Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”
Jesus asked this question to his disciples and Peter nailed it.
Jesus has been asking me this question lately, and I have had a hard time answering.
First off, there are two ways you could look at this. You could answer the question, who do you believe that Jesus is? Or, you can answer the question, who do you tell other people that Jesus is?
Let’s start with who I believe Jesus is.
I know the right answer. He is my Lord. He is the reason I can have a relationship with God. He is the one that took all my sins, past, present, and future, and paid the price for them because no matter what I do in my life, I will never be good enough to enjoy eternity with God. He died for me. And he rose for me. He is my savior.
That’s a pretty good answer, right?
But is that what I REALLY believe? If I truly believed this is who Jesus is, then wouldn’t I feel some sense of obligation to spend every second of my existence trying to say thank you to him through my words, thoughts, and actions.
What does saying the name “Jesus” do to people?
One thing that I have noticed is that when you bring up Jesus’ name in a group of people it is never a vanilla topic. It’s never like, “Oh yeah, Jesus, he was cool. What do you want to talk about next?” Far from it. If you want to know if Jesus is real, and is who he says he is, then bring up his name at work, school, or in any social setting.
His name has power. It makes people uncomfortable. It puts them on edge. It makes them defensive. It gets them excited. It makes people nervous. Walls go up. Walls come down.
People either love Jesus, or they hate him. Jesus and “meh” never go together.
This is both very exciting and very scary at the same time. On the one hand, I could have the opportunity to share the king of the universe with people who don’t know him. On the other hand, I could end up in a corner fielding questions about his existence, or perceived inconsistencies in the Bible, or that one question.
Who do I tell people Jesus is? I guess it depends on the person. It’s easy in youth group. Those kids have come knowing what to expect. Even if they aren’t believers, they are in my hood, and I am comfortable being bold there. It’s easy on this blog; I have the barrier of the internet between my readers and me. It’s easy when you find out someone is a believer, or at least was a believer. It’s not so easy when they never were a believer, when the church screwed them over somehow, or when they think God let them down.
God, give me the strength and the courage to say who you are.