jesus was a reincarnated prophet, why not go ahead and make the “leap” that He is who He says He is – God’s Son…
Anyway, after the disciples offer these conjectures on Jesus’ true identity, Jesus says to the group, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
Jesus wasn’t concerned with the world’s perception of Him. Not so much, anyway. He wanted to know what His most intimate followers – His closest friends – understood about His true identity.
Peter responded, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16).
Imagine, if you will, that you are standing there with that group of disciples, listening to this conversation. And Jesus turns to you. His strong, yet soft, brown eyes meet yours. And He says, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?”
You know exactly who you think He is. Whether you are a believer, a skeptic, or an apathetic, you have an opinion about Jesus.
Was He a great teacher?
Was He a good man?
Was He a lunatic?
Was He a con artist?
Was He the Son of God?
Was He a prophet?
How do you answer His question?
Jesus didn’t offer any documented response to the ideas that He was John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. But to Peter’s statement that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God, Jesus replies, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 16:17).
Jesus clearly accepts Peter’s answer as correct. All other answers are incorrect.
But you and I weren’t there. We’ve never seen Jesus. We’ve never talked to Him. On what, then, do we base our answer to His question, “Who do you say I am?”
Christian or not, you need to have an answer and a basis for your answer. Know why you believe what you believe about the most important and influential person in history.